In this post I talked about being a good host, and likewise I think it’s…
When I say “travel agent,” you probably picture some guy in a tweed suit sitting behind a desk with generic travel posters behind him and an uninspired globe on his desk. He also probably looks like he belongs in the 1960s or 1970s because, really, who needs help booking a vacation when the Internet both offers infinite booking platforms and a bevy of information? There are websites dedicated to points hacking, finding the BEST deals, providing free itineraries for every destination imaginable, and so much more. Why bother paying someone to do something you can do yourself?
However, times are changing yet again and travel has become a more complicated pastime than it once was. Think about how out of date many of those websites are. Google is pretty slow to update its first page results, so you could have an article that’s full of half-closed attractions and restaurants come up in the number one spot. Imagine being somewhere like Italy, ready for lunch at a restaurant with the most salivating dishes pictured online, and you walk up to the front door only to find it’s been completely closed down.
And that’s just a restaurant no longer being open. Think of all the other complications that might arise these days – border changes, new entry requirements, changes in restrictions… Don’t get me wrong, travel is very feasible, but it can feel overwhelming to try and keep up while also planning your trip and living your normal life.
I like to think I know my way around the globe, and even I rely on a travel agent. I have a family of four and run a business! Knowing there’s a real, breathing person to ensure my trips go smoothly takes a huge weight off my shoulders and allows me to better enjoy these amazing places I get to visit.
If you’re on the fence, here are some compelling reasons why a travel agent is necessary now more than ever no matter how seasoned of a traveler you are.
Reasons to Use a Travel Agent
1. They save you time on planning
Think about all that goes into planning a trip to a brand new destination. Figuring out where to stay, what to do, how to get there, any cultural expectations… It can take hours and hours of research! When you add in jobs, kids, and general day-to-day life – who really has the time to spend hours perusing websites and internet forums trying to figure out which neighborhood exactly is the best for a first-time visitor?
Every city and country is different, and while it can be fun, it can also be overwhelming. Travel agents do this day in and day out and will already have experience planning a trip to whichever destination you choose. With just a few questions to get to know your vacation style, they can put together an amazing itinerary and all you have to do is enjoy it.
2. You have a real person watching your back.
Have you ever needed to talk to a customer service representative and been met with the frustrating experience of automated voice messages? Or you go to the help page and are met with a ton of jargon and maybe an email that you never seem to get a reply from. It’s frustrating! Not to mention when you do get someone on the phone, it usually comes after waiting for hours and even then they often feed you lines you’ve already read.
In a time when travel is more complicated with ever-changing border restrictions and test and vaccine requirements, having a real person to answer your questions has never been more necessary. A travel agent is someone you know you can trust and who can answer every question you might have about your upcoming trip.
Nothing truly replaces the ability to call someone you know has the answers and can guide you in the right direction.
3. They’re the ones who will handle any future headaches.
Even the most well-planned trips for the most experienced traveler has at least a few hiccups. And traveling in a post-COVID world means you might encounter ever more hiccups and headaches along the way.
However, if you have a travel agent, it’s them who will bear the brunt of these headaches – not you. Need to cancel or change a flight, a hotel reservation, or tour booking? They’re there to take care of all those nagging details! You can just sit back and wait for their lead.
4. They’re there to handle any unexpected situation.
If the last two years taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if a future trip was canceled because aliens have finally decided to come visit Planet Earth!
The difference between traveling on your own or with the help of a travel agent is that an agent is the one who will worry about Plans A – Z. Instead of you sitting there trying to plan for the unexpected, they will. This leaves you to truly enjoy your vacation without a single worry.
5. Often, they have access to discounts regular travelers don’t.
Here’s a fun tidbit you might not realize. Because travel agents are often working with airlines, hotels, cruises, tour companies, and more on multiple clients over multiple years, they’re able to negotiate better deals and access better discounts than you’d be able to on your own.
Think of it as bulk buying. A store that stocks a brand can access a steep discount because they buy a ton of product to resell. Only, unlike a store, a travel agent often passes that discount on to you instead of marking up the price!
This is one of the best reasons to pay for a service you might initially think you can just do on your own. Not only will a travel agent handle all the logistics and planning you might not have time for; it might also wind up being more cost-effective than booking on your own. That’s a win-win in my book!
Travel agents have been around since we’ve been wanting to go on vacation, and they’ve shown time and time again just how important they are for the normal traveler. In an age when every country has different entry requirements and those same entry requirements are often changing month by month, why not use a travel agent and truly enjoy your trip?