travel agent benefits
When the internet came along, I figured that the travel agency business was a dying breed, so why use a travel agent? That is, until I decided to call one about two years ago. There are so many travel agent benefits I had no idea about!
I was trying to put together a trip that involved a lot of people so I figured, what the heck, I’ll do some google research and see if I can find a good travel agent that’s local and find out what they do. Wow, was I glad I did!
There are travel agents who specialize in many types of trips – cruises, Disney vacations, Europe, the Caribbean, budget travel and more. This is their career and their expertise. Use them and their knowledge.
Yes, some agents can charge for their services. But so many do not. I was surprised by this! A lot of agents are paid by the hotel or cruise line for booking with them. With our agent, we don’t pay a dime, in fact he saves us the dimes and makes our vacations stress free.
5 travel agent benefits
1 – They save you money
Travel agents who have been in the business long enough have access to rates the internet will not offer you. Think about it this way – giant corporations have corporate rates for their employees with built in discounts to save costs for company travel. The same is true for travel agents. Their rates for hotels are at least the same as the internet, and often better. Which leads me to my next advantage of using a travel agent.
2- Added perks!
Many agents have built relationships with hotel chains or cruise lines and may have built in perks that are automatically included in the overall rate. For example, every trip I’ve booked through my travel agent has always included free breakfast and a resort credit of some kind to use towards food or the spa. Typically their rates are better than the internet, but even if they are the same, having these perks automatically saves us money. Another one of the big travel agent benefits is that they sometimes are able to negotiate a room upgrade for a better view or a bigger room prior to your arrival!
3 – They aren’t just for people who don’t like to plan
A few friends have said to me “but I love to research and plan my trip myself.” I get this, I really do. But understand that by calling a travel agent who specializes in where you’re vacationing, you both can geek out talking about plans together. It’s like having a conversation with a dictionary when you love to talk about words! They will guide you, brainstorm with you, give you food for thought and allow you to do the research in a more fun and informative way. Also, let me say this – if you are googling parts of the world, airfare or hotel costs those companies are putting cookies into your computer. They know you are interested in going there. So guess what? The prices will go up after awhile. 🙂 Sneaky, but true. So while you’re researching you are costing yourself more. Research to your hearts content, and then call the travel agent, have a fun brainstorming session and let him make the arrangements, put their expertise to use and save you money!
4 – Travel insurance
Travel is expensive. And if you’re traveling without your children, then you may have a nervous panic attack that if one of your children gets sick just as you’re catching your flight you won’t be able to go and you’ll be out the money. A travel agent can help you book travel insurance so this doesn’t happen. My typical insurance runs $150 or so. Is it wasted if we go? Yes. But did I feel more secure knowing we wouldn’t be out thousands of dollars if one of my kids got sick? Yes. A travel agent can arrange all of this for you.
5 – You can’t VIP yourself
My travel agent actually told me the phrase “you can’t VIP yourself.” I love it! It’s perfect and explains to a tee why I love using them! If I called ahead and said “Um, hello hotel, I really want you to be nice to us when we get there because we don’t get to take vacations often, and oh I would love white wine in the hotel room when we arrive, and um, I like M&M’s” they would think I’m Jennifer Lopez or the world’s most obnoxious person!
But a travel agent can and happily will do this for you! On our past trip it was over my husbands birthday. I truly don’t even remember telling anyone that fact but I promise you – every person at the hotel we ran into said “happy birthday” to him, he got a special cocktail by the pool to celebrate and dessert at nearly all of the dinners on the house. Our travel agent had called ahead to let them know we don’t get to vacation often and that we were nervous about leaving the kids and to ensure we had a good time.
When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by the General Manager, everyone couldn’t have been nice or more helpful and I really felt like Jennifer Lopez (without the tan, amazing hair, amazing body and those clothes I’d kill for!) VIP treatment without asking for it! Oh, and we got a room upgrade!