Here are my top 5 reasons you STILL need a travel agent!
I know, I know – never before has it been easier or quicker to book a trip on your own. I completely agree! Thirty minutes on Expedia and you can have your quick weekend getaway booked and ready to go. But in times when there are more travel sites than you can shake a stick at – from the mega-booking sites like Travelocity and Priceline to individual hotel websites to mobile apps – the prospect of finding the right destination and the right resort at the right price can be somewhat daunting.
Here are top 5 reasons why you STILL need a travel agent:
Reason #5: That hotel that is fully booked? Well, all hope may not be lost! Travel agents often have access to large databases of hotel room inventories that are not accessible by the general public. In fact, there are some travel partners who guarantee travel agents a block of inventory at high-demand properties in key cities around the world. So if you have lost all hope because you can’t find a room at your favorite hotel in your favorite city for a holiday weekend, don’t be disappointed just yet! Try a travel agent – you never know what they can find for you!
Reason #4: We know the latest and greatest, which means you do too.
One of the best things about being a travel agent is we are at the forefront of the newest hotel openings, latest promotions, and coolest events so we can share them with our clients. I still remember being so excited to tell an Animal Kingdom-loving client that Rivers of Light was going to be open for her trip, AND we could fix her advanced dining reservations so that she could get preferred seating for the show. Or telling a client, whose little girl loved the movie Moana, that Hollywood Studios introduced a meet-and-greet with her favorite Disney wayfarer just in time for their vacation. A good travel agent will know the things that you like and enjoy, so that they can keep you informed of the latest and greatest to make your vacation even more special.
Reason #3: We save you time, and time is money. Researching a destination, hotel or restaurant can be quite time-consuming. Who has the time or energy to go through all these search results on Google when all you really want to know is whether the room you have booked has a mini-fridge? Travel agents are experts in many destinations – whether it’s through their own personal travels or by working with others who have true local expertise – and they can cut through the noise and give you advice that saves you a lot of time. You want an all-inclusive resort that has swim up rooms for that once-in-a-lifetime splurge vacation, you say? Let your travel agent do the leg work for you, so you can focus on other, more exciting parts of your vacation planning. Case in point: what will you wear for that amazing getaway?
Reason #2: Ok, in most cases, we save you money too! There are a number of things that make me really happy in life, and one of them is a great bargain. As a travel agent, I have access to some pretty great promotions – and there’s nothing better than being able to tell a client that they can save even more on that dream vacation. When a promotion is announced, I also make it a point to review my current bookings to see if the promo applies to any of them – just because your vacation package did not have a discount when you booked doesn’t mean you can’t get one later! But aside from your basic discounts on hotel rooms or transportation, travel agents also often have access to complimentary perks such as wi-fi, parking, room upgrades, breakfast, and more. Again, they have the relationships to get these perks – so they can pass it on to you! Finally, travel agents should also be able to tell you some tips and tricks so that you can save money while you are actually on vacation. Here’s a good example: if you are going to Walt Disney World and want to bring home some souvenirs, you may want to make a stop at Disney’s Character Warehouse. It’s 15-20 minutes away from Walt Disney World resorts and sells authentic Disney Parks merchandise at a fraction of the cost.
Reason #1: You receive personal attention & service, at no cost to you. Yes, that’s right. It doesn’t cost you any more to book your vacation by yourself or through a travel agent. The bonus with a travel agent is that you get, well, reasons #1-4, but more importantly, you have another person in your corner. Your travel agent will stay with you from the time you begin your destination search to the time you conclude your trip – not only to minimize the headaches but also to ensure that you truly have a magical vacation!
With that I will turn it over to you! Have you ever used a travel agent for your vacation? Are you considering using one for a future trip? In what ways has your travel agent saved you time, money or grief? Sound off in the comments below!