People often ask, “Why would anyone use a Travel Agent when you can find everything online?” “Do people still use Travel Agents?” Yes, people still use Travel Agents, especially people who care about getting the best value for their dollars. There are many reasons why people use Travel Agents and here are just a few:
1. Information overload – These days you can find so much information online that it becomes overwhelming. You can search the internet for hours, comparing various different travel sites; or you can contact someone with the knowledge and expertise to sort through that information quickly and pull out the best deals for you.
2. You just don’t know, what you don’t know – The average person, even those who travel regularly, does not have access to insider deals, knowledge on availability, and amenities available to them. Recently, a woman approached me and said with regret, “I don’t get to travel as often as I used to since I had my child.” I gave her information about cruise lines and resorts that offer free stay for children, as well as free childcare programs. She just didn’t know that these offerings were an option for her family.
3. Benefit from professional courtesy – Have someone tell you the truth about a particular resort, cruise line, car rental agency, etc., to assist you during the selection process. When you book your travel online and see a 4-star rating, you’re naturally thinking you’re making a great choice. But Travel Agents understand there are different reasons why a particular hotel/resort can receive a particular rating. Did you know a resort can get listed on a travel booking website as having a 4-star rating because of where it is located, yet still have poor quality service and unkempt rooms? That’s definitely something you don’t want to find out upon arrival.
4. Get an explanation of the services and add-ons offered for your particular trip – When you’re booking your travel online, there will be pop-ups asking if you want to add on to your purchase. Travel protection insurance is a popular add-on that most people decline. But a Travel Agent, would explain that good travel insurance covers the trip, your personal belongings during the trip, and you – the traveler, in regards to health needs or emergency issues that may arise during your trip. Furthermore, most times, your ability to get a refund on a particular vacation is dependent on whether or not you invested in the insurance.
5. You want to know before you go. – A great Travel Agent not only books your travel, but shares pertinent information with you about your travel plans so you can be prepared for a fabulous vacation. Know what travel documents are needed for your trip, if a location is considered safe for travel, and what time you need to arrive at the airport to meet your flight – just some of the many things a great Travel Agent will share with you.
Yes, you can book travel for yourself online and there are many online resources to sort through. But more people than ever are using Travel Agents to save themselves time, energy, and unnecessary stress. Also, a good Travel Agent can access great deals, understand what makes a deal great, and make informed decisions about travel plans.
Victoria Falk is an award-winning CEO of Passionate Travel, Inc. Ms. Falk has used her travel business to encourage and assist others to live a happier, healthier, and more productive life through travel. Visit her website for more info: Passionate Travel, Inc.