It’s easy to assume that, in this DIY age of booking travel online, the only people who use travel agents are older and not tech-savvy enough to book trips on their own. But that assumption would be wrong: In its new 2015 Traveler Decision Making Study, the American Society of Travel Agents found that 41 percent of millennials have employed the services of a travel agent in the last year. And according to the same study, 92 percent of people who have worked with a travel agent say they’re likely to use one again.
“A lot of people like the do-it-yourself approach, but for certain trips it does make more sense to get a travel agent,”
Anne Banas, editor of SmarterTravel.com.
If you’re just booking simple flights from point A to point B, perhaps along with a hotel stay, doing it on your own is a no-brainer. But when you’re dealing with a more complicated trip, you’ll save both time and money if you bring in the expertise of a professional.
If you find yourself in one of these situations, a travel agent can make life a lot easier:
When You’re Planning A Group Trip
If you’re coordinating a trip with multiple people, having a travel agent as your point person is invaluable. Everybody has one main contact, and we can handle everything from booking airfare, making room reservations, adding travel insurance. We’re a one-stop shop, and it can save a lot of headache when you’re trying to coordinate with many people. And because agencies like us do so much volume, we can often hook groups up with extra perks.
When You’re Going On A Once-In-A-Lifetime Trip, Like A Honeymoon
If there’s a lot of pressure on a trip, like a honeymoon or a retirement celebration, working with a travel agent can take the pressure off. With a honeymoon, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and you naturally have a lot of other planning to do, as well. One way to make your life a lot easier is to let a travel agent take care of that part.
Whether it’s a honeymoon or a major trip that includes multiple destinations, it takes time to research destinations, make bookings and ensure everything will go smoothly.
When You’re Going On a Complicated Or International Trip
If you’re going to a far-flung locale and you’re not a seasoned traveler, a travel agent can be an invaluable resource. For example, if you’re planning a trip to a place like India, that can be a culture shock and difficult to book, especially if you’re not someone who has traveled a lot. It can also offer you peace of mind to know that if something does go wrong when you’re halfway across the world, there’s someone back home who can help you navigate things.
We’ve had people call us from Mexico with a problem with their reservation, and before they’re done having a drink, we can have it resolved for them. Compare that with some online travel agencies that don’t even provide telephone numbers for contact in case something goes awry.
You could also score better deals working with a travel agent, because we have access to inventory and data that’s not easily searchable or even available online. We recently found a charter fare from a wholesaler that was on the same commercial flight her client was looking at online – but it was hundreds of dollars cheaper. Wholesalers will buy blocks of seats on commercial flights for their travel packages, and they only sell to travel agents. We were able to find a better deal that our client didn’t have access to. Those tickets may not accrue the same number of frequent-flyer miles other fares do, if at all, and may not offer any rebooking flexibility, but they are cheaper.
When You’re Unsure Of Where You Want To Go
Sometimes, a little experience can go a long way. If you don’t know whether you’ll have a better time in Bali or Thailand, or which Caribbean destination will give you the most for your money, talk to a travel agent who can steer you in the right direction. Reading online reviews and guidebooks can only get you so far. A travel agent can ask questions about your preferences, your budget, how much time you have and suggest the best options for you. We have years of experience that you can benefit from.
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When you plan travel with Vacationisms, you're shopping small and supporting a privately owned business based in Goffstown, NH.
We're owned by a husband and wife power duo living locally with their two-nager. Yes, two-nager. When you plan your travel with us, you aren't only supporting our amazing team, you're supporting the community, too. We reinvest heavily in our community in social advocacy, youth development and athletic programs, and we too shop small. We believe that our community is important and we appreciate your business to allow us to continue.