Decades ago, travel agents occupied an important role in people’s vacation plans. They were the middlemen (or women) between travelers, and hotels and airlines. In the last two and half decades, their relevance has diminished a lot but travel agencies still do exist though most people plan their own vacations.
You don’t need a travel agent to book a simple itinerary. But a travel agent can be helpful in planning complex trips that involve multiple cities or countries. If you are a busy person who doesn’t have the time to plan vacations or someone who needs a personalized trip, working with a travel agent can come in handy.
Travel agents sometimes charge a flat fee for booking a trip or ticket. They may also get commissions from suppliers. For the price you, you may be able to get a lot of value and personalized service.
If you are looking for a travel agent, ask friends and colleagues for a referral. Ask your friends about the experience they had working with the agent, and how the trip turned out.
Complex Travel Plans
Planning travel to multiple cities or countries can be very complicated. A travel agent may be able to put together an itinerary that meets your expectations faster than you figure out on your own.
If you are traveling with a large group, it may be difficult to find tickets for flights or events. A travel agent will have expertise in booking tickets for large groups and can help you immensely. A travel agent can also get better deals for groups than you can find on your own.
Agent Stay On Top Of New Developments
Hotels and airlines change policies frequently. A travel agent stays on top of these changes and can help you make informed decisions. They also get to tickets for major events that they can then offer to the customer. You will not be able to access these offers on your own.
Years of Experience
A person with years of experience can always do some things better. You will have access to their knowledge for a cost but in some cases, it may be worth it. For example, when planning a honeymoon trip, a travel agent can take away the stress of planning while allowing you to focus on other activities.
Travel agent can personalize a trip for you. If you are unable to walk for long distances or are interested in only certain activities on your trip, a travel agent can with help plan your trip with those details in mind.
When Things Go Wrong
When your plans change, or you miss a flight, it’s good to know that you can call someone who you have a business relationship with. Trust me, it’s way better than calling an airline or a hotel explaining your situation. Many travel agencies are available 24/7 by phone or email.
When To Not Use A Travel Agent
Budget Travel And Accommodation
If you are interested in just visiting one or two cities and would like to stay in budget hotels, you are better off doing the planning on your own. Websites such as expedia.com or orbitz.com can be a one-stop-shop where you can do all your planning and booking. In this case, it ‘s unlikely that a travel agent will provide much value or save money.
Travel agents can bring a lot of value and save you stress. But you have to use them strategically. A good travel agent can arrange memorable personalized vacations that you cannot plan on your own without spending a ton of time. They will also be able to get your tickets to exclusive events that may not be directly available to you.