Have you ever asked yourself, “Should I use a travel agent to book my trip?” Or maybe, “Why should I use a travel agent to book my trip when I can simply do it myself?”
There is an increasing misconception that travel agents have gone the way of the typewriter and are not needed anymore to book your trip – something that anyone with access to the Internet and Google can do it; can book that dream vacation themselves online, but the truth be told; they do a lot more beyond planning your vacations.
There are numerous details and logistics to consider when planning a trip. A travel agent knows how to get the best deals on flights, hotels, transfers, sightseeings or excursions – and they also know how to put these all together in the most cost efficient way. That means you spend less money as well as less fruitless time trawling the internet.
Read on to learn more about why travel agents are essential to planning a successful vacation.
1. You will save a lot of time
Just assume, you need to book hotel rooms in multiple places, hire transport for sightseeings, search for best but budget restaurants and organize tickets as well. So, travelers will visit one site for ticket booking, check out other six to seven sites to book transport, call them and make arrangements. Then they’ll look up the best hotels on Tripadvisor, before finally making a booking. This whole process can take at least 3 hours, while a travel agent has already done the research and can get you all confirmed bookings in 10 minutes. They save you the time that usually goes into researching, comparing options, determining flight schedules, processing visas, choosing hotels, booking sightseeings, researching packing lists, and much more. Do not hesitate to contact a travel agent, there is no fee for asking a quote and that may save you a lot of time.
2. You will save money – Yes, seriously
People prefer booking travel services directly as they think they will be charged extra for the agent’s services. This is simply incorrect. Booking through a travel agent typically won’t cost you more. Most agents make their commission directly through the travel suppliers and wholesalers they do business with. In fact that’s how they make their income. While some agents will charge you a nominal planning fee, many agencies do not charge anything extra for their services. Also, thanks to connections and local knowledge, travel agents are also updated with deals and promotions that will make you save big on your bookings such as hotel, activities and transportation.
3. Get you the best deals
Being industry insiders, travel agents establish close working relationships with the local suppliers and vendors, thereby getting inside access to special discounts, hidden inventory, new and exciting itineraries and direct channels to the decision makers. Having access to everything on the Internet along with supplemental insider information, you can be rest assured they will find you the very best deal to meet your needs.
4. Knowledge of travel agents
Travel agents offer many things that the Internet does not, including personal knowledge, expertise and experience of destinations. It is not only about visiting touristy places but also about experiencing what the local way of life is, whether that be a great dinner at a small café, karaoke night at a famous pub or tickets to a private show. This is the travel agent’s job to offer you unique experiences and memorable vacation. There’s nothing worse than making travel arrangements yourself only to find out that the pool at your resort or your favorite attraction is closed for refurbishment throughout your stay. Booking with an agent can prevent things like this from happening. Not only will the agent help you book a trip, he will help you build your trip. For tourist holidays, most of the common questions are; where is the best place to go, best place to stay, best things to do, best place to eat? The answer is that there is no “best” place in general – but there is a place best suited for you.
5. Give you an unbiased honest opinion
Travel agents live and breathe travel; they travel themselves to become familiar with the products and destinations, meet with representatives from travel companies around the world and do hours of research to provide you the value of deep expertise in the wide variety of travel options and share the pros and cons in order to help you evaluate which trip is right for you based on your preferences, priorities, and price point. Travel agents work with all of them and hold no bias, so they are able to give you all the information; positive and negative – to help you choose wisely.
For instance, you prefer a specific hotel. You ask the travel agent and they will say something like “It is a nice hotel, excellent amenities, muticuisine restaurant, large pool, AC in every room, however it is next to an oil factory”. If you had asked the hotel they would say “The best hotel on a beautiful beach and centrally located”. Saw the difference?
6. One point of contact throughout the planning process
When you book your vacation with a travel agent, that agent will be your main contact throughout the planning process i.e. from the day you inquire till you return safely to your home. You only need to contact your agent with all of your questions and concerns. Your agent will then work with the airline, hotel or supplier on all the details. You will not need to contact any of them for anything.
If you book directly through the airline, hotel or supplier, you will speak with a different agent each time you call and you will be requested to share complete details of the booking repeatedly. You will not have the personal relationship you develop when you work directly with one travel agent. There’s no need to explain something more than once when you have just one point of contact.
7. Emergency contact during travel
No traveler wants to think about an emergency occurring during their vacation. Unfortunately these things can happen. Missed your flight? Weather emergencies? Lost luggage? Hotel can’t locate your reservation? Flight cancelled/delayed? Pick up/drop issue? Medical emergency overseas? A travel agent has all this covered for you. You always have someone on stand-by throughout your trip. They can help with troubleshooting when such last minute issues pop up in an unknown city or country. They don’t stop working for you once you’ve booked the trip. Connections with all global contacts allows them to be your voice and help resolve issues if something were to go wrong during your trip. All you have to do is pick up the phone, call your agent and relax while they start working behind the scenes to assist you.
When planning your dream vacation, you will want everything to be perfect. How long would you need to organize a perfect trip? Several hours, days or weeks and will it be really perfect? You can read online tips, reviews, books, blogs and ask all of your friends what they recommend and chances are you will get a different opinion from every one. Yes, everyone has their own opinion about the “right” way to do it. You have to decide what is right for you and your family. This is where the knowledge of an expert is beneficial. A good travel agent will give you the pros and cons for all the different travel products and allow you to decide what works best for you and your family. You will no more need to worry about coordinating flight bookings, hotel reservations, visa stamps or tours.
Just as you hire an expert to manage your taxes or paint your house, you should let an experienced travel agent plan the perfect vacation for you. When you book your trip with Akbar Travels you are in very safe hands. We do absolutely everything for you, all you need to do is turn up at the airport with your travel documents and go! And we are here for you 24/7 if you need us for any reason during your holiday.