The Internet has changed the way we buy everything. From groceries to cars, companies like Amazon, eBay, and Google make it possible for you to buy almost anything without ever having to step into a brick and mortar store again. So why would ever use a traditional travel agent to book your next vacation or trip? Here are five great reasons why:
- Save time. This is the #1 reason why you should use a travel agent. No matter how rich (or poor) you are, we all have the same number of hours in a day (24 hours), a week (168 hours), or a year (61,320 hours). A report from Google research shows a consumer makes an average of 32 visits to 10 websites to book a ticket. A travel agent can help you save countless hours from booking your own flight, hotel, car, cruise, or whatever other travel arrangements you might need.
- Save money. A common misconception about using a travel agent is it will cost me extra. In reality, using a travel agent can actually save you a lot of money. A recent study shows a travel agent saves on average $452 per trip. Yes, some travel agents charge you a fee for booking travel, like domestic airline tickets. However, most travel agents make a living by getting paid a commission by the travel supplier (i.e. – airline, hotel, car or cruise companies), not by charging you fees. The price you pay when you use a travel agent is not typically marked up, and often it is less than if you purchased directly from the supplier. You might ask, how can it be less? Well, travel agents have access to block rates, wholesale prices, or often they just know how to find the best deals on travel because they have been doing it for so long. And some travel agents even go a step further and refund you some of their commission (in the form a cash or rebate) for certain travel products. Cruises are the most common type of bookings where travel agents will provide you a credit for booking through them.
- Save yourself the stress. While booking travel might be fun for some people, for most of us, it is a stressful task. Finding the perfect place to stay, searching for the lowest prices, or simply deciding where to go can be a chore in itself. So why not let a travel agent help you with all the your travel arrangements so you don’t have to?
- Get expert advice. Travel agents often specialize in certain kinds of travel. Some agents are extremely knowledgable about a particular part of the world or a specific type of travel, like family vacations, cruises, or travel for seniors. So whether you have a question about how to get around, where to eat, or a place to stay for your next trip, a travel agent can assist you in making better choices based on your interests and personal situation.
- You’ve got nothing to lose. And finally, what do you have to lose by working with a travel agent besides a little time? There is no commitment for getting a price quote on a flight, hotel, car rental, cruise, or vacation package.
What are some of your experiences working with a travel agent? We would love to hear about them. Leave a comment or suggestion below.