10 thoughts on the possibility of starting a travel consulting side gig
I have other priorities at the moment, but I must say, doing some work as a travel consultant would be cool. I've traveled quite a bit and I've always enjoyed planning my trips, looking for the cheapest and/or most fun ways to get somewhere, etc.
1. I could help with ingenious* ways to get to your destination for cheaper
For example, instead of flying from London to Saint-Petersburg, I would look into flying from London to Tallinn and then taking a bus to Saint-Petersburg. It's more hassle, but some people would rather choose this kind of adventure over something simpler and faster.
*I think it's the first time I write this word.
2. Would potential customers actually be interested in finding cheaper ways to travel?
This probably wouldn't be the main appeal of a travel consultant. If you're hiring a travel consultant, you're someone who's willing to spend money to outsource tasks and therefore make things simpler.
3. But maybe they would be if they were planning a big trip?
Let's say you want to go on a round-the-world trip that could cost you around $7000 with accomodation. If a travel consultant makes you save $2000 and charges $1000, it's a pretty good deal. You save $1000.
4. Planning things for one person or a couple VS a family
It might be a bit harder to plan a trip for a family because they might have specific needs and restrictions related to their kids. But then again, families might be interested in hiring a travel consultant to save money. There's more money to save when you're traveling with your kids.
5. I could save you dozens of hours of research
If you're looking to save time rather than money, hiring a travel consultant is great. Especially if you want to go on a long trip visiting lots of places.
6. I could plan a whole trip based on what you like, choosing the destinations myself
Let's say you like archeology, philosophy, and beaches (we could make it more specific than that, but let's use this as an example). The trip could start in Georgia (the country), then you would go down to South-Eastern Turkey and visit Göbekli Tepe (the site of one of the oldest civilizations - thank you to @PC56 for mentioning it in his list and reminding me that I should visit it sometime), before traveling across Turkey and see some beaches in the region of Antalya, then maybe around Izmir, before taking a boat to a Greek island to start visiting some philosophy-related spots around Greece. Afterwards, maybe you could go to Italy (preferably by boat), visiting some beaches in the South and then going up to Rome.
7. Quest-like trips
A self-guided tour on a greater scale. You go somewhere and look for clues. The clues bring you to another city. And then to another country. This could last for days or weeks.
8. Mystery trips
You don't know where you're going until you arrive at the airport, train station, or whatever. Maybe there's even a car or a bus picking you up and driving you to an unknown location. In Europe this would work great, because you could cross several borders without a border check, so the surprise wouldn't get ruined by customs.
9. It would be a good way for people to visit non-touristy places
Tourists love feeling like they're not tourists. Tourists complain about too many tourists. "What are some cool spots where the locals go?", they're likely to ask. Or "What are some non-touristy places we should visit?"
If I were to offer travel consulting services, I could help find those places. A quiet Danish town. A remote Norwegian lake. A cool bar in an unimpressive but friendly Belgian city.
10. Thematic trips
Have you heard of "dark tourism"? It's a type of tourism that involves visiting places that are associated with messed up stuff: war, tragedy, accidents, death, ... Some examples include Chernobyl and Aushwitz, but also North Korea and a tour of Belgium around an infamous pedophile couple. This may or may not be wrong, I don't know. I get it, humans are drawn to dark stuff. And of course, there may be reasons to visit some of these places that are not about entertainment (concentration camps come to mind, I would say it's even important to visit one and I regret not doing it when I was in Krakow).
So that's one theme that comes to mind. Possibilities for thematic trips are endless. I mentioned a philosophy trip in #6. Maybe a science trip? CERN in Geneva, the Royal Observatory in London, and then a few more sites going West or East before ending up in the Galápagos Islands.