If you have never used an agent to book your travel, you may have some misconceptions about the services that many agencies offer. While it may not work for everyone or every destination, there are many circumstances that provide the perfect opportunity to enlist some expert assistance.
Have you recently tried to book a trip for your family online? In some instances, you can do very well on your own. If you know all the tricks of the trade and have the time to research all the possibilities, you may find the price that is just right. Before I became a travel agent, I was the queen of internet travel research. I had never used an agent and I was pretty well traveled personally and professionally. It wasn’t until I needed to book an international trip in a country where I had no contacts and could only rely on the ratings of internet sites for travel tips that I had my first experience with someone else booking my trip. What I discovered is that it did not cost me anything extra, and I had someone handle all the details that made my trip memorable.
Fast forward and now I have the pleasure of helping others with their planning. These are just a few of the reasons that you may consider using an agent:
Your schedule does not allow you to spend the time required to research the perfect vacation for your family. An expert can help you narrow your choices and price options in a much shorter time frame.
Updated information for your destination can make or break your trip. It would be important to know that the hotel you have chosen is on a very noisy highway or the portion of the park your children were most excited about visiting is closed for renovation.
On occasion, having an agent book your trip can also reward you with upgrades. Cruise lines, car rental companies and hotels have been known to give upgrades to passengers booked through an agency if space permits. It is also extremely helpful if you have a problem to have your agent handle it for you. Unfortunately, when mistakes are made, it is sometimes more difficult for an individual traveler to receive the service that he/she deserves.
It is also very helpful if you are traveling to a destination that can be confusing with all the options, such as Disney. You certainly can book your own trip but it is nice to have the assistance of someone who can book your room, reserve your character dining and help you with the three generations of your family that will be attending. Also, if you are traveling to a destination that has different specials during the year, wouldn’t you like to have those options prior to booking your trip?
Many agencies do not charge for these services. The hotels, resorts or cruise lines almost always cover the commission. Some agencies will charge a fee for booking when only airline tickets are purchased. In this instance, you can always check prices yourself and compare. I always provide my clients with the best options I can find and then they can decide if it is the right fit for them.
Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions. I would love to help you plan your next trip!
Wendy Hershey is our Smarty Disney travel expert, but she does so much more than Disney! We will be learning the tricks of the trade each month on CSP. You can find Wendy at:
Wendy Hershey, TNT Travel
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