In this day of internet booking sites, heavily discounted package deals and on-line travel retailers it can be easy to see why many people would question the usefulness of a travel agent.
However, depending on the complexity of your travel, your knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of the travel business and the amount of time and effort you are willing to spend searching for the right deal, you may find that a travel agent can be an extremely valuable resource.
Here are several reasons why you should consider using a travel agent for your next trip:
Time and Service
How many times have you decided you wanted to travel and needed to find a hotel close by to a certain event, attraction or building? Did you find yourself moving between multiple windows, searching for the location on Google maps and then trying to find hotels close by?
Doing that research can be very time consuming. Travel agents know where to look and have a vast amount of resources at their fingertips to locate suppliers and other agents who can quickly provide the best options for you.
Of course, researching destinations and reading reviews can be lots of fun – and travel agents love educated customers — but the process of matching up flights, accommodations, times and prices is far more tedious. Have you ever wondered how much time went into booking your “easy” online booking? Expedia Media Solutions found that many travellers made 38 visits to travel sites prior to purchasing their travel package!
Most agents can take care of the research and provide the options to you quickly and often for the same or better price you will find on your own online.
There are more options than just Expedia
One of the advantages of using travel agents is access to more booking engines. Even Expedia and Travelocity have their limits and won’t show you all suppliers and all flight options. You could be missing out on significant savings or more affordable routes by not looking at alternatives. Travel agents will use their vast supplier network to find unique itineraries or accommodations and prices that you can’t find anywhere else. This is especially true when looking at more complex trips and itineraries involving multiple destinations and out of country locations that are not as familiar to you.
Independence vs Dependence
Technology has created the ability to accomplish a great deal with little social interaction. Travel agents can provide as much or as little interaction as you wish. Some client’s will email and book all of their travel with an agent directly online – allowing them to be as efficient and in control of the process as they wish but also providing them with all of the same services and support that an agent can offer.
At My Way Holiday we offer an online contact form where client’s can enquire about certain trips. We can even send e-brochures with book it links for clients once we have done all the research and provided the options to you!
Support when things go wrong
Knock on wood that your next trip will run smoothly but when something does go wrong who will you turn to? If you booked through a website the chance you will get a live body willing to help you at 9pm is pretty unlikely. Travel agents are there to act on your behalf to ensure that if something goes wrong, they can help. A good agent will also help you obtain restitution in the event that a hotel / cruise / trip had quality issues or did not live up to the promises made at the time of booking. We all have been there… isn’t it nice to know your agent can help handle that for you?
Unbiased Professional Advice
Even though agents earn commission on some of the products they sell, their job is to work for you – the client and not for the supplier. Agents want a happy customer that will use them again. Being a travel agent is much more than selling travel. It takes a great deal of training, travel experience and organization to keep client’s returning.
Need a practical example? Here’s how I often demonstrate value to my friends and family when explaining why to use an agent:
Let’s say you are going to book a $5,000 family cruise vacation. You can either book the cruise on-line yourself with no support or help or you have the option of spending the exact same $5,000 and have the support of a travel agent, who will research the entire trip for you – customizing it to your every need, while also supporting you with all the administration of the trip from flights, transfers and accommodations. Oh yes and they will also be available if you need assistance before or during your trip.
If you are going to be spending the same amount of money for your trip but you also get all of these high end services for free why would you book your trip any other way?
Let us help you save time and money by booking your next trip for you! Use the form below or call or email us at 1-888-390-1535 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumer Travel Tips from the Travel Industry Council of Ontario: http://www.tico.ca/consumer-info/consumer-travel-tips.html
Travel tips for booking online: http://www.tico.ca/consumer-info/consumer-travel-tips/tips-booking-online.html