The Internet makes it easy for just about anyone to do research on a trip, find seemingly great prices and book a vacation. In a sense, everyone and anyone thinks that they can be a travel agent these days, and they may assume that the professionals are becoming obsolete.
The fact of the matter is, you really do need a great travel agent if you want to save the most money and make the greatest memories on your vacation. Here are seven examples that will make you glad you worked with a travel agent.
1. You book a stay at a resort that boasts it is all-inclusive, only to find out at the end of your stay that several things actually were excluded from your deal.
Hundreds of resorts like to claim that they are all-inclusive, when that doesn’t actually mean everything is included in your stay. Some exclusions you might find at an “all-inclusive” resort include alcohol, snacks, bottled water, or soda. A professional travel agent will be able to find the type of all-inclusive resort that works best for you and your family — and that actually includes what you want in your package.
2. You choose a resort based on the fact that they are an adults-only facility, and arrive to see children running the complex.
Some resorts that are part of larger chains have several different resorts on the same premises. So you may book a room in the adults-only building, only to find out that the family-friendly building is right next door. An agent who has earned certifications and specializations with specific brands will know what resorts are adults-only throughout the entire complex.
3. You book the most affordable city tour with a company that you found off of a quick Google search. Your guide arrives late in a old van with no air conditioning.
Travel agents use their industry contacts in order to book with the most reputable companies. You won’t have this concern if you book your trip with an agent.
4. You schedule your own transfers to and from your cruise port, and end up feeling stressed because the company you choose is backed up and may not get you to your destination in time.
Those in the industry recognize how much time it takes to get to and from the airport, and they leave room for error in your timetable. An agent will book your transfers with a reliable company, and account for the time you need to get to your destination.
5. You choose a room based on the recommendations on the hotel website, but when you arrive you find out that ocean view means you can sort of see the ocean far off in the distance.
Oceanfront and ocean view are not interchangeable terms, especially in the travel industry. An experienced agent knows what each hotel really means when they describe their accommodations.
6. You impulsively book a last-minute flight because it seems too good to pass up, and then find out that you can’t find a room in your chosen destination because of a large event that is being held there.
Agents know how to explore each individual destination, and they are aware of major events that might impact travel across the globe. Consult with an agent before you book a deal that seems too good to be true.
7. You create your own itinerary that accounts for every minute of your trip, and then regret that you have no free time to explore the area once you arrive.
Most agents recognize the importance of spontaneity, and they will leave room for you to choose what you want to do on your trip. This planning mistake is common, especially among those who are inexperienced in creating itineraries. By working with an agent, you will have a trip that is filled with both fun and relaxation.
Travel agents are not just there to help you find a great deal and make the reservation for you. They are there to be a support system throughout the entire planning process, as well as during your trip and once you return. Your agent will help you identify the most popular activities, the most notable attractions and the most delicious restaurants. Whether you prefer an authentic experience with local flair, or you like to immerse yourself with the tourists, your agent will make sure that you enjoy a trip that is uniquely suited to your tastes and preferences.
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