A Day in the Life of a Travel Consultant
I spent the day at our Madison Avenue flagship store (thanks again, guys!) to see exactly what a day in the life of a travel consultant looks like. Is it really all glamour and jet-setting? Read on to find out!
7:30am - 8:00am
Consultants start to trickle in around 7:30, settling into their desks and drinking giant cups of coffee. An undying love for Starbucks appears to be part of the job description, which I can definitely get behind.
8:00am - 9:30am
Doors open at 8:00am, so everyone’s checking their email and working on trips they're booking for different clients. They’re asking each other questions and advice, and it’s like watching a real life episode of Jeopardy where every question is about travel. A brief list of places they’re booking trips includes: Rome. Bermuda. Miami. Mexico.
9:30am - 11:00am
A man walks in and sits down with one of the consultants – he’s booking a trip to Tel Aviv by way of Paris, and he wants to book a hotel near the city's best shopping for his wife (afterwards, he went to pick up his "Best Husband Ever" award from the trophy store). They talk about the Champs-Élysées and macaroons, and other things that are impossibly glamorous for 10:00 in the morning.
11:00am - 12:30pm
There’s a woman sitting with down with a folded copy of our newspaper ad from Sunday who wants to go to either Miami or the Caribbean in August. (Fun fact! We’ve had an ad on the back page of the Sunday New York Times travel section for literally decades.) In the meantime, a cute-looking couple comes in looking to book two tickets to Ireland.
12:30pm - 1:30pm
One of the consultants ducks out for lunch and tucks a Global Journeys brochure into her purse. She’s trying to figure out where go on vacation and can’t decide between Rio and Patagonia, which is a problem that travel consultants apparently have.
1:30pm - 3:00pm
Since the store is located on Madison Avenue in the heart of New York City, it gets a ton of foot traffic during lunch time.
One of the women who comes in is looking for a trip “somewhere warm,” which prompts a whole litany of follow up questions. How far do you want to go? Are you looking to stay at an all-inclusive? Do you mind if there are kids there? One thing these consultants are great at is being able to narrow down one big idea (“somewhere warm!”) into one specific resort in one specific place.
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Speaking of which! There’s a couple who want to stay at an all-inclusive resort but don't want to go to Mexico or Jamaica. Their consultant is trying to figure out what exactly they’re looking for in a resort. Is it great food? Unlimited drinks? Is there a reason they don't want Mexico or Jamaica? It’s like watching a detective show – I kind of want to grab some popcorn and settle into the couch to see how this ends.
The lunch rush has calmed down by the time I leave, and there’s normally a second rush on the way around 5:00pm as people get out of work. Since things are finally a bit quieter, consultants are doing things like booking flights and comparing notes on different trips they’re planning (“Which did you like more, Helsinki or St. Petersburg?”).
"And here is a list of the 40 countries that I've been to..."
And that was my day! So what did I learn? Being a travel consultant is like being a walking Swiss army knife of travel knowledge. Having someone like that tell you exactly where to stay (and why) makes the whole "figuring out where to stay" process about a thousand times easier.
Also, Madison Avenue has some surprisingly great lunch spots if you know where to look (and by “know where to look” I mean “have someone explicitly give you directions”).