Sustainable travel agent, how can I help?Lizet Wesselman - 22/08/2023
Sustainable travel agent, how can I help?Lizet Wesselman - 22/08/2023
Are you looking for an unforgettable travel experience that’s not only packed with cool experiences, but also good for the environment and local people? Then you’ve come to the right place! As your personal sustainable travel agent, I’m here to help you plan sustainable trips that have a positive impact on the environment and the places you visit. I’ll help you with anything you need help with. From just a call to get tips to a fully personalised travel plan that all you have to do is book. How? Let me explain.
What is a sustainable travel agent?
For many people, planning trips is one of their favourite hobbies, and for others it’s a time-consuming hassle they’d rather leave behind. And now you can, because I belong to the group of hobbyist travel planners and am happy to take over from the 2nd group! I create tailor-made sustainable travel plans that meet all your travel needs.
If you are younger than me, you may not remember this. But you used to have travel shops (and I believe some still exist?) where you could walk in to book a trip. Staff would sit there and ask you a series of questions to find out what you were looking for in your holiday. (Beach, city break, walking holiday, skiing holiday, camping, safari, far away, close by etc.) Then they had a load of travel brochures to suit your needs and you chose your trip. Then you specified how long you wanted and what dates, and they booked the whole trip for you. Super convenient!
Well, so I do the same. But digitally and with a questionnaire that you can fill in at your leisure at your convenience. But in the end you get a ready-made trip, which you can book in one go. And with it is a focus on sustainable travel, especially by train and with as many sustainable accommodations and experiences as possible that make a positive local impact.
Here’s how I do that:
I want to know everything about you
I start by getting to know you. I want to know everything about you! (Your credit card number, PIN and passport details you can keep to yourself ) You can share as much as you want with me. Ultimately, it’s super important that I understand what makes your heart beat faster when it comes to travelling.
Of course, as a travel agent and active traveller, I can blurt out a trip that I thought was really cool. But I love the mountains and hiking, for instance, I like to search for the best wines and I think food is very important. I am less fond of lying on the beach all day. So if you like to be by/on the water and want to go on a sailing trip, I won’t make you happy with my hike trip and restaurant tip on top of a mountain.
Does this mean I can’t plan a beach holiday for you? Definitely not. I know exactly where to look for a great sailing trip. For example, I have friends who organise sailing trips in Croatia in summer. But then I need to know that it will make you very happy. So, to get YOUR travel wishes clear, you get an extensive questionnaire. You can really fill it in as detailed as possible. The more information, the better I can create special, unique experiences for you.
An unique, personalized, sustainable trip
With all the information you’ve given me in the questionnaire, I can put together a cool, unique, but above all sustainable trip for you. I notice that many people would like to travel more sustainably, but don’t really know where to start. For instance, you have to deal with sustainable transport, sustainable accommodation, your local impact and mass tourism. And all that on top of everything else that is involved in planning a trip anyway, such as determining your location, finding beautiful spots, planning an itinerary, estimating how much time you need for the trip and how much you can then see etc. etc. That already takes enough energy for many people, let alone making it sustainable.
So I help you plan your trip, and make sure it is sustainable. The focus here is on train travel, where possible, of course. If you want to go to Southeast Asia for 3 weeks, you don’t have enough time to travel there by train (which is possible, by the way!). I will help you with a flight there, and then a round trip where you do travel by train or possibly bus as much as possible. Some countries have more trains than others, but there are still plenty of ways to make your travels more sustainable.
Quotation & agreement
When I know what you want, how long you want to go, how many places you want to visit and which package you want to use, I will give you an offer. So until this point, you are not tied to anything at all and can fill in the questionnaire without any obligation! The quote is for the costs of setting up the trip. This obviously costs me time, because I have to tailor it exactly to your wishes. So I have to find those great beaches for you, plan the route for you and possibly find accommodation and activities that fit your wishes and budget. I charge a fee for that. But, of course, it saves you a lot of time. So it’s a win-win for both of us.
Do you agree with the offer? Then you can pay it right away and I’ll start working for you! Do you still think the amount is too high or have you decided you still want to plan it yourself? That’s fine, of course. Then you are absolutely free to plan the trip yourself anyway and, above all, I wish you a very nice trip!
I’ll get on it!
Once you agree to the offer and have paid, I will start working on your personal travel plan for you! A lot of fun for me as a travel agent, because as I said, I so really love that research for a trip. I will puzzle for you to put together the perfect sustainable trip.
That includes (depending on the package):
- Transport to your first stop (train, or plane for onward travel)
- A great route along the number of stops you want to see
- Sustainable accommodation within your budget (yes, that can also be hostels)
- Cool activities in/around those stops that make the most positive local impact possible
- Information on local transport
- Useful information about your destination(s) such as safety measures, weather forecast, cultural things to know
- Atmosphere photos for pre-fun
Even before I dive right in there and set everything up for you, I will first give you a proposal. This is a first draft of the trip, in which I can already tell you which cool locations you will be visiting. This way, you can indicate one more time whether or not this is what you had in mind. If you have forgotten something in the questionnaire or if you think “I don’t really like that city” or if you think the distances between the locations are too far, you can indicate that now. You can make changes once, so make sure you really pass on all your concerns here, because after this I will really plan everything for you.
Your personal, sustainable travel plan
After you’ve said “YES” to the proposal, I’ll do some puzzling and prepare your ready-made itinerary for you. I’ll let you know when it’s ready, so you can put it in your diary and book right away! Is that not convenient? Just let me know. Prices can sometimes change quickly, so it would be a shame if I send you a plan that fits your budget, and then a week later it has suddenly become 1.5 times as expensive.
Of course, the plan you get is fully tailored to your personal travel needs, your budget and sustainable options. You get 2 parts from me:
- A PDF file with a the outline of the trip. In it, I tell you a bit about the places you will go and what you need to know in advance. This is a nice little book you can take with you on your trip. Which will help you have fun beforehand, and are useful during your trip.
- The actual travel plan. In this I set everything out for you, making it easy for you to book it. This may be two links, one with the train journeys and one with the accommodation & activities. This is because I simply do not yet have a programme in which it can go together. But even so, this means you have to book 2 things, instead of a whole load of accommodations, trains, and activities.
Why do I need to book myself?
I can book your trip for you. The only downside to that is that I need your personal details, such as credit card details and possibly passport details if flights are included. And I don’t want to ask you for those. This is simply such privacy-sensitive data that I don’t want to deal with it. Therefore, you will have to book your trip yourself. But you can do that in one or two trips, instead of doing everything separately. So I do make it a lot easier for you.
Time to book your trip!
Now that you’ve received your personalised itinerary, you can start booking! Everything is already ready for you, so it only takes a few minutes before your entire trip is booked and the countdown can begin!
As I said, it’s important to book quickly to avoid price changes. And of course, once you’ve booked, the anticipation can begin! You can then read through the itinerary and maybe look up some tips yourself, check out the places on Instagram and maybe learn some words in the local language.
LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!
Why should you hire me as a travel agent?
I’m guessing, if you’re on this page and have certainly come this far to arrive at this question, that you’re not particularly keen on planning a trip yourself. So that’s reason 1 to enlist me as your sustainable travel agent, because I do enjoy doing just that!
In addition, my trips have a focus on sustainability, which you don’t see very often, but which I have a lot of experience with. I have really become a bit of a train nerd and I am proud of that. I get incredibly excited by trains and new routes, but also by accommodations that put extra effort into sustainability and finding unique spots and local experiences. I do this not only for you, but also for myself. So I really am an expert by experience when it comes to sustainable travel. Want to go on a cruise? Then you really shouldn’t be with me, and I will be honest about that. Then I know another travel agent who can help you much better.
So, do you want to make a cool sustainable trip and need help with a train itinerary and/or finding sustainable accommodation and local experiences? Then I’m the travel agent you’re looking for!
Of course, I hope this makes it completely clear, and you are now excited about an upcoming sustainable trip! But I also understand if you have more questions. That is why I have already answered some frequently asked questions for you. You will also find information on this page about the different travel packages I offer. For instance, you can choose to let me put together just the train itinerary, so you can plan accommodation and activities yourself. Or you can let me do everything, or something in between. Everything is possible.
Have you become enthusiastic about sustainable travel and actually want to plan your own trip? Great! If you could still use some help with that, you can schedule a travel call with me, where you can fire all your questions at me during a video call. Or take a look at my train travel guides, in which I have also drawn up an itinerary, but based on my own train journeys and the experiences of people around me.