By Anna Fishman
For many, using a travel agent is not even worth a thought. Why bother when you can book flight tickets and make hotel reservations right from your bed. Besides, user reviews are easy to obtain. With an increasing number of do-it-yourself online travel planning tools, do you really still need a travel agent? Here are 10 reasons why the answer is overwhelming YES!
- Travel Agents Have An Eye For Detail
A typical trip consists of many different pieces. These little pieces come together to give you a complete vacation experience (or they don’t come together when you book a flight to Liberia in Africa, while your hotel is booked in Liberia in Costa Rica or your transfers are booked for Roma Termini train station in Rome, while your train arrives in Rome Tiburtina train station). Travel agents look at each piece, making sure they meet your specific needs and that you don’t find yourself in those nerve-racking situations.
- Travel Agents Save You Time and Money
Perks, upgrades, convenience, and constant support are just some of the ways travel agents save you time and money. Whether they charge a small fee or not, your returns always outweigh your expenses.
- Travel Agents Are Your Personal Advocates
Getting an upgrade on an already ordered package can be a tedious, sometimes impossible process as a loner. Want to upgrade to an ocean view? Your travel agent is your personal advocate, soliciting favors on your behalf.
- Travel Agents Offer Expert Advice
You simply cannot do the work of a doctor, a mechanic, or a lawyer by yourself. As experts in their field, travel agents ask discerning questions, identify your needs and wants, and offer expert advice that make your vacation incredible. Remember, there are no do-overs for a vacation gone wrong.
- Travel Agents Have Your Back
Things can and do go wrong. Whenever they do, your travel agent is your get out of jail free card (well, not literally!). Got your flight canceled? Didn’t get the room category you booked? A call to your travel agent, who is always on standby, will get it fixed must faster than waiting on hold with customer service of an online travel agency.
- Travel Agents Develop Personal Connection With You
By knowing you, your family, your likes, and your dislikes, you become more than just another sale. You enjoy a personal connection with them, making every transaction more pleasant and meaningful. As a result, they shop for you, identifying the best deals for you even before you make the request.
- Travel Agents Offer Customized Experiences That No One Else Can
There are circles and then there are insider circles. Travel agents belong to a tight group of insider circles of travel professionals that sell only to each other. Do you want to have a dinner in a home of a private chef in Florence and have him teach you to cook? No problem! Do you want to have a private wine tasting in the castle in Bordeaux? No problem! Do you want to land on a side of a volcano in Iceland and have a picnic? No problem! Do you want to tour Tuscany in a vintage Fiat? No problem! Your imagination is the limit!
- Travel Agents Protect Your Investment and Value Your Safety
Planning a trip is an investment. But things can go wrong. It could be a minor problem of a delayed flight or a more serious problem like a natural disaster. To ensure that you do not lose this investment or force yourself into an unsafe compromise, travel agents recommend the best travel protection plan. It’s a combination of personal and financial safety.
- Travel Agents Help You Get It Right The First Time
How do you plan a safari trip to Africa without ever stepping your foot there? While some simple trips allow you make most of the arrangements online, most complicated ones don’t. Your special anniversary or honeymoon trip can be ruined because you failed to get a small detail right. Similarly, your DYI tour of an easy-to-navigate city could miss a lot of off-the-beaten-path places without the right tour guide. Travel agents ensure everything is just right.
- You Get More For Less
Most hotels and resorts understand the importance of a travel agent and make use of parity pricing structures. So, whether you let an agent book for you or you make your reservations yourself, your out of pocket amount is the same in the worst case scenario. Which would you rather go with – pay the same plus experience, clout, and perks, or pay the same without any of those? Your guess is as good as mine!
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