Today we are going to start a series on reasons Why a Special Needs Family Should Use a Travel Agent to Plan their Vacation. Special Needs Families have a set of unique reasons why a Travel Agent can be beneficial to them. Let's spend some time and delve into a few of them today.
1- Expertise in Accessible Travel
There are several ways a Travel Agent can gain this expertise. One is through training. This training can come through many sources. ranging from the destinations themselves, or the suppliers that sell the destinations, through programs offered through various respected Travel Agency training organizations such as The Travel Institute or ASTA (American Society for Travel Agents) or directly from an organization called Special Needs Group.
The other is by personal experience with a Special Needs family member.
I have both. I've done all the training that the destinations I sell have offered (as well as giving my feedback before and during the transition at Disney between the GAC and DAS), as well as being a Certified Accessible Travel Advocate by Special Needs Group Since 2017. I have also been a Special Needs Mom to a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor since 2005.
I've seen the rules, regulations, accommodations, and accessibility options first hand. I've seen what works, and what doesn't work as well as it should. I've been outspoken on those times where it doesn't work as well as it should and have lobbied to make the changes necessary.
In addition to my youngest son having a cognitive disability, one of my granddaughters is an amputee, giving me a unique insight to the accommodations needed by those with physical disabilities.
2- Personalized Service
A Travel Agent's Job is to provide personalized service and tailor your trip to the specific need of your family. Having the personal knowledge of how the systems work makes it easier for me to help you navigate the ever changing and confusing systems.
While both Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World have very similar systems in place for cognitive and physical disabilities, they each work a little bit differently. Knowing the difference (no matter how subtle or large they are). and how to navigate through them, I can work with your family to create an itinerary that suits your individual requirements, including accessible accommodations, transportation, and activities. Together we can take your family vacation from simply a trip to a memorable family experience for the whole that will last a lifetime!
3-Save Time and Effort
Everyday life can frequently be overwhelming with Special Needs. I know from experience that planning a trip with a son with special needs can seem next to impossible. When you do something only once a year (at most) it takes time and effort to research what is available for your specific situations. To research what has changed since the last time you visited. To verify what is available at the time you want to visit. And to make sure you get the best Value.
Where are the quiet areas? What about dietary requirements? What about special requests? What if I need a wheelchair or scooter or stroller rental at my destination? What type of ADA compliant rooms or cabins are available? What do I do if I encounter a problem? When did this policy change? Which of these promotions is best for my family?
Since this is what I do daily, I am always hearing of the changes as well as the promotions and can offer you the most up to date information as I book all the necessary travel arrangements. And I am a WIZ at doing the Magic Math to compare all the available promotions to find the one that makes the most sense for your family!
Come back next week while we will go through a few more reasons why a Special Needs Family should Use a Travel Agent to Plan their Trip! And if you have any questions about this subject, or any other Special Needs travel questions, please feel free to comment below!
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Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!