The ebb and flow of consumers’ love of travel agents is quite the topic of interest these days. In spite of what can be gotten on the Internet, travel agents are here to stay and ESTA have written up an article that flawlessly defines why and when a travel agent is a helpful resource.
Bring up the phrase “travel agent” to countless travelers, despite age, and they can’t envisage why they should ever use one. It’s easier and quicker than ever to book an airline ticket, a hotel or car rental online, and there are reviews all over the place, so why would anyone require an agent?
In the age of everything being done online, would working with a travel agent in reality save you funds? It turns out the answer is an emphatic yes for the reason that travel agents usually don’t demand a lot for their services. Rather, their payment comes from hotels and wholesalers which mean you can tap into a free service.
If you can snag a great deal online in 30 seconds, that’s obviously better than playing phone tag with an agent, yet there are times when organizing a trip with a travel agent will give you money, time and frustration. Here is how to tell when you are supposed to use an agent and when you do it by yourself.
When to use a Travel Agent
When You’re Traveling with a Group
For group bookings that entail coordinating travel for manifold people, it’s easier all the time to use a travel agent, says Barbara Vong, travel agent working with Wright Travel Agency. “I just got a call from a bride because one of the groomsmen booked his own journey through a cut rate travel site, and he sought to add someone to the room,” Vong says. “The customer service from the travel site he patronized told him they could not do it, but they were most likely just being lethargic. This is a huge instance of when you’d rather hand the accountability of altering that booking to a travel agent, rather than attempting to fix it on your own.”
You’re Not Sure Where You Want to Go
Reading reviews online of a particular resort or city can take a lot of time and effort. If you are booking a vacation for your family, yet your destination is still undecided, a veteran travel agent can assist you in steering towards what you’re looking for (Beach town? Family friendly? Non-touristy?) “What I have realized is that more than regularly our suppliers have improved rates than what the cut rate sites are contributing, even when they advertise for ‘inexpensive last minute trips,’” Vong says. “Additionally, if you begin working with the same agent every time you travel, they become aware of you and your needs, which make it easy for them to assist in picking out a spot you’ll take pleasure in.”
You’re Traveling Internationally
If you intend to travel someplace out of the country, and you have on no account been there before, it might be an excellent idea to operate through a travel agent. When you use the services an agent to book travel internationally, you’ll be able to ask a lot of questions, Vong says, and your agent will make sure to collate all the data you need to ensure you’re traveling safely.
When You Don’t Need a Travel Agent
You’re Only Booking a Flight
For example, you wish to visit a friend in Arizona and all you need is the flight to get out there. With many of the concession flight sites accessible, it’s typically easier and in general about the same price, just to book it yourself.
You Want to Use Your Miles
Travel agents are not capable of using your points or rewards card miles to book a hotel or flight for you—you would need to book on your own if you’d like to utilize them. “You are also not capable of using points or miles to purchase flights on sites like Expedia or Orbitz, also, only directly on the company’s site who is giving the points or miles,” says Vong.
You Find a Fantastic Deal on a Deal Site
Go on and book a travel deal that you discover on a site like Groupon, LivingSocial, or Travelzoo. Just keep in mind that you will want to be bendy with the travel dates (most deals are on hand for off-peak times, like travel only on a weekday, or for a Sunday night at a hotel), and be cautious of expiration dates.