In the age of one-click booking, many assume that there’s no longer a place for travel agents. While it’s true that a weekend beach trip doesn’t require much planning, more involved vacations can benefit from a travel agent’s services. The internet does provide quick booking time, but an in-person planning experience allows for more in-depth preparations, opening you up to options you may have never considered. Here are all of the different hats an agent wears to help clients plan unforgettable trips.
The Built-in Concierge
As they are often well-traveled themselves, travel agents frequently have a personal familiarity with your destinations. If not, they most likely have enough work experience to know what to look out for. Much like a concierge, they can provide expert tips, from the best restaurants to where to find the most interesting antique stores. They offer a personal touch, which is hard to replicate with a website’s services.
The Deal Hunter
One of the most common reasons travelers decide to book with an agency is because the business provides better deals by shopping around for packages instead of individual experiences. That walking tour you’ve had your eye on may come at a discount when booked with a scuba day, but often these deals are only advertised to agents. A professional can bring these deals to light and introduce you to new experiences you never considered, all at a lower bundled rate.
The Budget Manager
One of the most frustrating aspects of planning a vacation is staying within the parameters of your budget while still getting all of the experiences you’d like on your vacation. If you are clear with your agent about your maximum limit, they can take into account your finances and inform you of all of the possible ways to distribute your spending. They can help you determine which parts of a trip are most important to you-whether it’s eating at the newest restaurants or camping in remote areas-and figure out how to stay below your red line.
A travel agent also provides their insider status in the vacation industry. Because they have connections with certain hotel, food, and tourism companies, they can steer you towards activities you are likely to enjoy and deter you from wasting time and money.