A travel coach can make your holiday hassle-free
Deccan Chronicle.| Swati Sharma
People are choosing travel destinations and routes more carefully. (DC file image)
When it comes to travel, the one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work. You may have zeroed in on the destination, but may not have the skill to plan an itinerary to make your holiday a memorable one.
Move over life coaches and career coaches - enter the travel coach! That’s a role that’s been gaining importance since the pandemic waned.
Most travel coaches are experienced travellers eager to share what they’ve learned on the road. They are more akin to life coaches, who provide advice and guidance. Instead of attempting to improve the quality of your life, a travel coach works to improve the quality of your vacation by recommending an itinerary that meets your objectives.
Gunjan Indrayan, Co-Founder & Director of Tripoetic Travel Planners, defines a travel coach as a "travel Expert who helps people achieve awareness to why they want to travel and what type of experience they need to obtain the desired transformation, feelings, or outcomes. He says, "One of the reasons coaches exist is to inspire people to travel. A coach’s role, aside from putting together a flawless plan, is to help people understand why they should travel."
It’s a broader approach to travel planning that combines advisory and personal coaching. Travel coaches help clients one-on-one, with aspects like road-mapping and keeping goals in focus while on the trip.
People are choosing travel destinations and routes more carefully. Radhika Khanijo, who likes to call herself a travel designer, says planning that perfect holiday begins with asking clients a series of questions to understand what kind of vacation they are looking for.
"Once you’ve determined the ‘why’ of your trip, you can better decide where to go. You can also choose when to go, who to go with, how long to stay, and what you need to do while there. That will assist you in achieving the desired results, transformations, and experiences," says Radhika adding, "We then assist them accordingly. There are travellers going on a honeymoon, families who want to travel together, those who want to journey solo — we need to know detailed likes and dislikes before we can coach them for an experiential vacation and destination," says the founder and managing director of Welgrow Travels.
Radhika has noticed an increased interest in travel coaching over the past few years, but points out that many of the topics and areas that travel coaches focus on are based on questions that people have been asking for years.
She curates every activity on the schedule for each day to make clients’ vacations worthwhile. "We recommend the destination according to the type and budget of clients. We plan every aspect of the trip, including meet and greet services, the restaurants they can visit and shopping options," she says. They also find out if clients have any food allergies or special dietary needs so that airlines and hotels can be chosen accordingly. "Coaches help travellers understand the fundamental reasons why they want to get away – whether it’s escapism, adventure, self-growth, or spending time with family – and have an idea of how they want to feel when they get away," Radhika says, adding that they recommend wellness travel, regenerative travel and sustainable travel to clients.
Aditya Tyagi’, who runs, Luxe Escape, says, "In developing countries, having a travel coach is a way of life. It is not just about making a hotel reservation or going sightseeing; it is about forming a bond between the traveller and the coach, where they understand each other and work together to make journeys memorable. Travel coaches do more than just design your itinerary; they also look after your personal needs and emotions when you are on a holiday."
NOT A THERAPIST
Travel can also be extremely healing for some people. A travel coach, on the other hand, is not a therapist. They are concerned with the future and how travel can help you gain confidence to achieve your future goals and create meaningful experiences abroad. Describing travel as a hobby that rejuvenates a person and helps them realize their core value, Aditya says, "We create a plan that aligns with the vision, values and preferences of clients, and I provide ongoing coaching and support to ensure that plan is followed before, during, and after the trip." Gunjan observes a shift in travel psychology: "Many of my clients are using their time travelling to reflect, learn, reset, and figure out what really matters to them," he says. He explains that he tries to help his clients use travel as therapy. "Many travellers come to us with an idea of a trip they want to take, but without the knowledge or time to plan it. They require assistance in designing a perfect vacation. This is where we come in, and one of the reasons we do all of this is because travel has been shown to improve mental health," he says. Gunjan provides his client with an in- depth itinerary provided that it a country he has visited himself. "We specialise in providing complete end-to- end travel plans, primarily to the high- end market. And, of course, our goal is to meet our clients’ needs," he says, adding, "We understand what goes into making a vacation great, rather than simply good, because we have travelled the world."