Go GlobeHopper is all about imparting good advice when it comes to travel. That’s why, over the years, we’ve created so many Pro Tips articles that address a variety of travel-related subjects. Here are just a few of those valuable articles, all of which are clickable.
And now, with the rise of online travel scams resulting in many disappointed or confused travelers, we bring you the Top Ten Reasons to Use a Professional Travel Agent.
But first, let’s address the widely held misconception that better deals can be found online so using a travel agent will be far more expensive. That’s not entirely true. If you do your homework and do it well, you will often find that give or take a few dollars, prices are pretty much on par. And, in many instances, travel agencies are less OR can offer the better deal for the same price, with a room upgrade or perks that online booking engines simply cannot offer. So, before you commit to the ‘deal’ you’re so sure you’ve found online, let’s explore some additional reasons for using a licensed travel agent.
1. Buying travel is a unique purchase because you are buying both a product and a service. The travel agent knows how to sell both parts—the airline, resort, and/or cruise line that best matches your needs, and the service that will guarantee your vacation is seamless and stress-free.
2. Travel agents are trained to take a critical look at each piece of your trip puzzle. They make sure each segment meets your specific needs, so you’re happy with every penny you spend.
3. They can make sense of a multitude of offers from cruise lines and airlines and hotels. This year, travel companies are offering more brands than ever before in history—on land, in the air, and on the seas. Is Carnival the right cruise for you? Is Air Canada the best choice to get you there? Will Resort X offers you the same benefits as Resort Y? Travel professionals can decipher the subtle differences and help you choose the one that fits your requirements.
4. Travel professionals save you time and money. Whether they charge a fee, as some do, or base their businesses on commissions, the time and money you spend with them will be returned to you many times over in the form of perks, upgrades, convenience, and great service.
5. Travel agents are your advocate. Whether you need an upgrade to an ocean view room or a ticket out of harm’s way of an incoming hurricane, the travel agent will be there for you, intervening with suppliers on your behalf.
6. They are the experts. Like a doctor or an accountant, the travel counselor will ask the right questions, listen to your answers, understand your requirements and desires, and offer expert advice to guide you in making one of your most important decisions—how to spend your invaluable time off work — because there are no do-overs for a vacation gone wrong.
7. Knowledge is power. From Visa and passport requirements to the best Do-Not-Miss excursion near your destination, a good travel agent has the inside information that will make your trip perfect.
8. They have your back. When things go wrong, the travel professional knows who to call to get it fixed. If your flight is canceled, just have a seat and pick up the phone while the remaining passengers are lined up trying to rebook. Didn’t get the room category you booked? No need to argue with the front desk. A call to your travel agent will likely get it corrected.
9. They are your personal shopper. Over time, your travel professional gets to know you and your family, your likes and dislikes. You are so much more than a sale to them—and they provide the human connection that makes every transaction more pleasant and meaningful. Plus, by supporting local businesses, you support your community.
10. They can offer customized experiences that no one else can. Travel professionals have the connections to arrange for side trips, special passes, upgrades, and little touches that are not available to the general public and definitely not available online.
In this wide and ever-changing world we live in, you just don’t know what you don’t know. It’s better to rely on someone that does.