10 Reasons Travelers Still Need a Travel Agent

by Anna Gleksman


In the age of technology, booking trips online is an easy choice for travelers. And yet the business of travel agents in the United States soared last year—ASTA reported that more of half of all agents saw an increase in clients, transactions, and revenue in 2014 over 2013, and their profits are expected to grow 12% in 2015.

Here are 10 reasons that help explain why that is, from a customer’s perspective.

1. Accountability
A travel agent’s job is on the line with every trip. Travel agents have a boss to answer to—or they are the boss—and they are a real person clients can speak with to work things out.

2. Knowledge
Travel agents have been doing the job for years and know all the ins and outs. Traveling to Europe for the first time? Instead of deciding where to go based on anonymous comments on a website, speak to someone who does this for a living and knows what they’re talking about.  

3. More for your money
When booking an expensive trip, travelers want to see everything and experience the best a city has to offer. A travel agent can ensure travelers dollars go a long way—and make sure they don’t miss that amazing restaurant down the street, or the special event going on the day their in town.  A travel agent knows where to go and when.

4. Setting an Itinerary
While some people enjoy “just winging it,” a travel agent can give a clear-cut schedule of what will be happening on a day-to-day basis, and keep clear records of everything that is included in the trip.

5. Budgeting
A travel agent can help map out exactly how much a trip will cost, so there are no surprises. Does that excursion on Monday include lunch, for example, or do you have to buy your own? Does it pay to take the drinks package on the cruise ship, or pay for the excursions in advance? A travel agent can guide you and save you money.

6. Insurance
Things happen. A travel agent can offer insurance in a number of ways, from guaranteeing that the hotel is safe and the company running the excursion won’t rob a traveler, to actually advising on which insurance policies are needed, from trip cancellation to medical emergencies. They also insure that travelers will have the correct travel documents, so they don’t end up missing their plane or cruise. And when things do go wrong, travel agents have the resources and the contacts to get travelers to the head of the line.

7. Resources
At the touch of travel agents’ fingertips they have resources a traveler simply does not. Yes, we have the internet, but there is so much still left unknown, especially in places that are undiscovered.

8. Exclusivity
Let’s face it, we all want to be a little bit different. A travel agent knows the new destinations and the new places in them —and often they can get their client in. Through their partners, they also often get freebies for their customers that range from a free drink to an exclusive admission to a hot event.

9. Time savings 
Spending hours and weeks researching the perfect trip can take up a ton of time during a busy work week. Travel agents will spend a little time getting to know their clients and what they are looking for, and then put together an entire vacation customized for them.

10. Leverage
Can’t book a room at a place you really want? Had a last minute addition to a trip but all the rooms are booked? No problem. Travel agents spend years developing long-term relationships, and travel companies understand how important their repeat business is. Travel agents have leverage with most hotel companies and resorts, and they are more likely to get what they want than a single consumer.

In short, if you have never visited a travel agent, you are missing out on a chance to save time and hassles and aggravation—and often, money as well.

  249
  60
TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=64b3c7ec-38ec-e911-9b23-782bcb667b27)

Top 5 Conversation Starters About Travel Insurance

Most travelers understand the need to have travel insurance, and most will agree to purchase it, if the option is presented in a clear way by their trusted travel advisor.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Americans Want More Culturally Immersive Vacations, MMGY Study Says

Millennials and Gen Xers want to learn about new cultures when traveling. 

Hurricane Humberto Expected to Grow to Category 3 Storm, Will Impact Bermuda

Cruise lines are making itinerary changes ahead of the storm, and airlines are issuing waivers.

Hurricane Dorian, Now Category 2 Storm, Traveling Parallel to Florida Coast

While some cancellations and closures are still in effect, travel is beginning to run back on schedule.

Hurricane Dorian Update: Storm Set to Hit Florida as Category 3 Hurricane

The latest track for Dorian has the storm hitting the East Coast of Florida over Labor Day weekend as a major Category 3 hurricane.

How Facial Recognition Technology is Being Used at Airports

The increased use of facial recognition technology at airports is raising serious concerns about privacy and security for the traveling public.

AAA Predicts Record-Breaking 48.9 Million Americans Will Travel on July 4th

Nearly 2 million more travelers than last year are expected to plan trips for Independence Day this year, which could lead to record-high delays.

News Briefs
Tip of the Day

“There is still a lot to be said for the human connection and the personal touch for travelers who want to ensure they have a good experience away from home.”

Roxanne Boryczki

AZ Trails Travel

Daily Top List

Top Holiday Destinations

  1. The Peloponnese, Greece
  2. Matera, Italy
  3. Perth, Western Australia
  4. The Scottish Highlands
  5. St. Barth’s Caribbean

Source: Conde Nast Traveller

TMR Outlooks