Let’s be honest, we have all at some point done this. We decide in the middle of the night to go on a trip someplace. We grab our phone and go to Expedia or some other similar sight. You see that the price is less than you thought so you grab your card and book it. Hurray, you are going on vacation.
Now we get to the issues. You are on your trip, and you find that the hotel did not get your reservation or that your reservation was canceled for some unknown reason. Now you have to find a hotel that can accommodate you for that night, and at a budget that you can afford because you already paid someone for a hotel room that you are not getting.
You dial the 800 number. After three hours you finally get a person on the phone. You spend two hours trying to straighten everything out and get into a new place. Finally, you are sent to a hotel in a part of town you didn’t want to stay in, in a hotel that isn’t as nice as the first one you selected, and you are still paying the original rate.
Don’t Waste Time
Now you have wasted an afternoon that you could have spent at the beach or out shopping. All because of some computer issue, having to get a real person to talk to on the phone, having to argue with them about the issue based on the limited information you were given, and finally being sent across town.
This is one example of having a travel agent comes in handy. To start with, most TA’s can match if not find your trip cheaper. Secondly, you can contact them directly and they can get to the bottom of the issue and get it fixed much faster than the 800 number. Often times, we are able to get into the systems and fix the error directly or at least able to get a reasonable remedy much quicker.
Saving Money, & Better Service
Let’s talk about another benefit… personalization. If you are going to a new location, which I hope you do, you may spend several hours reading blogs, guidebooks, watching travel videos, etc. trying to figure out key things to not miss, what area to stay in that is convenient and affordable as well as little secret spots. A good travel agent will have already been to that location or will know someone who has that they can get information.
An even better travel agent will have already studied the location themselves. Your travel advisor will save you hours and hours of research on little important details so you can focus on deciding what to do.
Hesitant about the cost? Travel agents don’t cost more in general. Yes, some will charge a little more than if you were to do all the work yourself, but some of us, like me, do not charge our clients for anything. We have formed great relationships with our vendors to where they have agreed to pay our costs and fees for you. So more often than not, we can match if not beat the price you could find on your own.
We can gain access to deals, coupons, and packages that the general public will not have access to. We can pass the savings to our clients. A really good travel agent will tell you directly that if they can not match the price, to go ahead and book it with wherever you found it.
I will spend hours negotiating with a particular vendor for the ability to price match. I have done it several times. For example, I now am on a first-name basis with a certain person at the Carnival Cruise line due to my insistence on price matching. And I still was able to give my services to my clients for free.
Travel can be a very exciting but anxiety-inducing activity. Those of us who love it and have made it a main priority know the differences between a good trip and a great trip hanging in the minor details that can be an inconvenience. By agreeing to work with a travel advisor, you have a much greater chance of having a seamless and smooth vacation.
Your travel advisor over time will become a good friend who will always have a great idea of where to go and what is the best deal at that time. The next time you head out, give a TA a call and see what they can do for you.
Kelly Grace – Travel Advisor
Contact Nate if you have any questions on our contact page