With the advent and expansion of the internet, many people assume that the vocation of travel agent is obsolete. They are mistaken, however; if anything, easy access to so many fantastic vacation packages and deals has made travel agents more needed than ever. There’s also the fact that, despite the fact that you can now Google the most exciting travel destinations or find ways to save on airfare by browsing the internet, there’s still a lot of knowledge and access that only a travel agent can have.
Since travel is their entire career, a travel agent is a valuable source of information, such as knowledge of the best destinations for vegans or which clichéd travel experiences are actually worth your time and money. While there are many tricks to saving time and money while traveling, chances are your travel agent has already mastered them and then some. Save yourself a headache and hire a travel agent who can help you in at least these 10 ways.
Travelers have the whole world open to them — if they have an agent. Travel agents often have exclusive access to certain tours and experiences that may not be available to you otherwise. You’ll also find that that “booked” room you wanted in one of the world’s best all-inclusive resorts isn’t so booked after all when your agent handles the reservation.
With a travel agent, you can customize your itinerary as much as you want. Not only will a travel agent help you book the exact experiences you want, but they’ll even help you find more niche experiences catered to your specific interests, whether that means touring and tasting Chilean wineries, riding an elephant in Chiang Mai, or having breakfast with a giraffe in Kenya.
Not only will your agent have access to experiences that you otherwise wouldn’t, but they’ll also have access to special rates and discounts for hotels, flights, and other bookings. You may think you know all the tips and tricks for cheap air travel, but chances are your travel agent knows more.
Whether you know exactly what you want or you’re completely lost as to where to go, a travel agent is an invaluable source of information. They’re obviously experts in their field and usually have a great amount of personal experience to go on as well. Your travel agent can tell you everything from the cheapest place to travel in a certain month to which European landmarks you definitely shouldn’t miss to which airlines you should fly with.
Not only can a travel agent bring prices down, they can also boost your trip up. Score an upgrade to your entire vacation with Airbnb, hotels, resorts, flights, and more. Your agent can get you a better room, resort credit, free breakfast, and so many other perks just through negotiation with travel companies.
If it’s not obvious by now, travel agents have a lot of leverage that you won’t have as a simple traveler, especially if they’re part of a larger agency or affiliated with larger travel agent networks. Not only does that mean upgrades, discounts, and exclusive access, but it also means hotels, airlines, and other travel companies will have a harder time saying no to your agent than they will to you. Since a travel agent represents more than just you, as well as the possibility of more bookings in the future, travel companies are more likely to oblige requests for things such as later check-out times, an extra cot, or a better seat on your flight.
Due to the nature of their profession, travel agents have a large number of resources available to them, many of which you may not have or even be aware of. Not only can they see flights and rooms you can’t, but they also have contacts throughout the industry that will help them plan your perfect vacation for you. If you’re going to a more obscure destination, a travel agent may have local contacts who can help you or they may know just how to find the best restaurants in a place where Yelp really isn’t a thing.
We should note that there may be times when the prices given to you by hotels, airlines, cruises, and other travel companies through your agent may include your agent’s commission, as that is how most agents make their money. Many travel agents also charge planning or booking fees, but these charges are negligible in the face of how much you end up saving through the rest of your trip. With the upgrades, discounts, and deals you get through your agent, you’ll definitely come out ahead — even more so than if you used the right tricks to save on a hotel yourself.
Planning a vacation is time-consuming and stressful enough. Between research, comparing prices and value, booking flights and hotels, making other reservations, and scheduling out an entire itinerary, planning your next trip can feel like a full-time job. And it is — for your travel agent! Let an agent take over the day-to-day planning of the trip itself so that you can focus on other things like making sure you have all the right things packed and figuring out how to survive a long flight.
Even the best laid plans can go wrong, and traveling can get pretty wild. When you have a travel agent, however, you can rest easy that you have someone to back you up if things go wrong. Miss a flight and your agent can get you rebooked at no cost. Hate your hotel room or rental car, and your travel agent can get you another one, no problem. Travel agents will also make sure you have the right travel insurance in case of an emergency, and can help you make alternate travel arrangements should something arise unexpectedly. We recommend giving a travel agent a call as soon as you can; summer is approaching and there are many reasons you’ll want to start planning your vacation right now.
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