11 Reasons Travel Agents Add Value to Your Vacation
May 17, 2012
To celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week last week, we wanted to honor the thousands of Travel Agent professionals that tirelessly work to help travelers have fantastic vacations, by letting you know all the amazing things they do to add value to your trip. So if you thought you were saving by planning your own vacation online, think again. [Tips compiled by Travel Impressions' Barbie Groves]
- Knowledge & Expertise. Researching travel deals, vacation tips, hotels, resorts, prices, reviews, etc. can be really time consuming for the average traveler. The beauty of working with a travel agent is that you’ll be able to tap into their existing knowledge and expertise on all of these subjects. Travel professionals have first hand knowledge on dozens of destinations, and often take special trips to learn about new offerings, properties, and amenities to offer you the best advice possible. A travel agent working closely with their preferred tour operator has access to a multitude of resources to ensure the best vacation experience possible.
- The Human Touch. Agents will ensure you will have an amazing experience on your trip. Agents are excited and will show their enthusiasm in helping you, their clients, have the best vacation possible. Travel professionals are personally invested in seeing your trip become a success. This personal interaction with real, live agents trumps the often lackluster experience of doing it yourself online.
- Personalization. Due to “The Human Touch” you receive with a live person helping you, travel agents are able to personalize your trip for your needs. Understanding your needs and wants, agents can make recommendations on vacations for families, adventure seekers, nightlife-lovers, honeymooners, foodies, sun bathers, and more. Knowing the differences and nuances of both the destinations and the wants and needs of their clients make their service invaluable.These days it’s all about ‘unique’ experiences – travel agents have access to their preferred tour operators portfolio of products, whether it be a villa, an all-inclusive hotel in the Caribbean, or a beginners guide to the great cities of Europe. Using a travel agent means there is no ‘one size fits all’.
- Getting Resolutions. Unfortunately, as we all know, travel can either be a breeze or it can be a pain, and it’s often not in the travelers hands to change the situation. Travel agents to the rescue. Mix-up at the airport? Lost luggage? Making sure you arrive on-time, hassle-free, despite the flight cancellation? If a problem arises at the destination your travel agency will have the support of their preferred tour operator and the strength of their hotel relationships to make sure the issue is more than adequately remedied. These are all situations where your travel agent can help resolve the situation on your behalf. They are your advocate, and they have your back.
- Planning Around Unforeseen Circumstances. Natural disasters, terrorism, and inclement weather are all facts of the world today, but that shouldn’t prevent you from planning an amazing trip! These are all issues that can disrupt your vacation and travel experience, and knowing that travel agents have the ability, and the right relationships, to work with your airline or resort and fight to get you credits for a future trip, will
- Trust. Building that personal relationship gives you the confidence that you can trust your agent’s expertise, and that no matter the situation, they will be there to help you find a resolution.
- Due Diligence. Agents make sure you have your preassigned seats (your usual aisle seat), your requested special meal, booking ahead of time your spa time, tee times at the resort’s best golf course, and other experiences. Why do it yourself when the travel agents do this for you happily?
- Prepping You For Travel. Often, these multi-talented agents are able to help you in dealing with some of the “requirements” of travel including securing visas, rushing you passports, and other government related documentation domestic or foreign. Travel agents make it their business to know the various government rules and regulations for the places you want to visit most.
- Saves You Time. Think about all the time you’ll be saving yourself: no need to scour the web for the best resorts, prices, packages, experiences, events, dealing with travel complications, and securing visas when your travel agent can do this all for you? If time = money, your travel agent just made you rich.
- Great Pricing Options. Travel agents have access to the same rates you can find yourself on the web, but can often find sales and promotions only available to agents, not available to consumers online. Even more important, a travel agent, rather than just focusing on the lowest price, will be able to find the best value for YOUR particular needs and travel preferences.
- Relationships –> Exclusives. Due to their relationships with the resorts, large travel companies, networks, and travel consortia, travel professionals are able to request exclusives for you, their clients. These exclusives can include: price reductions, seat or resort upgrades, early/late checkout times, and other value-added amenities. A travel agent working with a strong tour operator partner cannot be beaten when it comes to providing the best value vacation.
With travel agents bringing you all this value, won’t you contact your local agent before planning your next vacation?
Vice President, Global Sales at Travel Impressions