Is Having Someone Else Plan Your Next Family Trip Worth It?
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A recent Bloomberg article focused on the benefits of luxury travel company Black Tomato’s planning services and their app. Black Tomato’s destinations and the level of service they deliver reflects the company’s attention to what it calls “The Moment.” Understanding this concept will help you decide if it’s worth the money to have someone else plan your next family trip, especially if the trip is multigenerational with a mix of interests and abilities of various family members.
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Having a Planner vs Planning Yourself
When is it worth the money to have someone else do the planning? If it’s a simple matter of everyone meeting up at a single celebration like a wedding, each individual will likely make their own arrangements. It gets more complicated if everyone decides to stay on for a few days to do things together. Someone has to poll the group to see what they want; before that, someone has to find out what options are available in the area. Working with someone familiar with the area will save everyone a lot of research and effort.
Trip planners can be expensive, though, so working with them efficiently is likely to save money — and hassles. Asking the planner to take a page from Black Tomato’s book and suggest moments for the group is a good way to start.
Planning one or more of the five types of activities below will give everyone an opportunity to have a meaningful experience with the other people on the trip. Especially for multigenerational trips, identifying what will be the signature activities makes it possible to pick the best moments possible. What are the moments? The moments are the:
- Meal – Not everyone will be ready to join in for every meal. Rather than turn the time together into an endurance event, pick one meal to be “The Meal.” Ask for options and make a plan for the meal that is special and inclusive.
- Event – Depending upon your destination, events can range from a festival to fireworks. Focusing on one event that will be shared makes it possible for people to arrive at the destination on a schedule that meets their needs.
- Journey – Reaching your destination can be part of the fun. A travel planner can suggest activities, such as a hike to see the sunset.
- Challenge – It’s difficult to find a challenge to meet everyone’s abilities. People on the trip can prepare by defining one challenge designed to be shared. It might be rock climbing or rafting; here, a trip planner’s suggestions can be invaluable.
- Celebration – Maybe the trip is for a wedding, a retirement party or a special birthday. The celebration will be a key moment for everyone to anticipate. A trip planner will be familiar with the local restaurants and venues, taking the research work off your plate.
Paying for someone to plan your trip can certainly be worth it if you have a large group arriving from different locations at different times,. A planner can help you plan for a group involving people with varied ages, interest, and abilities, or for a group that’s traveling to an entirely new location.
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anyaberkut / Getty Images/iStockphoto A recent Bloomberg article focused on the benefits of luxury travel company Black Tomato’s planning services and their app. Black Tomato’s destinations and the level of service they deliver reflects the company’s attention to what it calls “The Moment.” Understanding this concept will help you decide if it’s worth the money…