NORWALK, Conn. – Rene Prasad of Norwalk has always loved to travel and plan the perfect trip. She’s turned that passion into a new travel agency, Grand Explorations.
Prasad said that while many people think they can just go online and book their vacations, that can often lead to an underwhelming or more expensive experience. She said that having someone with knowledge, research skills and personal connections can greatly enhance the trip and relieve some of the stress of planning it.
“We find a lot of people are coming back to travel agents,” she said. Millennials in particular are starting to use travel agents more in order to get the most out of their journeys. “Some people want to save money on things. Others want somebody to take care of them from the moment they get off the plane, so they don’t have to think about everything and can just enjoy themselves.”
An extensive traveler herself, Prasad worked in sales before launching Grand Explorations. She always loved the planning aspect of her trips, making sure that she found the best restaurants, the most exciting places to see and the ideal times to visit attractions. Eventually her friends and family members started asking her to plan their trips for them, which gave her the idea of starting her own travel agency.
Prasad is a food lover, and enjoys finding the best places to eat in cities around the world. She can help find tourists an authentic dining experience along their travels. She has relationships with resorts and other suppliers to find group rates or perks that travelers may not be able to find on their own.
Another important trait of a good travel agent is knowing the tricks to avoid wasting time in long lines at the more popular attractions. For example, on a recent trip to the Tower of London, she figured out that the best time to see the Crown Jewels is first thing in the morning. She was able to see them a couple times before the lines started to form.
“I try to get to know people a little bit, find out what they’ve done in the past, what vacations they’ve gone on, what they liked,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll create a customized itinerary. I try to go above and beyond to make sure that they have a special trip.”
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