Get a Perfect Custom Travel Itinerary: 4 Tips and Tricks
Custom travel itineraries can be an excellent way to plan a vacation. Imagine getting a completely tailor-made daily guide for your trip based on the requirements you choose.
More and more people are electing to use custom travel itineraries because it’s a hassle-free way to get a unique and personalized experience. One of the main advantages of a customized travel itinerary is that it helps prioritize attractions, activities and restaurants according to your preferences – no matter how niche or particular they might be.
It’s a satisfying feeling to return from your trip knowing you didn’t miss any of the places you wanted to see. And a personal trip planner that throws in a few surprise locations that you never even knew existed is the true sign of a caring professional
However, there are some potential pitfalls to be aware of. Here are 4 Tips and Tricks you should be aware of when requesting a custom travel itinerary.
Tip No. 1
Be aware of affiliate marketing income in your custom travel itinerary
Travel agents and bloggers are able to earn commissions through affiliate marketing by recommending flights, hotel bookings, and ticket purchases.
Sometimes this is earned by a link with a tracking code, or other times a travel agent gets a small payout from a hotel when they make a booking on your behalf. Everyone deserves to be compensated for the work they do, but it can also lead to bias. Why would you send your reader or customer to a business that is not paying you when you could send them somewhere who is offering a reward.
Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative way to generate revenue on a travel site. Affiliate marketers can earn an average annual salary of $59,060, with earnings climbing up to $158K a year when you factor in additional incentives.
By partnering with specific services such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, and TripAdvisor, they can earn commissions ranging from 6% to 40%. The referral program offered by TripAdvisor allows affiliates to promote their partner hotels and earn a 50% commission on the brokerage fee. WP Engine also offers a high commission for signups to their hosting plans.
Tip: If you have concerns about affiliate marketing tactics influencing your travel planner’s selections, one of the best ways to address this is to separate your custom travel itinerary from the actual travel bookings. Find trip planners that only provide travel guides to ensure they tailor the information according to your preferences. If they don’t require you to book the travel activities through their platforms or as part of their service, then you know they have your best interest in mind.
NanoWhat is one such platform that offers only a custom travel itinerary without any affiliate marketing influence coming from the locations trip planners put on your itinerary. NanoWhat’s Travel Creators are compensated when you buy their itinerary.
The site aims to provide the most authentic local experiences, local hidden gems, or a road trip maps for your dream vacation. There is an affiliate marketing program in place, but it promotes supporting Creators for the effort spent planning your trip or making a curated map instead of giving rewards for bookings.
Either way, honest custom travel itinerary planners will always declare their affiliate marketing income to make the deal transparent. So it’s up to you to decide whether to use their booking services or not.
Tip No. 2
Watch out for Artificial Intelligence (AI) robots planning your custom travel itinerary
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the travel industry, making it easier for travel agents or tour operators to plan trips for faster business growth.
AI-powered apps and websites promise to deliver personalized itineraries in seconds, based on users’ preferences and browsing histories. While this sounds impressive, travelers should be aware of the tricks and pitfalls of having your trip planners relying solely on AI to plan their trip.
AI algorithms can only use data that is available online, which means they may miss out on insider tips, hidden gems, and local experiences that can make a trip truly remarkable. Additionally, relying solely on AI recommendations can lead to a cookie-cutter travel experience that lacks the spontaneity and surprise that often makes travel so magical.
Tip: Before choosing a travel agency or trip planner, carefully review their website and terms of service, especially the “algorithm” they use to customize the itinerary. It is best to have some case references, or customer testimonials.
Of course, AI could be a good auxiliary tool to help save a certain amount of search time. Trip planners can use AI-powered apps and sites as a starting point for their trip planning and not as a substitute for human expertise, creativity, and intuition. So the best way is to ask your trip planners directly to find out how much AI dominates their service.
NanoWhat’s custom travel itinerary service doesn’t use any AI. It’s based on the contributions of 120 Million Google Local Guides and travel bloggers who want to share their real experiences to provide you with the most authentic recommendations.
Tip No. 3
Don’t forget about Healthy & Safety in your custom travel itinerary
When it comes to custom travel itineraries, ensuring travel health and safety is of utmost importance.
This is why reputable travel companies such as TCS World Travel take necessary measures to vet the places included in their itineraries. This involves conducting thorough research and seeking out reputable sources to ensure that the accommodations, activities, and transportation options meet the highest standards of health and safety.
Many travel agents or trip planners may not thoroughly verify the places included in their itineraries. This is because building a customized itinerary can be time intensive and there isn’t always a guarantee that the agent’s hard work will result in a commission.
As a result, the trip planners may focus more on booking places that pay commissions rather than thoroughly researching the best options for their clients.
Tip: Choose reliable travel specialists or websites to plan your trip, and conduct your own research when receiving their custom travel itineraries. While en route to your destination, use tools like Google Maps to scout the area and be mindful of your surroundings while using public transportation. Additionally, read traveler reviews to obtain a better understanding of your destination before arriving.
It’s also a good idea to join Facebook groups for travelers and consult with locals for information about safe neighborhoods and places to visit. Checking for travel restrictions and COVID-19 protocols on airline websites can also ensure a smoother trip. By being cautious and taking the necessary steps, you can enjoy your trip while minimizing any potential risks.
Tip No. 4
Be mindful of you budget and watch out for pricey Items in your custom travel itinerary
Lastly, custom itineraries can be expensive, as they often involve booking private tours that are not available through traditional travel agents. It is important for travelers to decide what level of personalization they require and weigh the cost against the value of having a personalized trip itinerary.
A custom travel itinerary tailored to individual preferences often comes with a hefty price tag. If you’ve chosen to go the route of an all inclusive vacation where your travel advisor handles booking the accommodations, activities, and transportation, the cost can add up quickly.
When it comes to pricing a custom travel itinerary, there are several factors to consider. In addition to the length and complexity of the trip, the number of travelers and the level of customization can also impact the cost. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a personalized travel experience can actually save you money in the long run, as it allows you to avoid unnecessary expenses and focus on the things that matter most to you.
Tip: Double check if there are any unnecessary items being included in the itinerary that are driving up the overall bill. For those who value a fully customized travel experience and are willing to pay the price, the end result can be a truly unforgettable journey.
Research has shown that travelers are willing to pay around $200-$300 per day for a fully personalized travel experience. But if that sounds like it’s out of your price range – you don’t need to give up on your desire to let someone else plan your trip. Check NanoWhat’s custom travel itinerary service with transparent prices starting from US$5/day.
When it comes to planning a good custom travel itinerary, it’s important to choose a reliable trip planner that can help you create the best trip possible. The planner should align with your unique travel style, trip goals and budget. Some planners offer personalized support via email, phone or Zoom. A reputable agency should prioritize the traveler’s needs and preferences above all else when creating a custom itinerary, and use ecosystems to personalize journeys end-to-end.
Despite affiliate marketing commissions, you may also enjoy some discounted rates or better amenities as good custom travel itinerary planners use established relationships to negotiate favorable deals. Companies that offer personalized tours have the added bonus of expert insight and expertise. A professional travel agent can help cut down the research required to plan the perfect trip.
Overall, a custom travel itinerary can provide tourists with guidance, structure, and activities, making the vacation planning process much easier and enjoyable. Whether it’s through private guided tours or customized itineraries, the future of travel is undeniably personalized.