Potential clients often ask me, why should I use a travel agent instead of just booking it myself through (xyz) . com. In fact, I am asked that question so often I felt I should share my answers with you.
First, with an online travel agency that deals in “last minute” deals or bulk travel, you will get a decent deal for your money but that’s where things start to go muddy. You have to do all the work researching your vacation destination, then you click boxes until it asks for your credit card. Once you have completed your transaction, you are done! Did you know you can get the same great “deal” with a travel agent? Plus, your agent will do all the research for you, send you quotes with real information about each resort and take care of all the arrangements for you and all at no extra charge to you! And, that is not even including any special upgrades or extras that they can provide through their relationships with the vendors.
Second, you develop a relationship with your agent. They will ask questions to get to know you which help determine exactly which destination and resort will be the best fit for you. Can you imagine a romantic getaway for you and your spouse only to find out the room you booked was in a family resort with a 50/50 split of children to adults? Not exactly what you had in mind but the pictures didn’t show that, did they?
Third, your agent is an advocate for you. If there is ever a problem of any kind, whether by your fault (cancellation, change of date, etc.), the airline or the resort, your agent is there to make it right. Imagine trying to change a vacation you booked online by calling the automated number and hoping to get a real person on the phone who is courteous, caring and works for YOU.
Fourth, your agent is an expert. Agents spend countless hours in training on the latest products and offerings from their suppliers and countries in which they specialize. They have received certifications in proficiency and product knowledge. You may not realize it but agents actually go on site visits to properties they promote to you. These are not vacations in the true sense of the word. Sure we get to go to exotic locations and see all the sites, but it is always a learning experience. We do not spend our days leisurely strolling the beaches or shopping for goodies. We spend them taking pictures, evaluating the consistency of the resorts, their food and their service, the amenities and locale. (Then we come home and blog about it!)
Fifth, there are no surprises! Your travel agent will make you aware of everything you need to know before you go. You will not get to the airport only to find out that the name on your passport is not the exact same as the name on your plane ticket. Believe me, as crazy as it sounds, if you use your middle initial on your passport do not buy your ticket with your full middle name on it. When you book that luxury couples retreat, know that you will be in an adult only resort that specializes in romance.
Your travel agent knows that all of these things make your travel much more enjoyable and that is what we love about our jobs. Please, next time you think about taking a vacation, contact a travel agent and experience the true joy that travel can bring.
On the lighter side of things, I came across this list quite a while back but it is always worth repeating.
Yapa Now Travel