‘If nobody needed a travel consultant, all those do-it-yourself websites would be full of nothing but 5-star reviews’
Its almost expected, when I tell someone what I do for a living, I am going to get the blank stare along with the ‘Wow, travel agents still exist?!’
We do! And we are more valuable than ever! Here I am going to go over the top 10 reasons to always use a travel agent. So many people love planning their own vacations and that’s great, more power to you. But, no matter how experienced you are with planning your own trips, agents and planners offer something much more valuable than just the planning!!
10) We save you time. With the plethora of information available to you right at your finger tips, it can really be daunting just figuring out where to start. Did you know that most people will research a trip for FORTY hours before making any decisions? That’s a full weeks worth of work! We are in the industry, we know where to look to get the best deals and we know WHEN to look etc.
9) We save you money. The biggest misconception is that agents are expensive. Guess what! We are actually a free service to you. We are paid by hotels and vendors, not you. And, because we are in the industry, we not only have the inside scoop on promo’s and deals, but we usually have connections that afford us deals that you couldn’t get by pointing and clicking on Expedia. On top of that, we know where vendors try to hide hidden costs and fees, in turn saving you even more.
8) We have knowledge. The knowledge it takes to get you what you really want. Most of us have been doing this for years and are well oiled machines. Looking to go to Europe for the first time? Instead of weeding through anonymous comments online, speak to a person that will take the time to figure out what it is you are looking for in a vacation. For example, you call me telling me you have always wanted to go to London and it is your dream trip. After talking for a bit, we find out that the vacation you are seeking is a relaxing beach trip but you know you definitely want to do London. In this case, as an agent I can explain that you can still do London but you aren’t going to get the beach vaca you want there, and we may want to look at splitting your trip into half London and half Spain. They aren’t far from each other and Spain is well known for their beaches. Now, you spend the same amount of money, yo get to see London and you still get your beach vacation. Its a win win!
7) We have insider info. Travel agents know where to go and when, and that’s important. Sure, your friends will tell you to go to Giovanni’s in Cinque Terre because it has the best hand made pasta they’ve ever had. But you know, all of the other tourists are going to be heading there too. As an agent, we would let you know that you can taste that amazing hand made pasta for the same price right up the street in a much more intimate setting, overlooking the horizon with less crowds, all because its 1 extra block away from the tourist area. Or, you can wait for an hour for a table when you have limited time there to begin with 😉
6) Resources. Apart of our jobs is to build relationships, and because we spend years building and maintaining these relationships, we have resources that a traveler just wouldn’t. Yes, you have the internet, but I have the director of the reservations dep’t as a friend on my Facebook page. They always like my pics of my dog, too! That gives me a little bit of an upper hand in getting you a sold out room category that you were just dying to stay in. Wanted a private tour of Dunn’s River in Jamaica? Well, I can get that done, too.
5) Leverage. Lets face it. Things happen. And this goes back to building relationships. We have connections that you just wouldn’t. Were you assigned the wrong room? Maybe the hotel offers you a 1nt return stay. But, it expires in 6 months and you know you wont be able to take off more time from work within those months. I know who to call to not only get you a refund, but a 2nt refund instead of a 1nt return stay.
4) Insurance. Its confusing. Whether its car ins, life ins or trip ins. Good thing you have an awesome travel agent that knws the policies like the back of their hand, and can sit and talk about them so we can pick the best option for you! Many policies come with different features that you as an individual may not need, so why pay extra for them? Look at us saving you money, yet again 😉
3) Budgeting. A good travel agent will go over a budget with you so your vacation is everything you expected. Most people don’t like to give a budget when we ask, and in the long run that’s hurting them. When we ask for budget info, its because we want to get you the most we can for the most you’re able to spend. For example, if I don’t know what your budget is, I may offer you a $3000 basic package. Sure, you’ll get your vacation and may think this is a great deal, but if you had told me that you could spend $4k, I could have gotten you a $4,600 vacation for that $3900 and still beaten your budget while putting you in a better hotel, getting you breakfast each morning, a complimentary happy hour at your hotel along with a really nice excursion that you wouldn’t have gotten if you had went with that basic package. And, now that you are in that better hotel, you eligible for a spa treatment as well. Now, you went from a basic trip to a vacation that you’ll be thinking about in 20yrs, and talking about that awesome consultant that got you those great added amenities!
2) We are problem solvers. We can suggest and arrange alternate travel arrangements on a whim, help you deal with travel emergencies and put you in touch with the right local authorities should you need them. We all like to think that these things don’t happen to us, but travel agent’s know all too well, that they do. It’s better to have us by your side. With an agent, you are never alone! Not only that, but we are a 24/7 industry. No matter the time, you have someone to call to help. Try calling
1) Group discounts. Looking to get a group of friends together for a long weekend? We are the pro’s!! We know what resorts offer the best incentives for groups, we know the group policies, and we know how to get your group freebies. Find me one do-it-yourself site that tells you how to get free extras for your group booking!!
There you have it, my running list. I can think of more but I wont bore you. Maybe I will have another post with my next 10 reasons you need an agent 😉
Until then, safe travels!!