Why You Should Use a Travel Agent
There has been much debate in today’s online age, as to whether people should use Travel Agents to book their travel, or if they are becoming obsolete. Why would you spend your hard-earned money on a Travel Agent when you can do all of your research yourself online? The reasons might surprise you.
Meeting you where you are at
You have the freedom to do as much or as little research on your trip ahead of time. A good travel agent will meet you where you’re at, and be willing to either quote you prices on your preferred hotels and tours, or make suggestions based on personal experiences, from hundreds of satisfied clients.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced world traveler or someone who is making your first overseas trip, a good Travel Agent will help make your trip a memorable one, for many years to come!
Value for Money
I can almost see the surprised look on your face right now, as you’re reading this. “Isn’t paying for a Travel Agent going to cost me more than booking online?” Not always. Most Travel Agencies aim to have competitive pricing, and will often match or bear prices from their competitors online. However, an often overlooked factor within the price debate is to what value your Travel Agent is providing to your holiday.
A good Travel Agent is trained in building airfares manually in the airline GDS (Global Distribution Systems) and are often able to make recommendations that will save you money, especially when booking a complex itinerary, involving many cities. They can also often hold in flights for under 48 hours, free of charge, to allow you to make up your mind, before the last sale seats sell out.
Also, Travel Agents receive inside knowledge of many things in the Travel and Tourism industry, ahead of the general public. When an airline sale comes up for your favourite airline, your Travel Agent can contact you and tell you, so that you have the first choice of availability for your preferred dates.
Many of us can relate to going through our booking documents in preparation for our upcoming trip, only to find that one or two of them have gotten lost or have been misplaced. If your trip has been booked through multiple online travel websites, then chances are you will have to search your inbox for multiple booking references and documents, whereas through a Travel Agent, everything is all together in one convenient location.
Often times, Travel Agents are able to print everything out for you and go through the documents one by one, to help you be as organized as your possibly can, before heading out the door. This can really come in handy when you have 3 or 4 different hotel reservations, plus your flights and car hire or tours as well.
No matter how well you have planned your trip and no matter how prepared you are, sometimes things happen that are beyond yours (or anyone’s control). The airline strands your luggage in another city, you catch a strange stomach flu in an exotic country, the hotel won’t provide you with two twin beds, or perhaps you were unlucky enough to become the victim of a tea house scam, in China. It can happen to any of us. However, when the bumps along the road come, this is the time for your Travel Agent to shine!
Most travel agents offer comprehensive travel insurance as part of their holiday packages to ensure that if many unexpected issues happen on your trip, you will be well looked after. However, did you know that they are usually also more than happy to assist with processing your travel insurance claim, even mid-trip?!
Your Personal Travel Concierge
A good travel agent is like a personal concierge, easy to communicate with and is available to assist with the simplest to the most difficult task. Want to surprise your wife for her anniversary with flowers and dinner to her favorite show in London? No problem. Need to change your dates after you have booked, due to unexpected circumstances. Too easy. Want to do a chocolate tasting tour in Switzerland? Your personal travel concierge has you covered.
This is what sets apart the ordinary Travel agents from the extraordinary. Nothing is too hard, and they are always delighted to be of assistance to you. You know them when you see them, and although they may be a dime a dozen, they have a passion for their work and enjoy making great travel experiences
There are many inexperienced Travel Agents out there. We’ve all heard the horror stories, but don’t despair! One regular overseas traveler, Veronica, described her experience in this way-
“I am a person who travels quite frequently as I have family both in Africa and Europe. Furthermore, my family and I just love travelling and we go on holidays nationally and internationally whenever we can.
A while back when booking flights I would go into a travel agent’s office. However, I quickly discovered that staff do not stay for long in one office in the travel industry. I found that when I formed rapport with someone, generally they would have moved on when I next needed to make a booking. I then began booking my tickets online and that worked well until once I had to change my flights when I spent literally hours and experienced enormous difficulty trying to get someone to help me.
And then I came across Travel Guru. From the very beginning I found them to be extremely efficient, knowledgeable and helpful. They are courteous, friendly and accommodating and always willing to listen to what our travel needs are and then offer your expertise, advice and suggestions. They have been very persistent with airlines on our behalf in order to get our travel needs met.
When we had to get in touch with you whilst abroad to change some flight dates due to a bereavement in the family, they handled it with sensitivity and efficiency. They respond promptly to any communication and as long as I continue to travel they will be my travel agent as I know that their high standards and work ethic will not change. ”
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