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Top Ten Reasons to Use a Travel Agent | Travel & Vacation Tips & Resources

Top Ten Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

If you are planning a vacation abroad or stateside, here are ten advantages in choosing a travel agent to book your trip.

  1. Travel agents can recommend destinations more than any online travel company because they have been there. For years, travel agents have been given free or discounted trips by tour operators so they can effectively sell that destination to clients. Moreover, travel agents are more likely to travel to areas here and abroad more than once – just to stay abreast of new hotels, accommodations, amenities, local tour operators, and areas of interest.
  2. Travel agents are experienced. Agents are mandated to take courses to learn how to operate and understand reservation systems such as SABRE, for example. This reservation system is given by American Airlines in a week-long training process. The agent learns how to obtain fares and how to price complex itineraries.
  3. An agent who owns their own agency has to be certified in order to establish their business. These agents must gain formal approval from suppliers or corporations such as airlines, ship lines, or rail lines to extend credit on reservations and ensure payment. The Airlines Reporting Corporation and the International Airlines Travel Agency Network are the approving bodies for airlines. To gain approval, an agency must be financially sound and employ at least one experienced manager or travel agent.
  4. Tour operators rely on travel agents to promote their destinations. The tour operators provide year-round workshops, trips, and other literature and media to enhance the travel agent’s knowledge in a specific area.
  5. Travel agents have the ability to work directly with airlines and hotels for group tours, thus enjoying substantial savings for the client. They are visited by representatives of hotels, tour operators, and airlines who constantly update the agent with rates and information relevant to their clientele.
  6. Agents are the first to receive the latest literature from tour operators, hotels, and sightseeing operators showcasing their destinations as well as prices for the upcoming year.
  7. Utilizing a travel agent is akin to one-stop shopping. Whatever package or non-package you desire, the travel agent can accommodate you. Further, the agent will book your flight, provide a seat number on the flight, order meals where applicable, issue your airline ticket and boarding pass, provide you with an itinerary (directly from the tour operator, if you booked a package), go over every portion of the package with you, provide you with flight insurance if needed, and answer any and all questions you may have.
  8. Who is better to discuss a future destination with than a travel agent, especially one who has been there? The same cannot be said for online travel companies who may or may not have feedback from clients posted on their website.
  9. Travel agents have more knowledge about destinations, airline travel, airports, sightseeing tours, and tour operators than anyone else in the industry. Moreover, they can alert you to problem areas where travel would not be appropriate. They can talk to you about the best time of day to visit certain attractions, offer suggestions on off-the-beat places to visit in certain countries, recommend tour packages that are more suited to your needs, and provide an overall sense of what destinations you would like.
  10. It is the fact that the travel agent gets to know each client individually that sets them apart from the online travel companies. They do not just hand out a brochure on a whim, or book any flight to a destination. They listen and ask direct questions such as: Is this your first time traveling abroad? What are your likes and dislikes? How much time do you have to spend on this vacation? What is your budget? What are your interests?

It is this personal touch that allows the agent to research destinations and come up with one that is right for you. Of course, if you have a place in mind they will find the best possible tour and/or rate for you.

The internet may be a great recourse for many things, but the one thing it lacks is the human factor. Contact your travel agent for your next trip – they are truly indispensable.


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