We get this question a lot. And there’s lots of articles on the internet on this subject. Here’s one we came across recently: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2014/07/28/10-reason-why-still-need-travel-agent/.
The article gives the following reasons to use a travel agent (I’ll paraphrase):
Travel agents have expertise beyond the typical consumer. Travel agents have relationships with suppliers that manifest itself in benefits for you. Here’s an example. One of my river cruise clients was interested in an ocean cruise. They had seen one of the many advertisements for Norwegian. I suggested instead that they look at a different cruise line (Oceania) since it was more consistent with what they were used to with AmaWaterways.
If there’s a problem during your travels, you have someone to help fix the problem and advocate for you. We recently had an elderly couple going on an Alaska cruise and had to fly from New York to Seattle. Their flight connected through Detroit. Guess what – their flight out of NY was cancelled. So I helped them book new flights, I set up a wheel chair in Detroit so they could rush to the connection and notified the cruise line that they would be late. A travel agent is there for you.
Cost and Time Savings
You’ll save money. You’ll save time. You have a safety net.
Here’s one example: A client recently requested pricing on a river cruise for a specific week because “that was the only week they were available”. Knowing that price was a prime consideration for this client and knowing that the following week was offerring a signficant savings, I suggested changing dates. By saving them $750 per person, the clients were thrilled.
No , not money but staying current. You’ll have up to date information. When I quote you a price, it’s based on the up to the minute information per the suppliers on line system. many times marketers will make broad statements like “save $500” but they don’t necessarily tell you if the cabin is even still available.
You won’t pay more than the big online agencies (Expedia). We never charge a fee for our service. In fact you’ll likely pay less since we are able to strike deals on certain trips.
Travel agents will work to match you with the best fit. Perhaps this is the most important thing I do. Getting a great deal on the wrong trip doesn’t benefit anyone. I make sure that what you book is what you really want. There’s so much marketing hype out there that sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s really true. Some examples of fit:
- A honeymoon couple on a Crystal cruise to Canada
- A first time cruisers on a cruise with many days at sea
- A foodie that chooses Viking over AmaWaterways
- Someone that hates wine that goes on a Bordeaux river cruise
- Someone that really doesn’t appreciate history going to Rome
Once you find an agent you like, you can build a relationship and together learn what works best for you. I know that certain clients only want business class flights. And some of my clients just need to talk through options with me so they understand what’s available. Others call me with very specific directions – all they want is the best price available.
Feel free to explore other blog posts on our site. Remember – a great Travel Agent can make your next vacation your best vacation.