Yes, Travel Agents Exist. Here's Why You Should Use One.
Updated: Sep 30, 2020
A large majority of people either don't know travel agents exist or don't know how they work or how they can be helpful to a regular travel consumer. I also was oblivious to their existence and benefits until a few months before becoming one, and I had done my fair share of traveling prior.
So What Does a Travel Agent Do?
Simply put, a travel agent's role is to simplify the trip planning processing for their clients (individuals, groups, corporations), arrange travel on their behalf, and ensure they experience the best trip possible. We can book anything travel related, like flights, rail, cruises, rental cars, hotels, all-inclusive resorts, vacation homes, excursions, events (sports, concerts, theater), vacation packages, and travel insurance. Some choose to specialize in certain areas like leisure trips, business trips, occasion trips (destination weddings, honeymoons, family reunions) and location specific trips like Africa, Asia or Europe.
How Can You Benefit from Working with a Travel Agent?
No, We Don't Cost More
"Won't using you cost me more?" This is almost always one of the first questions I'm asked by a potential client. They are always surprised when I inform them that my services come at absolutely no extra cost to them. Most people aren't aware that no matter what aspect of travel you book and where you book it, a booking agency fee is already built into the price you pay. So when you book that all-inclusive resort on Expedia, Expedia is paid the booking agency fee by the vendor (the resort you booked). If you booked your stay directly with the resort, they keep the agency fee for themselves. When a travel agent makes the reservation on your behalf, they are paid that agency booking fee by the vendor.
We Save You a Lot of Time and Stress
Now that you know it costs you nothing to work with an agent, why continue to throw away your precious time? Spending weeks or even months, researching and finally booking your vacation, only for someone else to make money off all your hard work. It's quite easy to get lost, overloaded or confused by the sheer amount of information online. The larger and more complicated your itinerary, the more time you find yourself spending and stressing over it. So why not come to us with your ideas? We are a one-stop shop, able to handle countless aspects of your vacation, saving you time, trouble and tears. We will research and arrange the perfect trip for you, allowing you to spend that valuable time on things that matter to you.
We Have Access to Rates That You Don't
Major travel vendors (cruise lines, airlines, resorts) have portals that are only accessible by travel agents. Within these dedicated portals, we can access better rates not available in the public domain. So not only does it not cost you more money to work with us, we can potentially save you money as well! These special vendor relationships also allows us to enhance your vacation experience. We can get you additional perks like free room upgrades, welcome gifts, VIP status, resort credits, cruise ship credits and so much more.
We Can Offer You Affordable Payment Plans
A majority of the public travel booking portals require payment in full when a reservation is confirmed. If the trip is costly, this could be a burden for some, leading to possible credit card fees and hefty interest. If you use an agent and plan enough in advance, you may only have to pay a small deposit and make payments towards the cost of the trip until it is paid off. Majority of the payment plans we can offer you have zero fees involved, no interest and no credit checks. If needed, we can also provide special travel financing, which will involve a soft credit card and will accrue interest (typically still lower than that of a traditional credit card).
Having such flexible payment plans through a travel agent can make that dream family vacation more accessible, affording and rewarding for you. You can learn more details about these payment plans in: "Easily Afford That Much Needed Vacation With a Travel
We Keep an Eye on Your Reservations
Many people worry about the same thing before reserving their vacation. "Is this the best deal?", "Maybe I should wait a little longer to see if the price drops". A travel agent can keep an eye on your reservation for lower prices. This applies most especially to vacation packages, like cruise vacations or Disney vacations. When there is a lower price or sale after you have reserved your vacation, we can reach out to the vendor on your behalf and request that it be applied to your reservation. If you're still making payments on your trip, your balance due is reduced. If you've completed payment, the difference will be refunded!
We Don't Focus on Sales, We Focus on You
Most travel agents really have nothing to sell you, we essentially work for you and not a travel vendor. As an independent travel agent, I am my own boss. I have no industry sales incentives, bonus gifts or quotas to hit. I take the time to know you, your likes and dislikes, what you value, and everything you hope to get out of your vacation. My goal is to find the best possible solutions for your travel needs. Recommendations are unbiased and make the most sense for you and your budget. Every detail of your vacation is perfectly planned just for you. My focus is to have happy repeat clients who will utilize my services time and time again and recommend me to others.
We Think of Things That You Don't
Most people don't realize they're not covered by their insurance when they travel abroad. If you're admitted to the hospital in a foreign county, they could go as far as ceasing your passport until you've made payment in full for any treatment you received before being discharged. It is part of a travel agent's job to make sure you have peace of mind by providing you with the best travel insurance to protect you and your family.
Most people can easily overlook the rules, terms, and conditions. We pay attention to the fine print, ensuring that there are no mishaps and your vacation investment is fully protected.
There are several more examples I could give. So when working with a travel agent, rest assured, we have you covered.
We Can Provide Firsthand Advice
Most travel agents are well traveled themselves and can give priceless advice. That firsthand experience can help us make your vacation more memorable when you visit a location we have previously been to. We can give expert recommendations like the best areas to stay, must see places, and notable tours to experience.
We are Your Personal Advocates
No matter how well prepared you are, the unexpected can happen before or during your trip. When you run into unplanned issues, we are there for you. We usually know who to reach out to and have the situation addressed. If you need to make a travel insurance claim, we will work with the insurance company on your behalf.
And Finally, You'll Be Working Directly with an Actual Person
When you pick up the phone and call me, you'll hear my voice. You don't get an automated system. You don't have to press 1, 7, and then 3 to reach a customer service rep. You don't have to call back from 9am-6pm EST. I am always a quick call, text, or email away. You will be working with someone who will get to know you well over time and will keep giving you better experiences with each planned vacation. No online search engine can give you the same hands on personalized approach. Again, all of this at no cost to you!
So What do You Think?
If you haven't worked with a travel agent before, why not give one a try for your next vacation? Since I happen to be one, I'll appreciate the opportunity to work with you on your next trip and hopefully many more to come. Check out the services I offer, and reach out to me when you're ready to make that dream vacation a reality. Thanks for reading!