Before the internet, people who wanted to go on a vacation used a travel agent. Booking your flights, taking care of your transportation, your hotels and all amenities in between.
The access to travel information is endless, some may say “too much data to skim through”. So what makes Travel Agents valuable is their ability to swift through information based on their experience and expertise to build you a travel itinerary based on your curiosities and ambitions.
Ultimately the prices online are the same if not more expensive than travel agencies. The main difference? Big online agencies like Travelocity and Expedia sell you what they want to sell you, not what makes sense for you. They sell in volume, travel agencies sell you valuable experiences.
BENEFITS OF USING A TRAVEL ADVISOR
1. Travel advisors are specialists
Every advisor specializes in a variety of travel styles, destinations, and accommodations.
2. Built on experience and expertise
Through learnings, teachings from product and service representatives and of course in-destination experience, travel advisors are specialists as mentioned above.
3. Travel advisors add a human element — and an element of trust.
The ability to speak to someone with experience, in what you are interested in, they only deliver what makes sense to you according to your travel wants and needs.
4. They often save you money — and if not, they deliver more value.
The added amenities and abilities when using a travel advisor is underrated. The driver waiting for you with a sign at the airport, the upgrades at hotels or resorts, the ability to make changes at your calling when necessary,
5. Relationships in the industry
Travel agencies have relationships with resorts, hotels, tour companies, tourism boards, cruise lines, insurance companies, and transportation companies around the world. These relationships give their team the ability to offer travelers the most amount of value. Better deals, promotions, product and service information and real-life experience.
6. Your advocate from start to finish
Travel advisors are your lifeline. In case of travel disruptions, flight change, delay, cancelations, problems with the itinerary, they are your phone call away with direct access to the suppliers and vendors that are on the ground throughout your travels.
7. Emphasizes the planning experience
Some that enjoy planning think travel advisors take the fun out of it. In fact, they emphasize this by giving you options, choices, brochures, communication, credentials, organization, and an ear for your wants and needs.
A travel agent is a one-stop-shop!
A travel agent’s reputation was been demonized in the early 2000s, but today’s travel professional consists of expertise, deep connections, and knowledge that strives to provide every consumer with a SEAMLESS trip.
-Human connection is something you cannot replace. If something goes wrong, there is someone to call and their job is to help/fix the problem or find a solution.
-When people want to BOOK, multiple flights, multiple hotels, travel insurance, excursions and tours, transportation to and from the hotel, restaurant reservations, with a group or family. Booking with a travel designer, if you will, can organize arrange and keep this process stress-free.
Travel Agents aren’t here to book your roundtrip to Chicago or Florida, although they will with ease, that’s not why they are in business.
WHEN TO USE THEM
1. When you want expertise, recommendations and someone with personal experience to help plan a trip. Give tips, advice, and weed out the big data online.
2. When you want someone to organize and help build a trip around your travel wants and needs.
3. When or if you are traveling in big groups. Examples: Destination Weddings, Spring Break, etc. Anything that would require blocking out space at a resort or for a flight.
4. The complexity of a trip. Multiple transfers, flights, hotels.
5. Advocacy. If something goes wrong, injury, cancelations, and other travel inconveniences, your travel advisor is one phone call away available to make necessary arrangements.
6. When seeking human connection, wanting someone to talk to, hear words and advice from someone you trust.
Travel Agencies specialize in the following styles of travel
Group travel (Spring Break, Study Tours, Concert Tours, etc.)
Destination Weddings and Honeymoons
Ocean and River Cruises
When it comes to traveling, many want an itinerary or an idea of what to expect, things you don’t have to worry about;
transfers, destination research, reservations, tours, travel insurance, group consolidation/rates, ability to make payments,
Travel Advisors have transformed the way they operate when in the beginning contacting a Travel Advisor was all part of the travel process. These guys were the head honchos when it came time to book a vacation, but they now have to acknowledge they are not the only “order-takers who collect a commission check”.
They now have to work for you, their loyalty stands with the customer and that is why some prefer using an Advisor, the reliability and credibility will always be there.
Replacing a Travel Agent with an online website is comparable to replacing a server at a restaurant with a robot. Some see this as an efficient way to operate while others would rather have “people” with firsthand knowledge and experience. They want someone who would say “I would recommend this instead”.
While some, on the other hand, want to book travel on their own, there is no right or wrong way in doing it. Travel Agents are for people who would rather avoid the hours of research, who don’t want to handle a big complicated trip themselves, to find someone they can trust, one that can give them guidance and personalized travels.
They want someone to explain travel insurance, passport requirements, visas, foreign countries, the “dos, and donts”. The where and the how’s. The connections and relationships Travel Advisors have is something the everyday consumers do not.
TRAVEL ADVISOR RELATIONSHIPS
Airlines, Cruise Lines, Family Packages, Vacation Packages, Wedding Packages, Luxury Tours, Hotels.
More times often than not, travel advisors have the relationships and opportunities to hold space, build itineraries around packaging and bulking with vendors that will make your trip drastically cheaper.
For example, packaging a hotel, with a flight and transportation. Always drastically cheaper.
Personally, whenever we travel, we are always using a Travel Advisor that handles and communicates with our accommodations, transfers, and flights, sends us the information and we are set.
Let me tell you there is a distinct difference in your experience when having a professional handle the leg work, allowing you to enjoy the destination and beauty.
Find your travel advisor here
SITUATIONS TO BOOK ON YOUR OWN
Nowadays, a flight from MSP to LAX is easy. Go online and find the cheapest fair. Easily booked. If you feel comfortable with managing this on your own, this is not wh travel advisors exist.
For the spontaneous traveler backpacking through Europe maybe that doesn’t want an itinerary, transfers, and staying in hostels. no need for a travel advisor (not necessarily). There are times you may not need a travel advisor to book your trip. Some want to do the research, digging for information online and book it themselves, more power to them. While others want the peace of mind travel advisors to offer that service is always something to bear in mind.
Whether you feel it is necessary to use an agent or not, it is always something to consider based on a number of things;
- travel size
- the need for security or fallback
- your patience level with research and big data
- preplanning activities; transportation, tours, etc.
Although there are a number of things to consider when traveling, a travel advisor is always there for your specific needs and requests. In saying that, always travel your way, the ability to do so is out there, wherever that may be.
“Travel Better With Us” – Roger Block – CEO Travel Leaders