I am sure many of you have a travel agent and I am sure there are many of you who book all your travel yourself either online or direct with the vendor. For those of you who book direct I have a question for you? Why? Why spend your valuable time searching when that is what we are here for? Do you call a plumber or use an auto mechanic? Travel agents are professionals in their field and we are here for you and one great thing about travel agents that as a general rule we only charge for air only reservations. That’s right you don’t have to pay us, we are paid by the vendor. (There are a few exceptions to this rule and you would have to check with your travel agent to see if there would be any additional charges.)
There are all types of travel agencies and travel agents out there, and not every agent is a perfect fit for every client. I encourage you to find an agent that likes to travel the same as you. Say a cruise specialist if you like cruising or an adventure specialist if you like adventure travel. Your travel agent should be someone you trust, some one that takes time to get to know you. You need to be comfortable with your agent because sometimes they need to know a few personal things such as your travel budget and date of birth. This information is needed so that the agent can make sure they are booking the best possible vacation for you. You don’t want to stay at a Holiday Inn if you are used to staying at the Ritz and you don’t want to be booked on a high school “senior trip” when what you were looking for was a “senior trip” for people over the age of 65.
One of the biggest myths our there is that you can always find a better/cheaper deal online or directly thru the vendor. Well the truth is that most of the time we can meet or beat what you are finding online if we are comparing apples to apples, we just need to know what you found. Look carefully at the airline schedule when looking at something online, you don’t want to waste 2 days of your 5 day vacation sitting in an airport, or having to wake up at 2am or 3am in order to catch the 6am flight home. Your agent would be able to point those things out to you. Another thing to keep in mind is, if you book online who are you going to call when the hotel lost your reservations or your flight has just been cancelled? If you booked online you hope there is someone you can call if you book with a travel agent you know there is someone you can call.
Still not convinced? Here is another reason try using a travel agent. Booking your vacation should not become your second job. The internet is a wonderful tool for doing research on the type of vacation you want, but finding the “best deal” can very quickly become a lot of work. That is our job, let us do that work. We get 10-15 faxes/emails a day about current specials, hotel sales, and last minute deals. Let us do the work for you and find the best vacation.
So if you don’t have a travel agent I encourage you to find one for your next vacation. Ask someone you know who they use, shop around and find one that you feel comfortable with. So for your next vacation consider a travel agent and consider it done.