It’s probably not all that surprising to hear that this is a question I get frequently when I first tell people I’ve started a travel business. Frankly, not long ago, I didn’t immediately think to consult a travel agent before planning a trip either. But then I started to think about our Italian honeymoon plans, and it wasn’t long before I realized I would save myself a lot of time and worrying if I just found some professional assistance. Honestly, I have not once regretted this decision, and all my recent education about the travel industry has made it even more obvious that today’s travel agents bring immense value to their clients. I’ve compiled a short list below of the biggest reasons you should consider working with a travel agent for your next vacation.
- A travel agent will provide personal support. A booking website can’t interview you to make sure it fully understands your vacation needs and desires before recommending a travel itinerary. And what if you need to make changes to your plans after booking? Or worse, run into trouble in the middle of your trip? Your travel agent is there for you even after the booking process ends. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing you were calling a real live person instead of an automated customer service line.
- In most cases, a travel agent won’t charge you a fee for their services. That’s right; you usually aren’t even paying your agent! In exchange for the sales travel agents send to hotels, cruise lines and other travel providers, the agents collect a commission from these partners after their clients travel. And if you think you are getting a better deal by booking online and removing the travel agent/middle man, think again! How do you think those online booking sights make their money? They pocket the agent commission amount. I bet you’re already reconsidering the need for expert advice now that you know it’s free.
- Using an agent will save you time. Sure, you could spend hours, days or weeks going to dozens of websites to research destinations, hotels, flights and cruises and then more hours comparing prices, OR you could make just one call to an expert. Your time is valuable, and it’s the agent’s job to know about destinations and what they offer travelers so that you don’t have to do the research on your own.
- Your agent knows about the best deals. Agents realize that even travelers with big budgets don’t want to spend more than necessary on their travel plans. Your travel agent has inside access to all the latest discounts and promotions offered by their travel partners, so you can be sure you are getting best available price. In fact, your agent can often use their established relationships and sales volumes to get more for your money than you can get on your own. They will also make sure you understand cancellation policies, restrictions and other “fine print” so you don’t incur any unexpected fees.
- Your modern travel agent is an advisor. Unlike agents of the past, today’s travel agents are more than just salesmen. Your agent wants to help you sort through the vast amount of information available and ensure you get the right trip for you. The agent is also there to make sure all your questions are answered and to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip by helping you understand travel documentation requirements, local customs and more.
The bottom line is that modern travel agents like me want to share our passion for travel and add value you just can’t get from the internet alone. I want to help you get a good deal on your dream vacation while also making the planning process easy for you. If you haven’t used a travel agent in the past, I hope you’ll consider contacting Tum Tum’s Travels in the future.