A New Level of Trip Personalization?

Trip Personalization
February 21, 2024

The Chief Product Officer at TripAdvisor, Sanjay Raman, was asked at the Travel Trends AI Summit 2024 today what a few travel trends that stand out to him right now (and in the future) in the travel industry are. One of the three that he said was personalization.

And I couldn’t agree more.

But for centuries now, personalization in the travel industry has remained at a very surface level:

In the traditional travel agent role, the traveler is asked typical questions like:

“where do you want to travel to?”

“how many people will be going on your trip?”

“where have you traveled to in the past?”

“what is your dream travel destination?”

“what type of activities do you enjoy doing?”

“what type of accommodations do you prefer?”

“what are your travel preferences?”

“what is your budget?”

“how long do you plan to travel for?

But none of those questions really say much about WHY the person wants to travel and what they are truly looking to gain from the travel experience is.

Let’s face it. We all research, plan, and book trips for a reason and those reasons change every time we go on a trip.

For example, sometimes we are looking to spend quality time with our loved ones because we have been stuck in our busy daily routine, other times we are craving time alone to get clear on our own thoughts and future, and other times we are in need of healing from a certain life event, grief, loss, burnout, heartbreak, trauma, or something else that has impacted us emotionally.

How those motivations have been addressed in the travel industry are with terms like “escape”, “get away”, “quit the 9-5”, or simply to just go on a vacation.

Imagine if our trips met our needs every time and traveling became another tool in our toolbox for navigating both our personal and professional life.

So, what does this deeper level of personalization look like? How do travel professionals get their clients to share their true WHY for wanting to go on a trip?

In order to get travelers to dig deeper into why they are really looking to get away, it’s going to take a fresh approach because they may not have been asked to do this before. Usually the positive impact and transformation happens during or post trip. This is why it’s important to help clients bring awareness to why they want to go on this trip before the trip even happens. That way, better planning and booking decisions can be made.

As the travel coach or travel professional of any kind, ask personal questions. Hence the term “personalization”. But don’t just stop there. To get your clients to open up and think deeper about their travel motivations, share a story of your own.

Travel turns us into storytellers. We have all been impacted by travel in same way. Enough so that you were inspired to now help others have incredibly memorable travel experiences.

Tap into your own travel stories and provide an example that relates to the questions that you are asking your clients. What inspired to you start traveling? What were you looking for at that time? How has travel impacted you and your life? This gives them time to think about their own truth, it helps them see what is possible out of a travel experience, and it encourages them to share a more meaningful and honest answer.

Asking more profound and purposeful questions are at the foundation of Travel Coaching because it’s all about providing meaningful travel experiences that make a lasting impact on the traveler. Travel is a powerful tool or vessel for things like transformation, healing, growth, clarity, and more, but only when done with intention and awareness.

What is your WHY for travel?

Learn more about becoming a Certified Travel Coach here.

Post written by: Sahara Rose De Vore, Founder and CEO of The Travel Coach Network

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