We can't tell you how many times we've been contacted by people that had an expired passport, didn't have the proper Covid test, didn't book with their legal name, or were freaking out over a canceled flight. A good travel agent can help you avoid ALL of those issues. For those issues that are unavoidable, we assist in mitigating and making sure your trip continues on smoothly! We also know where to find agent specials and inclusions that cannot be found with third-party booking engines.
In some rare instances, we can book at the same rate that you might find via third-party website, but we're paid by the suppliers that we work with. Think of it this way: you can book online by yourself, or you can book with us at the same rate and get our services for free. Either way - the supplier is getting paid, but by booking through us, you gain an advocate in case anything should go wrong!
Unlike booking engines, travel agents can actually respond directly to individual questions and requests, no matter how small or unique. And unlike booking engines, agents can get to know their clients and build trust. I know what airline seats my clients prefer, if they have any allergies, what sort of activities they like, etc. I also keep an eye out for travel deals aligned with their future trip wishes and preferences!
They know which travel supplier representatives, destination management companies, and on-the-ground personnel to contact before, during and after their clients travel. In some cases, agents have access to things that the average traveler doesn’t, like charter flights and resort upgrades.
In fact, a study by the American Society for Travel Agents (ASTA) found that travelers using a travel agent reported saving an average of $452 and four hours of planning time per trip.
In case of an emergency, or even just to anticipate their clients’ needs, they can spring into action on their clients’ behalf. For instance, when the weather is bad, they’ll keep an eye on their clients’ flights so they don’t get stuck in a bad situation.
Budget is important to almost everyone, and travel agents know how to get clients the most for their dollar – and when “deals” are too good to be true. You may find a steal at a specific resort, but I can tell you whether or not it's the right resort for you and why!
They’ve experienced the resorts, cruise ships, and activities they are selling. If they haven’t personally, they know which resources to turn to for trusted, accurate advice.
Rather than search through dozens of confusing websites, agents act as a one-stop-shop for travelers, no matter how complex their trip.
Many people know they want a vacation, but aren’t sure where to start. Agents are full of creative ideas and suggestions that will make each traveler happy.
Experienced travel planners know the best times to visit certain destinations, which rooms at a resort are the most desirable, and which cruise cabins offer that extra square foot or two.
They are full of helpful travel tips and tricks to make clients’ trips easier. For instance, they can advise clients on what clothes to bring for a week-long cruise, or how to prepare for a lengthy flight.
In times of trouble, agents are the first line of defense and can handle delayed or cancelled flights, incorrect room categories, etc. They work for themselves, not a specific travel supplier. Agents only receive commission after a client has traveled, so they have every incentive to provide excellent customer service from start to finish.
At the end of the day, travel is about making memories. For agents, helping to create those special moments is what drives them to go the extra mile for their clients. The same can definitely not be said for online booking engines!
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