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Is the age of the travel agent dead? No. Here’s why.

Should you use a travel agent? Heck yes!

I love the internet, but there’s something to be said for talking to an expert. For all the ways the internet has positively changed the travel industry, I’d argue that the sheer volume of information makes trip planning a lot more overwhelming. Spending hours online reading traveler reviews can’t replace the guidance, care and personal service of a good travel agent. That’s why I love AAA Travel. These travel experts will design a trip that perfectly fits your specific needs.

In a nutshell, a travel agent provides value by helping consumers cut through the clutter.

They provide travelers with a unique and personalized experience. Working with a AAA travel agent means you get the inside track from someone who has spent years building relationships within the industry. Studies have shown working with a travel agent saves travelers over three hours of time spent planning per trip. Eureka! Now I have time to get a haircut!

Travel agents are known for their ability to put together the impossible– a vacation that fits needs, wants and budgets. There’s the added security of an expert in your corner when things go awry. For example, cancelled flights, rebooking hotels or making sure you have a plan in case the storm of the century hits. A travel agent acts as your personal advocate if things go wrong or services haven’t met your expectations.

AAA Travel

So, how do you find a good travel agent?

Talk to friends and family! See if they’re working with someone they love. You can also schedule a call or a meeting with your local AAA branch.

And when you do meet them, ask questions like:

  • What is the agent’s area of expertise?
    Some agents specialize in Europe or Safari, others Cruises and the Caribbean.
  • What is your personal travel history? 
    Find out how much “boots on the ground” experience this agent has.
  • Have you visited my travel destination?
  • How much experience do you have booking travel and excursions to this area?

I know what you want to ask: how much is this going to cost? 

Using a travel agent can actually help save money. Travel agents’ pay structures vary, but most of their income comes in the form of some base pay + commission—which is paid by vendors, like hotels, airlines or rental car companies. Some travel agents do charge a nominal fee for their services. However, it can often be more than made up in the savings and added value. In the case of AAA, most branches offer free trip planning services to members, as an added benefit of your membership.

You may think an agent who is commissioned by a third party is not working in your interest. On the contrary, it’s that agent’s hard-won relationships with the travel industry that you are benefitting from. Agents receive special access to deals that you can’t find online. In addition to exclusive pricing, this could mean upgrades in a room, a free spa visit, breakfast included or any number of amenities that will be passed down to you, at no extra cost.

why work with a travel agent

It’s also worth noting that agents wouldn’t survive without repeat business and referrals.

A good agent will work extra-hard to get to know you and learn your travel style. They want to create the trip of your dreams so you’ll want to work with them again (and tell all your friends and family).

My advice? Consider bringing a travel agent into your life.

The trips we take with our families and friends are becoming too few, and therefore, far more important. When we do all finally manage to find time to get away with one another, it will be wonderful peace of mind to know you are in good hands. All you have to do is enjoy your trip with the ones you love.

This post was sponsored by AAA Travel, but all opinions are my own.

Do you work with a travel agent? Do you like it? Any tips for finding a good one? Share in the comments!

For all the ways the internet has positively changed the travel industry, I’d argue that the sheer volume of information makes trip planning a lot more overwhelming. Spending hours online reading traveler reviews can’t replace the guidance, care and personal service of a good travel agent.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. We used a Travel agent for our first trip to Ireland and that was it.
    We found with research through sites such as TripAdvisor, Hipmunk and you can save a lot of money.

  2. I have had nothing but bad experiences with AAA Travel the few times I’ve tried to get them to supplement arrangements I was working on. Once I was flying into Milan Malpensa and out the next day from Linate and was looking for a hotel near Linate. I had to talk for at least ten minutes to convince her Milan has two airports. Another time, I needed a train ticket from Vienna to Udine, and another woman insisted the route did not exist. It did. After a third comparable incident, I gave up on them. They deal with packages, tours, and cruised, but even those are lower priced elsewhere for the same items.

  3. I used to use travel agents in the beginning of my travel days. After several years, but I found that I found better and cheaper prices than my travel agent. so now on my yearly international travels, I pick the country and then decide which company to go with myself. I read a lot of what people have to say about companies and their experience to decide which company to go with. I always go with the most recommendations.

  4. We used a Travel agent for our third trip I guess and it was to Kerela, India and one more time when we went to Orissa, India and that was it. We found with research through various travel sites such as TripAdvisor, Go-ibibo, etc. for getting information about the destinations. The arrangements made by the Travel agents where very nice and main was in Budget. We enjoyed a lot. So, Thank you for sharing this information. Keep Posting

  5. We used to do all of our own research, planning and searching…. Now I use a TA. It saves me time and if something happens… They fix it while we sit on the beach with a drink…. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to research some but the rest is up to the TA….

  6. Those who commented above are missing out on an agent’s expertise and a personalized trip. Speaking from experience, everything Sam says is absolutely spot on and doesn’t cost you any more. Find a travel agent who has specialized in a niche in the manner you are interested in traveling; i.e., luxury cruising or a destination – Italy. Those who work for themselves, but are a member of a host agency or consortoria, devote a lot of time and will be able to get exactly what you desire at a lower price than any online agency or large travel agency, due to having a superior relationship with suppliers. They will also put their heart and soul into all of the phases of your travel. Trust that the experts know what you don’t know and most will have your back 24/7 if a problem arises during travel. Also, ALWAYS purchase third-party insurance (not from vendor or supplier) for peace of mind.

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Is The Age Of The Travel Agent Dead? No. Here’s Why.
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