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Prices, Promotions and Penalties: The Benefits of Using Today’s Travel Agents

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Thursday, January 28, 2016

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With a number of alternatives, you don’t need to hire a travel agent.  But you don’t need a gym trainer, a tour guide, or a salesperson.  However, these agents do provide a service, and depending on the desired result, may be more of a benefit than a nuisance or added cost.  Such is a reason to use a travel agent.

Personal Experience

Travel agents are trained to know more than you about traveling, related expenses, best times to travel, etc.  They can provide inside tips and advice that comes with experience.  Since you’re investing hard-earned money toward a trip, you want to get the most out of the investment.  Plus, travel agents, having worked with scores of people, provide the feedback of previous clients.  It’s a level of service that is lost when using online alternatives.

Earned Clout

Sometimes who you know makes a big difference.  Travel agents have personal relationships with cruise ships, Mont Tremblant hotels, etc.  For example, you may find that a Quebec hotel has no vacancies when booking online, yet if you’re using a travel agent who knows some people, they might be able to make a call and get you a room.

Available Alternatives

Accidents and incidents happen, and when using an online service, there may be nothing to do but grin and bear it.  However, a travel agent may be able to fix or seek compensation when things go awry.  A travel agent who has a relationship with vendors is able to fix things and make them better – even if the supplier was not at fault.

Increased Savings

Hopefully, a travel agent can save you money and help provide you with a better experience.  Travel agents help with room upgrades, spa credits, food and beverage credits, reservations to elite restaurants, access to concerts and events, added amenities, etc.  Agents grant access to savings and perks that otherwise go unrealized.

Saved Time

Some Internet engines are engineered to find the best price, but that’s not guaranteed and it can take time to find the right website and understand how to use it.  Save time by having an expert search for flights, rooms, and reservations.  It’s no added cost and they may know a few things you don’t.

Increased Awareness

Travel agents are up-to-date about places and events.  Even if a particular website is not updated, a travel agent is aware in real time.  For instance, they may know about the newest restaurants, hotels, and spas.  Additionally, as mentioned, they hear feedback, so even if a particular place gets great online reviews, they get firsthand info from travelers.

Same Price

Most hotels are parity priced, meaning you pay the same whether you book the room via a travel agent or do it yourself.  Moreover, travel agents have the same access to information as major league sites like Expedia and Orbitz.  Parity pricing applies to just about every travel product.

Right Match

A travel agent is a matchmaker as well as a booking service.  For example, you may have a assumptions about a place you would like to visit, yet after speaking with an agent, they may advise the destination is not the best for you.  Many people relay information related to hopes and expectations to agents and let the provider match them with an optimal destination.

Long Term Relations

Like  a general practitioner, a travel agent gets to know you.  Forming a long term relationship helps them find you the best destinations and increases the likelihood they can provide perks.

Elise French has worked in the travel industry for 20 years. She grew up at a family-owned ski resort so mostly writes on Winter vacations and ski related articles which appear on numerous travel blogs.

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