Sep 12th, 2019
Scott Stein, the owner of and travel planner for Extraordinary Adventures (https://www.myextraordinaryadventures.com/travel-podcast.html), explains that using a travel specialist is a lot like using a medical specialist - you don't go to a neurosurgeon to fix your teeth!
(The show transcript is being provided by YouTube's automatic transcriber. Please forgive any inaccuracies or errors.)
[Applause] [Music] hey everybody this is Scott from extraordinary adventures again coming to you with the 14 episode of EA radio first just wanted to say that I've got my phone ringer turned off my computer's turned off my other phone ring is turned off my cuckoo clock is turned off my dogs are all asleep so hopefully we can sound more professional in this episode we'll get it figured out one day anywho so on to the show I'm entitle in this one you don't go to a neurosurgeon to fix your teeth also known as use a travel specialist so first let's define what a specialist is just a dictionary definition it's a person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity a person highly skilled in a specific and/or restricted field so basically this is me now not the definition basically it's someone who knows more and more about less and less kind of a jokey way to think about it but that's what it is really so let's let's look I'm gonna use this uhm the medical example because that's when people think of specialists is one of the things I think about is medical specialists so I'm gonna use that analogy throughout this episode with the general practitioner they have eight years nine years whatever it is of studies and exams and and they're proficient at being a general practitioner so they know a little bit about a lot of stuff and you get to go to them when you have issues whatever some which they'll be able to handle and some of which they'll realize their limitations and they'll say hey you should go to a specialist you should hire ologist neurosurgeon orthopedic surgeon skin doctor you know whatever they'll make that Deborah referral and sometimes if you have an HMO as opposed to a PPO I think that's how that works you can just go directly to the specialist because you already know hey this is probably above what my general practitioner can do same thing is true in trouble there are some what I would call like common cold travel things like booking you on let's say a Royal Caribbean cruise not the hardest thing to do could you do it on your own yes are you probably still better off having somebody help you with that just like an all-inclusive vacation in the islands could you do it on your own yeah but do you really know every cruise line out there do you really know every all-inclusive out there and what would be a best fit for you so you know honestly why take the chance you're better off using a travel agent Travel professional even in those cases just much like the the common cold you could self diagnose yourself self diagnosis you could self diagnose um and you could self medicate but is that really the best course of action maybe in some cases maybe but in other cases you know it might be worth it to get little expert advice so that's that's the general practitioner example but if on the other hand you absolutely know that you want to get you know a nose job if you're gonna get a nose job you're not going to your general practitioner you got to go to a myofascial surgeon I'm not sure who does that actually but if you're gonna go for a nose job you go to the nose job doctor likewise if you're gonna do something extraordinary in travel you're going to want to go to a specialist and more importantly again you're not gonna want to go to a neurosurgeon to fix your teeth both neurosurgery and Dentistry our specialties if you want neurosurgery done you go to the neurosurgeon if you want dentistry done you go to the dentist so the same thing in travel for instance I'll take I'll take the negative against myself I don't do west destination weddings it's a very complicated travel plan there's a lot of moving parts a lot of mood cogs in that in that such in that travel plan not my thing there are people that do it great and and I'll refer to them but what I do what I specialize in is and I'm gonna read this quote off my website culturally authentic locally immersive European adventures for the curious middle aged explorer alone or with friends but always on their terms in other words my plans are highly customized I provide a high level of concierge service to my clients but it's when they want to go to Europe specifically I do Germany and England but we can hear handle the general European countries you could put me somewhere for Europe you could put me above a general practitioner but when it comes to Germany and and England I would put myself in the neurosurgeon category though those are the couple countries I know England Ireland Scotland and then then Germany that's really my thing so come to me for destination wedding probably not the best guy come to me for Germany definitely the best guy so you see the difference between why you would use not just using a travel specialist but a travel specialist who specializes and what it is that you want to do what what your destination is or what type of travel are you doing with group travel or solo travel whether that's gonna be a cruise an expedition cruise a river cruise an ocean cruiser you know there's a million different specialties you're gonna want to go to somebody who knows that well so what do you look for when you're looking for a travel specialist first passion if you call somebody for their free initial consultation and they sound like a dud what makes you think they're not gonna be a dud the entire time through I don't know about you I don't like working with duds to the contrary if you get on the phone with somebody and they sound passionate about their travel they sound passionate about you know working with other people in their travels they sound passionate about their destination they sound the passion it's just clearly there in their voice and more so than that they don't sound like the professionals been doing this for twenty years even if they have that they don't sound like that kind of person is like you know taking you for granted oh yeah sure we can help you blah blah blah no every new client is a great opportunity for a travel agent travel professional and that's how it should sound they should sound like they don't take you for granted but they're happy that you're calling them so those are the things you look for for passion there's a zillion other things you could look for for passion but just remember not a dud somebody passionate about travel itself and then helping you with your travels the next thing you might look for is is natural talent and learned skills so natural talent not something anybody can do about it but there are things that we're just we have an for woman kids you know if you think back to middle school high school there were kids that just weren't good at numbers so you knew they were gonna do something math finances accounting whatever there were people who were good actors actresses they were always so dramatic and you you could see maybe that's gonna be a Broadway show performer people that were athletic there were people that had certain knack for things and I'm gonna take myself as an example here at least didn't you know I've wrote down a couple little things that I was good at as a kid and one of them is my gift for gab I can talk I can talk I can also listen so like that rapport that empathy of of not just talking to talk but talking to hear what the other person is saying and and having that back and forth you know where you really feel like you're connecting that gift for gab and that's kind of why I also love England Ireland Scotland particularly the Irish in that case my goodness they they will talk your ear off and they will listen they want to know about you and and and they'll tell you their story and they'll want to know your story it they're amazing and and that's one of my talents another one of my talents is in my insatiable curiosity about our world I've always been that way from a little kid ask my parents about the we traveled as kids you know they took us around the world I just I couldn't get enough I just couldn't get enough I said my rapport with people but I kept that kind of goes back to a gift for gab or were people that I connect those two together I also have a never-ending yearning to learn more I constantly want to know more and more and like a specialist I like to know more and more how less and less I really really really really want to know everything there is about German I have a friend who lives in Berlin I have a friend who lives in Bavaria I would love to know more about Germany than they do you know I didn't grow up there I don't know if that's gonna ever happen but I'm gonna try my best and then the last thing I thought about as a kid that my risk tolerance was always very high and my embrace of adventure was always very high you know I really wasn't the most athletic kid but I was the first one there we were out on our bikes together in the neighbor I'd be like hey let's go a little further let's go check it out yeah payers are not gonna yell at us so we go another block like I would always push to go somewhere and new and exciting and check out something different that was always my thing and that's the way I look at it still XE X amount of years later I'll just say it like 35 years later now that I'm 44 that's still the way I approach the world there's nowhere I wouldn't go I go to Iran I'd go to North Korea uh probably shouldn't and I probably won't be able to get there anytime soon but I would go there I mean I have that adventurous spirit to just about go anywhere Antarctica Iceland you know the there's Gobi Desert it doesn't matter if it's hot cold snow I want to check it out I froze my butt off in the ounce didn't there done that don't really know if I want to freeze my butt off in the Alps again but it was magnificent it was truly extraordinary to be up there that's the kind of person I am and that's the kind of the kind of trips and the kind of clients that I look for people who like me they're not adventurous they're not you know you know they're not mountain mountain climbing like a straight cliff or or or they're not you know snowboarding or they're not jumping off of things like you know cliff diving thing like that's not what I mean by adventure that's hard adventure and I think I actually did an episode about that I don't think I did I did it's called soft adventure that's what I look for I look for people who want to go and get culturally authentic locally immersive travels get off the tourist trap areas get off the beaten path and see things that not everybody's gonna see so that that's kind of my what I bring to the table just natural talent and learn skills learning by journey going to Germany myself which we're gonna touch on going there in a minute learning about England learning about the booking process of how to do that know what what's the best flight where's the best hotel it's a better maybe that you should do a river cruise you know what's the best way that's gonna make your trip extraordinary so that's the learn skills and then the other thing is the artfulness so you could learn stuff you could have natural talent you could you can be passionate but maybe you're just not very good at it I mean it can't happen there you're just not good thing that you're very passionate about but I mean fortunately for me my skill set my passion and my artfulness my ability to get the job done are all in line so I got very fortunate but that's the case and that's what you're going to want to look for in your in your travel specialist another thing in that little area is there unique value proposition so for instance one of my unique value propositions I like to use local guides not those big 50 person bus tours but let's I'll just name a point my friend down in Bavaria his name is Jake I know Jay Jake knows me when I send my clients to Jake he's gonna give them an extraordinary trip and I can rely on that and the folks who have used Jake and come back and tell me oh my god Jake was extraordinary that's my unique value proposition your local guides I have another one that I like to use in London amber she is extraordinary so that that kind of stuff you want to look for people who just have those little secrets little tricks like maybe when you go to Amsterdam now this is not one of my super specialties but I know it on the canals did you know that you could stay on a houseboat on the canal like that's a cool little tip cool little trick not the kind of thing maybe the general practitioner or even you yourself the home user would know how to do the next one haven't personally experienced the trip has your person been on a group adventure if that's what they're selling have they don't have did they do a destination wedding well maybe they didn't have to do that but have they gone to Thailand if that's their thing New Zealand have they have they been on the expedition expedition cruise to the to see the Northern Lights have they done these things if they haven't it's not a hard X against them but they'll be able to connect with you and your trip better if they've gone there and you know for me obviously Germany and England are we have friends who live in England we're actually going to see in 1987 days yeah my other friends in Germany come and go all the time we have a good connection to Germany in England and then the last one that I have is that they personally booked the trip so have they booked clients other clients before you to the destinations that you want them to book doesn't have to be the exact same trip no because if they're customizing trips like I do all my trips accustomed to what my clients want it's not going to be the exact same trip but have they look something in the in the neighborhood so for instance if I've done Bavarian bookings and somebody wants to go to Salzburg which not a good example because I've already booked people to Salzburg but you understand I'm saying if it's the general area it's the same flights at the same time that you know the timezone I mean they have a good sense if if you're from North Carolina could you do something for someone in South Carolina it's not a stretch whereas if they're in North Carolina could you do something for somebody in Alaska that's kind of a stretch so there's a little bleed over in maybe some of the local countries that are around if they've been on a Viking River cruise could they do a Crystal River cruise yeah probably so so it doesn't have to be very specific but they have to have done this before so you know that's just scratching the surface there those I think are the big ones that you're gonna look for the passion the natural talent and skills the artfulness the unique value proposition have they personally experienced the trip and have they personally booked the trip I think those are the big ones but again there are more just you know the way I think about it just think about how and why and when you would consider using that medical specialist and then apply that framework to your travel professional okay it's more than your hard-earned money that you're putting in their hands remember it's those precious moments of life there's no do-over there's no going back to a vacation gone awry whether that's doing it yourself which you really shouldn't do or hiring the professional you want to make sure that professional doesn't mess up your trip even if you could sue them and get their money back that doesn't get you your life back now you got to go and maybe try to do it again but you can't do things over again the you know the first impression with anything they don't know that that old saying you only get one chance to make a first impression do you really want your first impression of a destination to be muddied by apathy incompetence or an experience I wouldn't so since I know that you wouldn't go to a neurosurgeon to fix your teeth I also know that you wouldn't go to some other specialist when you want to travel to Europe in my case that's my show very simple try to keep a little shorter last week a brand a little long if you have any questions as always Scott at my extraordinary adventures calm Scott at my extraordinary adventures Calm tell me your name where you're from and I'll give you a shout-out on the air and that's about it so until next time this is Scott from extraordinary adventures thanking you for tuning in reminding you to share this show on Facebook Twitter wherever it is Instagram that you do remember minding you that I am now on Google Play and iTunes you can find our podcasts there and I'll have the link in the notes you'll also be able to find my podcast on my website and so on the navigation tabs called Travel podcast or something so that's it get out there spread the word help everyone learn more about travel and that's it stay tuned for the next episode guys ciao [Music] you [Music]