Why should you contact your local travel agent instead of booking your trip online yourself? There are actually MANY good reasons. Here are just a few to ponder.
Myth: No one uses travel agents anymore.
Fact: According to a recent report from Travel Weekly Magazine, travel agents sell 87% of all cruises, 81% of all tours and travel packages, 42% of all car rentals, and 47% of all hotel rooms. Although many travel businesses don’t operate out of a storefront anymore, agents are active and more productive than ever. Technology has given them new mobility, so they are often traveling and learning about new destinations as they are working.
Myth: A vacation is more expensive if you use a travel agent.
Fact: Many travel agencies don’t charge fees at all, and most who do will put that fee toward the cost of your trip. It is also important to remember that many online agencies also charge a booking fee.
Myth: I can book my trip quickly online without using a travel agent.
Fact: Although that statement is true, very often people wished that they had used an agent’s services. Very often, travel agents have access to exclusive deals and pricing that is not available to the public. Agents also have special relationships with vendors who supply the vacation packages, so that gives them more leverage to find those packages or hotels that are “sold out.” Travel specialists receive daily communications with new specials from various suppliers that may not be published on the internet. They can also call vendors directly to attempt to work out other special deals- something an online agency won’t do.
Myth: Travel agents mark up the rates and never quote me the cheapest prices.
Fact: Travel agents want your business and referrals. They try to find the best value for your vacation so that you will be happy and return as a repeat customer. Many times when you find a lower price online, you may not be seeing the full price that includes taxes and fees. Agents are also very familiar with itineraries, so they can help you avoid a whole list of headaches that a “cheap” vacation can cause, such as longer waits at the airport and travel at odd times. Unless you have specifically told them that you prefer the cheaper options, they will usually try to book you on direct flights with the most convenient itineraries.
Myth: A call to a travel agent is not worth my time.
Fact: When you research a vacation, you will find tons of information and spend a lot of your valuable time sorting through it all. A professional can save you hours of research. They have the latest prices, reports on hotel conditions, and good ideas for interesting destinations. their knowledge gives them an upper hand in trip planning. Finally, vendors know that a large piece of their business comes from travel agents. These vendors are more likely to provide a quality package to ensure that the travel agent keeps sending them business in the future. Calling an agent for your next vacation means that everyone will receive what they’re looking for in a vacation.