Keep Calm and Call Your Travel Agent

23 Apr Keep Calm and Call Your Travel Agent

Do We Really Need Travel Agents Anymore?

In the age of easy access, where people can find just about everything on the internet, travelers often ask whether a travel agent is necessary or useful anymore. The answer is an unequivocal yes! Travel agents are more useful now than ever, mainly because there is TOO MUCH information available to us now with no easy way to discern what is real and what is fabricated. Think about it…you’re ready to plan a trip to the Caribbean, you decide you want some place warm where you can snorkel, jetski, and sip a mai-tai on the beach. Naturally you Google Caribbean + snorkeling and about 31, 600, 000 results come up. Maybe one of the “Top 10 Snorkeling Destinations in the Caribbean” articles helps you narrow down your location and maybe it doesn’t. You’ll ask a few friends where they have been, you’ll post on social media, and alas you’ll have at least 5-10 destinations to choose from and then have to choose a resort. You’ll search Google reviews, Trip Advisor, and other review sites. Unfortunately, you’ll have no foolproof way of knowing if the reviews you find are authentic or internet trolls. Then you’ll go back to friends and social media, probably not knowing if your friends’ tastes are on the same spectrum of yours. Finally, you’ll go to your web travel site of choice to search for pricing and book.  You most likely won’t speak to a human from your booking engine. In the event that something goes wrong, or you have questions, you probably won’t have anyone to help you-or worse you’ll end up sitting in a queue for hours listening to terrible hold music on a 1800 line. Overall, you’ve probably spent hours over the course of several days, or maybe weeks, planning your vacation.

The Travel Agent Difference

Working with a travel agent saves you the hassle of spending hour upon hour researching and booking your trip. A good travel agent, sometimes called travel planner or travel consultant, will obtain information from you about what kind of trip you want to plan, what your deal-breakers are (ie. 5 star resorts only, must have swim-up bar, best beach for snorkeling), what budget you’d like to stick to, and what you’ve enjoyed about your past travel. The agent will then customize an itinerary for you based on the information you provide. This person will do all of the research for you, and not simply googling hotels and reviews, they will research based on places they’ve been, recommendations from other agents, options previous clients have enjoyed and match all of this to your specified criteria. In many cases, the travel agent does not even charge you a fee for their services (this varies widely depending on the service and the agent). When you book with them you get the research of a professional, one person that you can contact directly, and the added security of knowing you have someone to call if something goes wrong on your trip. Travel agents aren’t booking engines, they don’t just take your payment and then leave you on your own. Most agents are available to answer questions leading up to, during, and after your trip. If your cruise gets delayed or re-routed, your agent is there to help you figure out next steps or working with the cruise line to get you rebooked. If you have an issue at a resort or hotel, your agent will be on the phone advocating for your needs. Finally, when you have the best customized vacation of your lifetime and are ready for your next adventure, your agent will know you better and be ready to provide you with some great recommendations!

Keep Calm and Find YOUR Travel Agent

There are many more benefits to using a travel agent than can be explained in one article. Travel agents are a wealth of knowledge and resources that can be useful in a multitude of ways. While they are great for general vacations they are especially useful for travel you don’t want to leave to chance like honeymoons, destination weddings, family reunions, and groups.  When the relationship is cultivated well your agent can become your go to for everything from celebrating life events to marking places off of your bucket list. It’s important to find the right agent for your travel and personality style, and to remember that the experience will be what you make it.  Follow for additional posts on how to choose the right agent for you, tips for developing a successful relationship with your agent, travel advice, destination inspiration and much more.