You may have heard the term “travel curator” before, but what does it mean? The definition of a travel curator is someone who curates travel based experiences for others to enjoy as a service.
Travel curators help people discover new places and things to do by sharing their own personal experiences with them through photos, videos and written content on social media platforms.
And as a travel curator, you will also offer a service to people looking to book their travel with less hassle. Think of it like a personal travel agent who is focused on creating the ideal vacation package.
Travel curators are often in demand by high net worth individuals who just want to make the most of their free time. These might be corporate business people, retirees or even groups.
The benefits of being a travel curator are many: you’ll get to see new places; you’ll meet interesting people along the way; you’ll learn more about yourself as well as others around you; and most importantly – if done right – your travels will become something special that lasts forever!
Skills Needed to be a Travel Curator
If you’re thinking about becoming a travel curator, there are some skills that are essential to have. If you don’t have them already, it might be worth taking the time to learn them before applying for jobs or internships in this field.
- Destination Knowledge: This is one of the most important skills for any travel curator because they need to know everything about their destination and what makes it special. They should also be able to answer questions from customers about their chosen location so that they can give useful information without having any prior knowledge of what they’re talking about (which could lead customers astray).
- Travel Planning: Travel curators need good organizational skills so that they can plan out how long people will stay at each place on their itinerary and make sure that everything fits together nicely before sending off recommendations for clients’ trips! This means making sure flights aren’t too close together or far apart depending on how much time travelers want between activities; planning meals carefully so everyone gets something healthy while still enjoying themselves; etcetera ad nauseam until every detail has been accounted for! It’s no easy task but someone has got do it–and why not YOU?? 🙂
- Customer Service Skills: Travel curators must also have excellent interpersonal and customer service skills. Of course as soon as someone books something through them (whether online or over phone), there will probably be questions about where exactly their hotel is located within city limits; whether restaurants nearby offer gluten-free options like brownies made with almond flour instead of wheat flour; whether tickets sold separately include admission fees into museums nearby and so on, ad nauseam, until every detail has been accounted…you get where I’m going with this….
How to Find Clients as a Freelance Travel Curator
The key to being a freelance travel curator is to have a steady stream of clients. The ideal is either to have access to a corporate partner who refers their bookings and travel scheduling to you, or set yourself up as a remote travel agent or an expert in a specific destination.
To get those consistent travel bookings, you can rely on:
- Referrals from past clients
- Social Media
- Website traffic (organic or paid)
- Networking with relevant customer profiles
- Online Marketplaces
- Direct Marketing
- Job Boards
Read our guide to finding clients on social media.
Tips for Being an Effective Travel Curator
If you want to become a travel curator, the main thing is you will need to have a passion for travel. You will also need excellent interpersonal skills and an inherent and natural understanding of customer service.
Travel curators might need to be on hand to fix problems and make quick decisions for their clients, so you also need to have a can-do attitude and a responsive method of fixing problems.
By the way, sorry if this article is now sounding like a job description…
As part of building yourself as an authority in travel and a great travel curator, you will also need some decent marketing chops.
The best way to do this is to provide value to your audience and clients by creating content that helps them make informed decisions about where to go and what to do when they get there. Whether it’s in the form of recommendations, reviews or other types of content such as videos or photos (or all three). Social media will be a strong base for you to build an audience (especially the visual platforms like TikTok and Instagram).
But you will also need a good website. You can also use a pre-built tool such as Litesite, which allows for scheduling, taking payments and even collecting emails for your newsletter and marketing outreach.
Finally, maintain a positive attitude. It’s easy to get frustrated with the amount of work involved in building your brand and creating great content every day. But remember that you’re doing something you love!
Creating the Perfect Itinerary
As a travel curator, you’ll be judged on how you create and manage the travel plans for your clients. And, if you’re doing it right, you might have a diverse range of clients to manage too. So when it comes to creating the perfect travel itinerary, you will need to obviously adapt and help them find the best options.
The best way to plan and create the perfect itinerary is to:
- Understand your client’s needs. Sit down with them and chat about what they want. Listen, take notes, check back that you understand them
- Research the destination. Even if you know somewhere well, you might find places that your clients would love that you’ve never heard of. Always research and build a file of places for future reference.
- Choose accommodation based on your clients demands. If they’re older, they might not want to be based out of the city in a hostel. If they’re younger, they might want a party hostel. If they’re business travellers then they will want to be well located and with good facilities.
- Plan activities and add transportation to get you there, if necessary. Transfers or local guides are key to making it all go smoothly for your clients.
- Create a budget for each day of your trip so that you can stay within it while still having fun! Even if they don’t stick to it, this can help them understand what they might expect to spend…
Marketing Strategies for Travel Curators
Like every freelance business, you’ll need to have a strategy to get found by potential clients. If you’re looking to build your reputation as a travel curator, most of these will help you get customers.
- Develop a website.
This is the first step to building your brand, and it’s also the most important aspect of marketing yourself as a travel curator. Your website should include:
- A blog that showcases your favorite destinations and activities;
- A contact form for people interested in booking trips with you; and
- An easy-to-find “Contact Me” page that lists all of your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc.).
You don’t necessarily need a big complex website. Check out Carrd.co for a very affordable website platform, or just use a simple free site builder like Litesite.com.
- Build your social media presence
While having a blog with lots of content is useful, you can also use social media to build an audience and then refer them to a landing page such as Carrd or Litesite.
Social media is a full time strategy and you will need to share inspiring and useful travel related content tailored to your audience. But with the right approach you can be attracting consistent enquiries based on your social media presence.
- Run paid ad campaigns
If you want to build a client list fast, paid ads will be the best way to go. Run a targeted campaign on Facebook, Google and Instagram using inspiring images and a clear call to action.
Be aware though that pay per click (PPC) ads can quickly get quite expensive. It’s a good idea to use any paid marketing campaign as part of a bigger more organic campaign.
Managing Risks as a Travel Curator
As a travel curator, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that your clients’ trips are safe and enjoyable. To do this, it’s important to understand local laws and regulations as well as develop contingency plans in case something goes wrong. You should also make sure that all of your clients have adequate insurance coverage before they leave on their trip.
Finally, it’s important to stay informed about current events in the areas where your clients will be traveling so that any potential issues can be addressed quickly if need be
Technology Tools for Travel Curators
Travel booking systems, like Expedia and Travelocity, have become a staple of the travel industry. They allow you to book flights and hotels through one platform without having to search multiple sites.
If you’re looking for ways to communicate with your audience, there are many options available including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; communication tools such as WhatsApp or Skype; email marketing platforms such as MailChimp; video conferencing apps like Zoom or Google Hangouts (formerly known as Google+).
Many travel curators use financial management software such as Xero or Quickbooks so they can keep track of their expenses while on the road – this is especially important if you plan on accepting sponsorships from brands who want their logos featured in your content!
Tips for Working with Clients
When it comes to working with any client, in any industry, you need to follow some clear guidelines. These are:
- Establish Clear Communication
- Set Reasonable Expectations
- Provide Excellent Customer Service
- Be Flexible
Remember that your clients are your lifeblood, and you want to also attract testimonials, repeat business and referrals. Offer a high value product with excellent service and you’ll find plenty of repeat customers in no time.
Working as a travel curator can be a fun way to enjoy travel and make money as part of your passion. Be sure to build a clear picture of your desired audience, offer lots of useful content and, of course, give exceptional customer service support.
Good luck on your travel curator journey!