Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Should You Use a Travel Agent


This is a question many people ask.

A travel agent is providing a service. You are using them for their knowledge and their experience. This can be vital when you are looking to travel somewhere new or try a new method of travel. A good travel agent will be able to help you with questions through their own experience. And if they do not have the experience of that particular trip or destination, the good one will tell you while providing your with answers that they have researched.

A travel agent is paid a commission from the company that the travel product is being purchased from. If you choose to buy the item directly from that supplier, the supplier is simply paying themselves the commission. There is very rarely a difference in price between what you will pay booking through a travel agent and what you will pay booking direct with the travel supplier. This is an important item that many people do not realize. Yes some travel agents charge a booking fee or a service fee. An example of this is the $5 booking fee at Travelocity. But most travel agents do not charge you anything. They are paid by the supplier for selling their product and rarely will you see a difference in pricing.

Only a travel agent who worked and booked your trip can represent you when something goes wrong. This one is huge. Although we would like to help you out if we did not book your travel, there is nothing we can do in representing you in your time of need. We can give you advice but we can not represent you. This means you will most likely be given some quick advice and told to contact the travel agent you used or the supplier directly. An unfortunate but real aspect of the business and another reason to use a travel agent who will work to your best needs.

On the other hand. Once you book with a travel agent, they can and should work for your best interests. Did the price of your cruise just drop entitling you to a refund? A good travel agent will get this reduction for you if you are eligible even though this will reduce the agent's commission earned from the cruise line. Trust me I can attest, the good will earned is worth the slight reduction.

A travel agent will also sometimes have access to suppliers the average consumer will not. This can sometimes lead to a better package or deal on your chosen trip or better scheduling. A good agent will work with you to offer the options that will truly meet your needs.

A good agent is also there to help you know when it is in your best interest to spend a little more. Some people incorrectly take this as being sold something, but an agent with experience in your chosen trip can direct you to the things that will make your trip more appealing. Where a little extra spent will really improve the whole experience.

In short you are using a travel agent because they are a single point of contact with knowledge and experience to help you enjoy your travel experience.

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