With everything available at your finger tips why would someone want to use a travel agent rather than making your own arrangements? After all, who knows what you want better than you. Actually, a travel agent might. Most people know the basics of what they want, but what about the things you don’t even know about.
Travel agents spend a great deal of time attending seminars and classes learning about various products so they will know them inside and out in order to provide clients with accurate, up-to-date information. Vendors also often provide agents with specials and discounts that are not advertised to the public. Using a travel agent can save you money, help you find options that fit into your budget and provide you with detailed information about the products.
For example, I had a family come into my agency who wanted to go to Walt Disney World. Their plan was to purchase airline tickets and book their hotel stay. After reviewing their budget, I explained to them that they would save money by including their park passes in their package and that the passes would be added onto their room keycards so they wouldn’t have to wait in line to pick them up at the park. I also talked to them about adding a meal plan to their package. Their concerns with the meal plan were that there would be very limited places they could eat and they would end up eating nothing but hot dogs and hamburgers the entire time. Also, how much the plan really saved them. I explained that they would have no problem finding places to eat, that the majority of restaurants were covered by the meal plan and that they would have a wide variety of meal options. When they went into a restaurant they could pick any entree off the menu as well as a drink and desert. They also could eat at the hotel restaurant which had four different food stations that included meals such as London Broil and Maui Maui.
Also by booking through our agency they would receive a coupon book that included coupons for free refillable drink cups, tokens for the hotel arcade, free souvenirs plus $15.00 in food at Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney, entrance to the arcade in Downtown Disney, as well as many other great money saving coupons.
In the end, I put together a great package for them that fit into their budget and was able to save them money as well as provide them with some great amenities. Had they booked their vacation on their own they would have spent more money and gotten much less.
Travel agents can be very valuable tools for saving money and learning about products. They can inform you about things you may not even have thought of such as countries that require you to have a visa even though you are only passing through the airport on your way to another country or how you can have a meal in someone’s home in a foreign country. Contrary to what many people think, travel agents aren’t just out to up sell you. Agents want to build a loyal client base and the way to do that is to meet clients expectations and then go beyond that. They want their clients to leave their office with a smile on their faces not feel like they’ve just gone ten rounds with a used car salesman.