In the age of “Online Booking Sites” and with the trend of “Do It Yourself” consulting a travel agent may seem like an old fashioned thing, but the agents can provide the services and have the knowledge that you cannot get online - Especially in the time of emergency.
The new generation of travel agents operates differently than those of the past. The new agents not only book flights, cruises, rental cars and hotels, but also function as travel advisors. They converse with clients in order to determine the best possible travel destinations, transportation arrangements, and accommodations for the client's particular needs. They get to know you and your wants, likes and dislikes, and make suggestions accordingly. The travel agents are much like financial advisers assisting clients in managing their money and time.
You are not an expert, (They are):
You may tell yourself “I can book the trip on my own without using a travel agent.” and without a doubt you may do that, but it will not be the same trip that you would get through an agent.
The point is that they know more than you do, they have a lot of options that you don’t know about, they have better connections than you, they have access to benefits you can’t get otherwise; their advice, expertise, and connections are of great value.
For example, If your travel itinerary is complicated with multiple stops, complex airline routings, you need a local guide and cab service, you wish to go on a cultural tour, from safaris to ancient ruins, you are planning to stay at 4 or 5 star hotels then you definitely need a travel agent. With the help of a good travel agent you may get the rooms with the most desirable views or extra amenities like complimentary breakfasts and spa credits.
Or when you are booking a cruise, the cruise line won’t tell you that their competitor is a better fit for you and your travel needs, but good travel agents are familiar with various lines, sailings, cabins and excursions. They focus on your particular needs, making sure that you get what you have asked for. If you don’t use a travel agent you are and likely to make a costly mistake, no matter how much you think you know.
They give you a sense of security, (They have got your back):
You are going on a vacation right? You are going to spend some quality time with family and friends rather than getting stressed and frustrated about things going awry. Let your travel agent fix things for you. One cannot make assumptions about any destination, especially international, one cannot even predict the weather, political issues, terrorism and we all know how these things can affect the trip.
For example, if a flight is cancelled, luggage gets lost, someone falls sick on foreign soil, It is important to have someone you can count on to resolve problems. You don’t want to be the one hanging on your cell phone to rearrange a flight or searching for a doctor. Here your travel agent can come to rescue you. Agents work for you and will do everything they can to meet your travel needs. They can relay important information including weather conditions, travel advisories and required documents for the trip. Some agents literally go that extra mile to help their clients. Many travel advisers offer clients 24/7 backup by phone and email.
They save your time, (They arrange everything for you in no time):
Planning a trip is a time-consuming and complicated process. Researching and organizing a trip takes time, patience and perseverance. Booking flights, cruises, rental cars and good hotels is not an easy job. A good travel agent makes the process of travel planning easier for their clients and ensures they experience the best trip possible.
For example, Travel agents do a lot of research on destinations and hotels and learn about their latest offerings. They also have access to some offbeat locations and can help you find the best trips for a particular travel purpose, whether it’s a business trip or a leisure trip. Travel agents are the first to know about a new resort, hotel or a cruise line. They have relationships with their best travel partners who keep them informed about their latest and greatest offerings. So if you want a quick service and information on the latest and greatest, agents are the way to go!
They are authorized, (they have what it takes):
Many travel agents develop personal relationships with individuals at the companies they sell. They leverage these relationships to get you things you can’t get on your own. They indeed turn your trip into a luxurious and a specialized trip. They add value to your trip.
For example, having a top travel agent can get you that “sold out” room which the online sites say they aren’t available, they also make you an instant VIP – you get free room upgrades, hard to get restaurant reservations, private guides, and cheaper airfares. (Ever wonder why the couple in the cabin next to yours got champagne and you didn't? They probably used a travel agent)
Agents Will Go the Extra Mile for you, (they save your money):
They not only save your money but give you value for your money. It is more about value. In today’s world everyone wants value for their money. They want to show off to their friends about how much they saved on a trip and what benefits they got in that trip, whether it is a hotel room, hotel location, airline seat, taxi service or cruise.
For example, they will converse with their clients and know about their likes and dislikes. They may make suggestions to the clients based on their experience, they recommend relevant offerings and also provide cost saving strategies like changing a date, changing the location of a room/cabin, being open to flight options, etc all can save money. They go an extra mile to meet with the client’s need.