Chances are, you are like me. You are used to doing things yourself, particularly when it comes to looking up things on the internet, and specifically when it comes to travel. In the age of those big online travel reservation sites, the internet has made planning your own vacations and booking your own hotel rooms seem easy. As much as I thought that was the cheapest way to go and that the concept of a ‘travel agent’ was about as outdated as those old foil-covered TV dinners, I’m here to tell you, that isn’t so with this list of the top 5 reasons you should use a travel agent for your next journey.
5. Knowledge & Experience
While I am a licensed travel agent, really I am a travel specialist, specially trained in various destinations to be able to answer your questions and help you with anything. I’m constantly following the market, monitoring deals, making sure I know all the latest and greatest updates to various parks and resorts, all while keeping apprised of those hidden gems and untapped destinations. You can read more about me and all the places I’ve traveled here. I take part in extensive training from all the various travel providers so that I can answer any question. And for anything I may not know, I am privileged to be a part of a great agency where we help each other on a daily basis. So while you are working with me, you not only have my knowledge and experience but a network of agents’ knowledge and experience that I can tap into at a moment’s notice.
Travel, particularly when large groups are involved, can be expensive. You could spend hours scouring the internet trying to figure out what days have cheaper flights or which hotels have the best rates. Or you could let me do all the legwork to find the best deals. The best part is that as new deals are constantly released, I am able to modify your reservation, often saving you even more. For example, a recent family of 6 has a trip planned for Walt Disney World this spring. We found the best deal at the time of booking but a few months later, a promotion came out that saved them another $500. Even better, a few weeks ago, yet another new promotion was released that I was able to take advantage of, and from their initial booking to right now, I’ve been able to save them an additional $1500. Typically when people book their own vacations, they look for the best deal at the time but are unable or unaware of how to take advantage of savings that may happen after booking.
What always drove me crazy about booking my own vacations was having to investigate a bunch of different sources, trying to get the best deal. While I loved the research aspect, it was always so much work that often left me exhausted and at times, not even wanting to go on my trip anymore. Having to keep track of reservations for hotels, planes, rental cars, excursions, and more, all sourced from different websites, was tedious. Even during the trip, I found I was always stressing out about the plans I’d made and whether everything was confirmed. The whole point of the vacation was to relax and enjoy myself.
Now, as a travel agent, I have the inside scoop along with a multitude of resources that make it much easier to research and plan your trip than it would be for the average person. Everything can be done in a way that seamlessly integrates all of your travel plans into one perfect vacation package, leaving you with only the best parts of the vacation to enjoy. Let me do the research while you relax!
2. 100% Complimentary
One reason I never considered using a travel agent back in the day, is because I thought it was expensive. I didn’t have the luxury of being able to pay for a trip AND pay a travel agent. I was shocked to learn that it is free to use a travel agent. How is that possible? Commission. I know… commission makes you think of pushy car salesmen. I had the same thought too. In the travel world, agents receive a % commission from the different providers. For every vacation we are able to book for them, it saves them time and money in staff and advertising. Since we are doing the legwork in helping them find customers, they give us a small percentage of the sale. Unlike other jobs where you have a set salary no matter how much or little you work, this structure encourages us to work harder for you. Having a happy client means that we have hopefully earned your business in the future and that you may even share our information with your friends. Using a travel agent should never cost you anything extra, however, there are agencies that have now started charging service fees that typically range from $100-500. They use the same resources I use so they don’t have any advantages that would make their service more valuable to you. Whether you would use me or a different agent, I’d always encourage you to look for those that will not charge you any fees.
1. Peace of Mind
When the world shut down because of Covid, travel agents were there to advocate for our clients. In an uncertain time, we were the ones spending hours on the phone, working to get refunds. As restrictions and guidelines were in flux, we had to stay one step ahead, to know what was allowed in every state and country our clients were coming to and from. In many cases, we had clients that were overseas during the initial lockdown and helped to guide them back home as the world shuttered. Now, more than ever, travel agents are a vital part of ensuring that your trip goes off without a hitch. Travel planning is no longer as simple as hitting up a booking site and making a quick reservation. There are border restrictions, quarantine requirements, mask mandates, Covid testing stipulations, and so much more that are not only changing daily but vary by city, state, and even country. With me in your corner, you will have peace of mind that you are traveling safely and responsibly in a post-Covid era and that if an emergency does arrive, you will have someone to fight to resolve any issues on your behalf.
It is a crazy world right now, and travel may be forever changed but with the right help, you can still enjoy traveling. Whenever you are ready, I will be here waiting to assist you.