WHY USE A TRAVEL AGENT
It’s no surprise that all of us have been impacted by the pandemic in some way, and the travel industry was no exception when covid-19 closed down the world. However, as travel continues to come back strong, there have still been questions about whether travel agents are still relevant in a world where a vacation can theoretically be booked with the click of a button. The problem, however, wit
h the "click of a button" is not having the support of a real-life person and no one to advise you of any travel restrictions or what your rights are as a consumer. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that despite living in a modern world, travel advisors are still worth their weight in gold.
Sure you can book an all inclusive in Mexico for you and your family and do it on your own. It’s simple. Just type “All inclusive resorts Mexico” into Google, then wade through hundreds of options and responses - most of which look the same, whether they are good or bad, legit or bogus. Spend just 1 minute each vetting sites, and you’ll be done in six months - and still won’t have anything booked.
Good luck with that. Even the major search sites routinely leave out flights and even entire airlines. A lot of the flights they do show are ones you don’t want, starting with “basic economy” fares that hit you with tons of restrictions and fees, so the price you see isn’t the one you end up paying, along with connections way too short or way too long, and could potentially cause you to misconnect. They are flights that no responsible travel agent would let you book.
Even with all the information you can search through on the internet at our fingertips, the reasons to use a travel agent are as relevant now as they ever were. Simply navigating through all the info can be completely overwhelming. What sites are trustworthy? Is that flight really a good deal? Which countries are safe to visit? A travel agent can easily answer those questions, and many more.
Consider the 5 reasons below why you should consider a travel advisor for your next trip.
#1: MORE THAN JUST YOUR BOOKING AGENT
The thing about travel advisors is that the profession has truly evolved. We are no longer simply "booking agents". We are travel planners, curators and vacation designers. We are professionals with niches, specialties, and expertise. We pour our hearts and souls into crafting and creating the perfect itinerary for your adventure, uniquely curated to you. We consult, we advise, we advocate. You are at the center of everything we do. We are meticulous and detail oriented, which is something that is so important, especially now more than ever.
#2: WE SAVE YOU TIME, STRESS & EVEN MONEY
We are here to help save you precious time and the stress of planning when you are busy with life and the million other things you have going on. We also have access to better deals that aren’t available to the general public. We also provide immense value when it comes to coordinating those special requests to create those magical moments for you and your loved ones. Additionally, more difficult trips like safaris, river cruises, and remote destinations can be much better when planned by a travel professional who has access to industry experts and destination specialists to plan the best trip for you.
Let’s not forget that we are here to keep the planning process stress free to save you time and money. When the chaos of the pandemic first hit, we saw frustrated individuals who didn’t use travel agents unable to speak to a real person, and many who were on hold for hours upon hours at a time. Working with a travel advisor takes all of that off your plate to handle all the aspects of your planning, even when your trip may be cancelled, postponed or delayed due to unforeseen reasons. Travelers that didn't work directly with a travel professional had difficulty reaching airlines and flights were being cut left and right, leaving many stranded without support. We are here not just when things go smoothly with your trip, but through these turbulent and unpredicted challenges arise too.
#3: WE KNOW BECAUSE WE GO
It’s our job to be in the know of all things travel and keep up with new measures within each destination. We personally visit these destinations and we’ve streamlined the process so we can quickly and effortlessly provide you with the information you need.
From testing requirements, to closures and mandatory quarantines, what may hold true one day may very well change the next. We don't want you to end up in a position where you arrive at your destination only to learn that the resort you booked doesn't have your reservation (many people that have booked outside of using an agent have had this happen) or it doesn't have the beach access you thought you read about online. Having a travel advisor keep tabs on all these updates for you means that you won't have to worry about any of this.
We also have specific contacts for each destination, hotel, resort, cruise line and every other company we work with. These reputable connections are built into relationships over time and are go-to resources for getting your questions answered quickly. We are here to provide you clear and concise direction through the relationships we have built within the industry.
#4: WE ARE YOUR BIGGEST ADVOCATE
We work furiously and tirelessly to ensure our clients have the best travel experience that they are envisioning. We know you work hard to take that well deserved vacation and we want to provide you with the best value for your money. We are here to go to bat for you and cut through the noise. We are detail oriented and keep records of everything, meaning we can look back at my conversation with a representative and provide evidence for what was actually promised should something not seem right.
As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, we’ve come to realize that traveling came be a bit more complicated than it was before. There are a ton more moving parts to consider than there used to be, including entry and exit requirements with all the various countries. Travel agents are even more important now than ever to help you navigate the chaos in the safest and most informed way possible.
#5: YOUR 24/7 EMERGENCY SUPPORT
Despite all the best planning, sometimes things are out of our control. If you experience any hiccups during your travels, such as a flight cancellation, trip interruption, medical emergency or anything else, we make ourselves available 24/7 to our traveling clients. Oftentimes a quick call to your travel advisor can get the issue resolved quickly and efficiently.
SO HOW CAN YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF WORKING WITH A TRAVEL AGENT?
If you’re planning to work with a travel agent in the future, have a general idea of what you’re looking for, when you want to go, your budget, and the type of travel you like most. The more specific you can be about what you like and don’t like when it comes to travel will make it easier for us to curate the best travel experience and options for you. We are here to help you understand your travel style, expectations, past trips that you’ve enjoyed or hated and why, and just general information that can help us provide you with the best travel experience.
How about you…do you feel you are more likely to book with a travel advisor than on your own since the start of this pandemic? Has a travel advisor saved you from a crisis during this pandemic? Share below.
As always, encouraging you to live well and travel often.