Use A Travel Agent
Many people today think a travel agent is a thing of the past, suffering the same fate as the buggy whip. Seen any buggy whips lately? I doubt it and probably you have not met a travel agent before if you are under thirty.
The reason for that is the internet has replaced the ‘brick and mortar’ travel agency that used to grace every strip mall in every city in the US with the ‘click and book’ websites we are all so familiar with. Travel agents, like many business people, are now home based agents and can contact suppliers and check destination pricing and inventory from their high speed internet connection at home and save the expense of an office.
Travel agents are a useful ‘tool’ for travelers and should still be utilized. Here are six reasons that everyone should use a travel agent for their next vacation or travel needs.
Travel agents are as close as a phone call, text or email, so they are actually more convenient than the internet. They make their living through providing courteous and customized customer service so they will make planning a vacation a breeze. You will not have to spend hours researching destinations and places to stay there, best rates for a rental car, what to pack, where to find discounted tickets for things you want to do, etc.
The travel agent will take care of all that for you and it won’t cost you any extra.
There are so many different considerations when your are going on your vacation that it can be overwhelming and many times little things are overlooked when planning a vacation. That is all a travel agent does, plan vacations for people, so they have all the bases covered and offer that service at no extra charge to their clients.
What should I pack? Do I need a visa and where do I get it? Where do I catch the shuttle? What do I do if my flight is delayed? Will there be an upgrade possibility? What is the tipping policy? Can we get rooms near each other and, if so, how?
These are all the little questions that the travel agent should think of in advance even if you don’t.
If you book your trip online and you have a complication, who do you call? Did you take all the paperwork with you so you have an emergency number for the online booking site you used? Do they answer the phone, and if they do are you talking to someone in Nocomprendistan that might like to help you, but can’t?
Should you need help on a trip, you need someone to talk to that can assist you and has an interest in doing so. If you used a travel agent you should have their phone number on speed dial and don’t be afraid to use them. They will be more than eager to solve the problem and get you on your way.
Destination and Travel Experience
Travel agents are constantly attending classes, seminars and webinars and participating FAMiliarization trips in order to better serve their clients. Resorts, cruise lines, cities and even countries offer these training opportunities to induce interest and bookings. This is a great benefit for the client, because an agent gets to know the ins-and-outs of many destinations and will pass that knowledge on to their clients at no charge.
And what happens if your agent does not have specific knowledge regarding a destination you have your heart set on. They have a host agency with a multitude of agents across the nation and around the world that they can contact to get the most up to date information for their client from someone that does have the specific expertise required to get the most value for you dollar. Additionally, they know all the questions to ask to minimize any problems that might arise.
A travel agent adds value by listening to your requests and determining what it is that you are looking for and then matching you with the perfect destination to meet your wishes. They have a specific interest in making sure that your trip is memorable and pleasurable. You should not have one without the other.
Keeping It Local
The last reason to use a travel agent is to keep the business local. What do I mean by that, you ask?
If you book a cruise, for instance, the cruise line is going to pay a commission or retain it. The price for the cruise will be the same price, for the same cabin on the same ship in almost every scenario. This is because a cruise line or resort will not post a better price online than a travel agent can get for you.
Therefore, if you book online or over the phone the price will be the same, but if you book a cruise with xyz travel online, they get the commission. If you book with abc cruise line, they keep the commission. If you book through a travel agent they will indeed get a commission; the same commission you would be giving to xyz or abc, and that money would not stay in the local economy.
So what, you ask? Well, if everyone in the city you live in used a travel agent to book their travel, it would not cost anyone in that city one extra penny. BUT, if a ten percent commission was paid on every cruise or all-inclusive vacation booked, and that amounted to $100,000,000 (that is probably a very low estimate if you are in a city of any size) that would mean an increase of revenue kept in your city of $10 million.
That in turn would add revenue to the community in a number of ways; wages, taxes on purchases, etc. If that money was spent locally, and in most instances it would be, and tax rates were 8%, that would mean an additional $800,000 is sales taxes alone.
Get the idea? Why not keep that money in the community instead of giving it to some billionaire in Washington state, especially if it is not going to cost you extra?
If you haven’t figured it out by now, you don’t pay extra for our services. Our fees are paid by the cruise lines or resorts, and they will be paying that fee or keeping it no matter where you book. Why not let us do all the ‘leg work’ and you can spend your time on more productive endeavors.
Now that you know that travel agents are not extinct, add value in many ways, will not cost you extra and will enhance the local economy, use us for your next vacation. You will be glad you did.