Benefits of Hiring a Travel Agent to plan your Staycation.

Last week I had a really great road trip to the South Shore, Nova Scotia. I’ll admit, like many of you, I usually just do my own road trips in Atlantic Canada. It’s easy, right? The primary language is English, I have my own vehicle, I have GPS and with a little research, I know what there is to do in each place. I’m a travel agent after all.

But, let me tell you …. traveling with a tour company in my own province was eye opening! I had no idea how little I knew about the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

I’ve been to Mahone Bay and Lunenburg countless times over the years. I’ve walked the streets, visited some shops, had lunch and dinner with friends. It has always been nice, but never like travelling! Going with a tour company this past week made it a totally different experience.

Here are six great benefits of working with a professional travel advisor and travelling with an organized itinerary for your next staycation.

RELAXATION. I didn’t have to drive, worry about parking or make any decisions on where to go next. I didn’t have to navigate GPS technology. Big check mark for giving my mind a break from decision making.

EDUCATION. When you walk around a town on your own, you don’t learn the history or the insider stories! How many times have I been to Lunenburg and I’ve never heard the stories of the Bluenose II?

HIDDEN GEMS. My guide knew back roads, secret beaches and hidden spots that I would never find on my own. I saw coves, quaint houses and the small little spot where Tom Selleck stayed during the Jesse Stone series. Who knew?!

CONNECTIONS. Our guide arranged a behind the scenes tour at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic even though it wasn’t open to the public. Everyone in town knew her and I got to chat with the fisherman who approached her on the street to say hello. I learned a bit about their lives in the town. That never would have happened if I wasn’t with a connected local. I spend time building these connections and relationships so that I can help you have amazing experiences whether close to home or afar.

RECOMMENDATIONS. Our guide grew up and still lives in Mahone Bay. She knew everything to do in town and made great recommendations for things I didn’t even know to look for online! I never would have known Fat Biking was available in Nova Scotia and that it was for anyone! I thought it was only in Nordic countries and for people way more fit than me. So not true!

TIME SAVINGS. So many museums, restaurants and experiences that used to be first come, first served, are now on reduced hours or reservations required. I didn’t have to research opening hours or make reservations in advance, which are required in many places now due to Covid. Small businesses have limited capacity, be it a restaurant or an artisan shop. If you just show up, there’s a good chance you’ll be turned away. Travelling is not the same as it once was! I didn’t have to call all of these places individually to find out their policies and book times. Phew!

Of course you can visit the South Shore (or anywhere else in Canada) on your own. And, for some people that’s perfect! For sure, you can book each activity piece by piece, but you might be missing out on a whole world of local connections, back roads, secret views and insider knowledge that make your staycation a truly amazing experience, instead of just a nice day. And, don’t forget that time is precious and you have to do all of the research, driving and decision making on your own. That’s fine if you enjoy doing all of those things, but if you don’t …. If you’d rather have it all taken care of or simply don’t have the time or patience, work with a professional. We love making vacations unique and stress free for you.

Whether you are travelling at home or abroad, using a travel professional gives you access to insider knowledge and connections that Google and Trip Advisor simply can’t offer. You can’t search for something on Google if you don’t know it even exists. You won’t find anything for “Lunenburg Tour Guide with Grandfather in fishing industry”, just for example.

Having the right travel professional with connections to great tour companies and local guides can take your staycation from nice to amazing!

An organized itinerary might be for you if you:
– have been saying you’d like to do a staycation but never find time to plan it
– simply don’t want to spend time online researching
– don’t have your own vehicle
– don’t want to travel alone
– appreciate the experience of having a connected, local guide
– just want to relax instead of making all the decisions
– have been dreaming of travel, but second guessed your age and ability to do so

Talk to us about planning a weekend getaway or a two-week itinerary right here in Nova Scotia or elsewhere in Canada. We can help you with options that suit your activity level, your comfort level and your style (self drive vs organized group).

– We can arrange pre-organized road trips so you enjoy each day at your own pace, with accommodations and activities that are booked and prepaid before you go.
– We can arrange a private tour for your friends or family ‘bubble’ so that close interaction with others is limited.
– We can recommend a group tour and you can meet new friends!

Health and safety is the top concern for all of the partners we work with! The health and safety of clients is directly related to their reputations and the health and safety of their staff. It’s important to all of us for everyone to stay safe.

If any of this resonates with you, drop a comment below on this blog. I’d love to hear what you dream of doing right here in your home country!

Or let’s set up a 15 minute, no obligation zoom or phone call to see if it’s the right time for you to start planning a professionally organized staycation, for this fall / winter, or for 2021! You can reach me at stucker@tpi.ca.

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