10 Situations Where You Should Use A Travel Agent Or Consultant To Book Your Trip.

In this day and age it’s pretty simple to find good travel deals and book your entire travel adventure yourself right? After all, all you need is a computer, the internet, some time and your credit card to start the research process and BAM you are on your way to travel bliss.

Wrong!

10 reasons you SHOUD use a travel agent???? If you thought travel agents were dead, think again. Sure you could do it all yourself but do you really want to and is it really better than doing it all yourself?

A travel agent is someone who sells or arranges trips or tours for customers based on your special needs, budget and time constraints.

Here are 10 reasons why you might want to use a travel agent.

  1. A travel agent can help you stitch together a complicated itinerary

    • If you want to book a trip that involves multiple stops in multiple countries, multiple guided tours, hotels, cars, trains or whatever else you can think of than an experienced travel agent can help you stitch it all together more easily and faster than you could ever do on your own.
  2. A travel agent can save you money including on fees

    • -I used to think that travel agents were more expensive than looking up flight deals on my own but that is just not always the case anymore.For one, a travel agent/consultant is privy to certain deals that are not available to the public.Two, they can suggest travel dates and times that you did not know about that can save you money. For instance maybe flying to Hawaii on a certain airline is cheaper on Monday rather than Thursday by almost 500 dollars. (This really happened to someone I know).The frugal traveler did a series of tests to find the best flights online and compared that to what a travel agent could do. RESULTS: In most cases the travel agent was cheaper—fees included.Furthermore, travel agents can help you avoid hidden charges extra costs that will siphon the money out of your wallets. In a blog post by airport parking service Parking4less, some airline companies do not declare other charges until you pay them—only to sucker punch you with surcharges and other fees that will increase your overall payments. “Be careful to factor in the extra cost of transport to and from airports further afield from tourist destinations. For instance a flight to Venice with Ryanair takes you into Venice Treviso airport about 20 miles further away from Venice than Venice Marco Polo airport,” Parking4Less warned.
  3. Travel agents can save you time.

    • – Finding a good travel deal on the Internet can be very time consuming even for a simple trip. A travel agent can do the heavy lifting for you quickly and efficiently leaving you time to live your life, take care of your family or do whatever it is that you need to do.
  4. Travel agents can help you avoid information overload and analysis paralysis

    • The internet is an amazing research tool. However it does have its downsides such as TOO MUCH INFORMATION. If you are like me; you start your travel research with the best intentions but then after a few nights of researching hotels, airline deals, mixing and matching dates, suddenly all that wonderful information turns into one big harry ball of confusion. That is when you can go into analysis paralysis.A travel agent can help you cut to the chase so you don’t have to deal with all that. They are the professional after all.

      Analysis paralysis is a condition in which a person becomes so caught up in planning that he or she can’t actually take action…*( a condition in which a person becomes so caught up in planning that he or she can’t actually take action.

  5. A travel agent can share exclusive perks and give you access to VIP status

    • Travel agents are better connected and have special relationships with the travel industry that mere mortals like us don’t have access to. Things like free room upgrades, private guided tours, line cutting and cheaper premium airfares.
  6. A Travel agent will work hard to give you excellent customer service

    • A travel agent will usually work hard to find you the best deals and upgrades to make sure you keep coming back to them. If you are frequent traveler this can be invaluable because once you have established a relationship and trust you can keep going to that person over and over again.
  7. Agents can help solve problems.

    • If your flight is cancelled, you’re stuck someplace or face some other unforeseen problem, a travel agent can help you find a better solution probably more quickly than you could on your own. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call them.
  8. Are You A Busy Business Traveller?

    • If you are a road warrior or travel for business, a travel agent can help you find the best way to manage your travel activities; from finding hotels that have meeting rooms to booking tours so you can play golf with clients.
  9. A travel consultant can help clear up confusing fees and restrictions.

    • Many of the restrictions and fees imposed by airlines, hotels or car rental companies are just not that obvious to the casual buyer. A travel agent can help you understand them all so that you can make more informed choices.
  10. Avoid frustration when planning a complicated travel itinerary.

    • Obviously sifting through all the information can be very frustrating so it goes without saying that you will avoid a whole lot of frustration by letting someone else do most of the heavy lifting in planning your itinerary.

Lastly, not all travel agents / consultants are created equal so if you are considering hiring one, here are a few questions you should ask them.

  • What are the fees? This will help you determine if it will be worth the investment to work with them vs. the time to do it yourself.
  • What is their refund and cancellation policy?
  • If need be, can the agent work entirely by e-mail? If one of the reasons you want to work with a travel agent is because of a lack of time than you don’t want to be stuck on a phone for hours while they research your itinerary for you. You should also expect them to respond within minutes or hours by email and not days.
  • Are they certified and by whom?  Depending on which country the travel agent is based they will have different certifications. In the US a travel agent is usually be ASTA certified (American Society of Travel Agents) but in the UK it is ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents).

About the Author

Annie André Is a half Thai, half French Canadian/American freelance writer, digital marketer and FOUNDER OF THE LIVE IN FRANCE GUIDE which features travel tips, food, festivals, photography and more from France. Annie currently lives in France with her husband and three children.

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