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CNN Travel – Travel advisers: A secret weapon during Covid-19

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Before Covid-19, São Paulo resident Claudia Glina regularly planned trips around Brazil and all over the world for her family, which includes herself, her husband and their two young children.

“I used to go online and book the hotels and flights because that seemed like the easiest route to take,” she says.Then the pandemic happened.After months of lockdown and no travel, the family was desperate for a getaway in August within driving distance of home but were unsure of where to go.

Glina didn’t know what properties had reopened, and even if they were accepting guests, she had multiple questions about their safety and health protocols.”I considered myself a savvy traveler, but I couldn’t get the information I was looking for online,” says Glina. “I was lost and overwhelmed trying to plan a simple vacation.”

Traveling during the pandemic is a personal choice and for those who are willing to take some risk. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “travel increases your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19.”While Glina and her family were open to traveling, their health and safety was on top of mind. For reassurance and to find the best options, they turned — for the first time — to a travel agent.

‘We felt safe’

The experience couldn’t have been better, says Glina. Their adviser, Larissa Camhaji Ejzenbaum, the owner of Larissa Travel Designer, was recommended by a friend and presented them with a list of family-friendly resorts that she had personally visited within the past few weeks.Glina chose the all-inclusive Tauá Resort Atibaia, located an hour from São Paulo, and the family spent five fun-filled days enjoying the property’s water parks and multiple pools. Ejzenbaum even surprised them with a welcome gift of a framed family picture and scored them a room upgrade.”The resort did a fantastic job of following social distancing, and we felt safe,” says Glina. “I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going without Larissa’s expertise, and now, I can’t imagine traveling again without her help.”

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