8 Reasons Why You Should Use A Travel Agent
Now that Spring has sprung and the days are getting warmer, daydreaming about taking a vacation is probably something you can relate to. Maybe back home after a bad day you’ve decided to make that vacation happen. You may have talked to your friends or family about your options, and someone might have told you, “Who needs to use a travel agent? Why waste your money? Just book online!” In the era of the Internet it’s incredibly easy to organize the perfect trip in just a few clicks. Right?
Online Booking Isn’t Always the Way to Go
Unfortunately, you may find that things are not always this easy. Booking online may not be a rosy experience. This is doubly so if you consider the vast multitude of websites available. Hidden fees, additional charges, and the time it takes you to put all the pieces together. Not only that, but once you have actually left for you trip, things may not always turn out to be as perfect as you planned. To give you just one example, your flight can be cancelled due to bad weather. If you have somewhere you need to be on a certain day, or even a connecting flight, it’s all out the window now.
In a study released last summer, The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reported that in the previous 12 months, 22% of consumers had booked through a travel agent, the highest in the past three years. Additionally, millennials were found to be leading the way in travel agent usage. They were also more likely to recommend their agents to friends and family.
As ASTA President and CEO, Zane Kirby, explains: “The study dispels once and for all the myth that booking direct with suppliers or spending hours online yourself gets you a better deal or gives you a happier travel experience. In short, if you want a better travel experience, use an agent.“
In this post, we will explore a number of reasons to use a travel agent. Hopefully it will give you useful insights for you next trip. After all, it’s kind of a big deal. There’s no way back from a gone-wrong vacation.
1. A travel agent will eliminate confusion
With the numerous options you can find on the web, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to plan your vacation. Sometimes, you’re not really sure where you even want to go, or maybe you can’t decide between two destinations. If you use a travel agent, they can guide you based on your needs.
2. A travel agent will focus on your needs
Whether you are a foodie, an architecture enthusiast, a shopaholic, or all these things together, a travel agent will help you craft a personalized itinerary. This ensures you’ll be happy with every single detail of your trip in a way that wouldn’t be possible online. Instead of following a general guide, doing what everyone else is doing, you’ll be doing what you really want. You are your travel agent’s priority, and they’ll be your best ally before, during, and possibly even after your trip. This is a priceless added value when you use a travel agent.
3. A travel agent can be cost effective
Contrary to what one might think, booking websites are not necessarily the most economical option. Travel agents often have connections and networks with access to fares Internet users would not find by themselves.
4. A travel agent knows better
Not to state the obvious but, a travel agent has insider knowledge that the average person most likely doesn’t. They make use of their extensive travel experience, feedback from previous clients, and fellow travel agents. All this will help you avoid the crowds and enjoy your trip like a true local. They also have the answer to just about any question regarding your destination!
5. A travel agent will treat you like a VIP
Travel agents build relationships with the businesses they sell. Therefore, they can pamper you with some perks and extras. A travel agent can upgrade your room, or find that one you thought was no longer available. They can treat you to a complimentary breakfast, or a hard-to-get restaurant reservation. Little things that make a difference.
6. Your agent will have your back
There are always things we can’t predict. When things go wrong during your hard-earned, long-awaited vacation, it can be really upsetting. If you booked through a travel agent, all you have to do is make a call, and everything will be taken care of. Similarly, if that ocean view you were promised turns out to be a breathtaking parking-lot view, just call your travel agent. They can intervene with suppliers on your behalf, and before you know it, everything will be back on track.
7. Peace of mind
As mentioned above, your options can be confusing and overwhelming when booking online; all the more so if you plan to travel internationally. Some countries have complicated visa procedures and regulations which can be hard to figure out, provided you are even aware of them. If you use a travel agent, she will take care of the “administrative” side of your trip, saving you a great deal of time and a hassle. A vacation should be about relaxing, so why stress out to plan it, when there are people who do it for a living?
8. Your agent is always there for you
Travel agents really value their relationships with their clients. Once you find a good travel agent you trust, you won’t want to give them up! Therefore, calling a travel agent can spark a long-lasting mutually beneficial relationship.
Have you ever used a travel agent? If so, how was your experience? Share your story with us in the comments below!