Redefining traditional travel experiences, the job of a travel curator encompasses exclusively planned travel itineraries. Trishann Henriques explores this new career avenue
The world is a book, they say, and those who do not travel read only a page. A book takes a reader to places he’s never been to, experience feelings never felt before and meet individuals that – even for a few hours – change his ideas about love and life. A travel curator turns things books are made of into reality.
WHAT IS TRAVEL CURATING?
Traditional travel planning à la travel agents involved everything from booking of airplane, train or bus tickets to booking a hotel and to providing all-inclusive packaged tours. While travel agents plan, travel curators customise and tailor-make these vacations.
“In our opinion a travel curator is an explorer and a destination expert. When you approach a travel curator for a travel plan, they try to understand your kind of travel and will accordingly suggest options from their own personal experiences in order to put together a great vacation for you,” says Sandra Lee and Priyanka Jena, founders of The Holiday Studio, a travel curating company. On the face of it, the job of a travel curator might seem identical to that of a travel agent but there is so much more to this new profession. Travel curators customise travel plans keeping in mind not only their customer’s budgetary details, but their personalities, their expectations from the trip and also their suggestions and opinions.
Travelling the world with the intentional of planning a vacation is a dream. But a travel of this kind, although fun and exciting, is not all that rosy after all. Along with a passion for travel and exploration, a person with good social and people skills is a mandate. A location is truly discovered only after delving into its life, culture and traditions, and investing time in getting to know the people and the locale. Often, unknown locations are treaded only after cues from the original inhabitants of the region.
As a travel curator an individual must also posses the skill to listen and take into account the varied needs of their client. To put it simply, they should be able to transform dreams into realities.
THE CURATING PROCESS
Undoubtedly, the most fun aspect of the job, the travel curating process, is one that is both exciting and extremely fulfilling. Manjiri and Avani of the Broken Compass explain, “It’s like a flow chart. First, a lot of research which involves reading about the place if we have not been there. Research on the internet about what that destination has to offer and finding relevant information about what you want to offer to your clients. After that, authenticating the information you have found and making sure what you are offering is going to be possible to execute on ground and in the way you want it. This is followed by making a plan, getting it approved and finally making bookings as per the plan.
‘Travel the world’ finds a place on every person’s bucket list today. While everyone wants to travel, not everyone knows how to make the most of it. Vacation or tour packages organised by travel agencies, although good, do not offer an experience quite like travel curating does. To make the most of their travel experiences, several people are getting in touch with travel curators.
THE PERKS AND THE CHALLENGES
Since the career is still a fairly new concept in India, high-income jobs and commissions cannot be expected when starting out. Another challenge that both the founders of Broken Compass and The Holiday Studio believe to be true is catering to the diverse tastes and likes of customers. While the experience of curating can be extremely stimulating, there can also be times when it can be frustrating – frustrating mainly because of the diverse personalities of clients curators meet.
An undoubted perk of the job is the thrill of travel from place to place. If travel is a passion, there is no better way to fuel it than by becoming a travel curating.
Volume 4 Issue 6