Sure, a traveler can spend hours doing research about where to go on vacation. But they will never learn as much as a travel professional knows; after all, you spend all day, every day doing research on travel!
Here’s just a brief list of some of the things you know much better than anyone.
(Thanks to American Express Travel for their insights and feedback for this article.)
1. How to personalize your trip.
Travelers are seeking experiences that reflect their lives, passion and distinct needs—and a good travel agent is highly trained to create itineraries that reflect clients’ unique lifestyles. They can not only recommend the right destination and property to meet your needs, but also customize your travel itinerary for a seamless trip experience.
2. Local knowledge.
Travel advisors can introduce you to the world of the locals and ensure you experience the authentic and the unexpected, while staying within your budget. They can offer in-destination experts to provide insider access to unique events, offbeat excursions, and unconventional itineraries.
3. How to add value.
Your travel agent is always in the know about current and upcoming promotions. They have access to the best rates, and often also to comps or food & beverage or spa credit.
4. How to find a room when none seems to be available.
Even when a website shows no availability on rooms during your travel dates, they are not always actually sold out. Many properties hold inventory on reserve for partner travel companies. Agents can also help avoid misleading room names, such as “mountain views” that overlook the parking lot.
5. How to troubleshoot for you.
From minor glitches to major disasters, it’s when something goes wrong that the value of travel advisors really kicks in. Travel agents can change flights, upgrade and rebook hotel rooms, find missing luggage, and submit an insurance claim.
6. How to ask about dietary restrictions.
Noting an increase in queries regarding dining options and food allergies, many agents have accrued a more in-depth knowledge of hotels and cruise lines that cater to individual health requirements, so they can recommend the best option for each client.