A travel agent is a very valuable partner to have on your side. Some would say a priceless partner in the era of pandemic travel. That said, if you are looking for the cheapest price on your next trip, then I do not want to waste your time. This article is not for you. Go to Costco and via con Dios. Just please, do not call me when you have questions, are stranded somewhere, or hit a brick wall.
You got what you paid for. If you are the type of person who values great service, support, and advocacy, then you are the right type of person to partner with a travel advisor. During the worst of Covid, when people were stranded all over the world or left in the lurch with cancellations, travel advisors demonstrated their true value.
Our community went from being travel planners to crisis mangers in a heartbeat. Behind the scenes, colleagues, and even fierce competitors, worked tirelessly together to help each other solve problems for clients. As you will understand in a moment, we did all of this without pay.
- It is difficult to put a value on something that the public never sees but that network is priceless in a time of need
- Instead of asking, how much does it cost to work with a travel agent, the right question to be asking here is, how valuable is your own time? On any given day, experienced travel agent will already have the answers to the questions you spent hours to find on google
In addition, they most likely have vetted local contacts with insider tips on experiences typical travelers would never know about. Travel agents know how to balance and fine tune itineraries to allow you to enjoy the most immersive time and the least travel time.
Travel agents are precise because they are well practiced, planning hundreds of itineraries compared to someone who may plan one or two trips per year. Under normal circumstances, a travel agent can make travel planning easier and enhance your vacation enjoyment.
BUT…. The travel industry has changed dramatically since Covid. Many airlines, hotels, cruise lines and tour companies have laid off or furloughed thousands of workers. New hires are inexperienced and phone hold times of 3-4 hours to make reservations or straighten out mistakes are currently the norm.
As airlines and cruise ships resume operations there are frequent cancellations and schedule changes. Travelers need an experienced professional on their side more than ever to prevent problems and advocate on their behalf.
To add another layer of complexity, many countries and destinations have new Covid health and safety rules that change frequently. Travel agents are well versed and can mean the difference when it comes to arriving prepared and avoiding frustration and financial losses.
- If there was ever a time to work with a travel agent, the time is now
- A travel agent earns their living by sales commissions paid to them by hotels, tour companies and cruise lines
- Airlines do not pay commission and that is why most travel agents that sell airline tickets will charge a small service fee
Cancellations during covid meant travel advisors were not paid any commission for the hours of work they spent planning itineraries or the hours and days it took to cancel those same reservations. In many cases, it took months to obtain refunds or travel credit for their clients.
- Throughout lockdown, trave agents continued to advocate for their clients, without pay, simply because it was the right thing to do! Even prior to Covid, experienced travel advisors, charge a service fee before they will do any itinerary work
Why?. Because so many people will contact a travel agent simply looking for free travel advice. The agent will spend time with these prospective clients, sharing expertise and the client will then book travel services directly, which means the travel agent is not paid for their work or time invested.
Travel agents simply need to insure they are not wasting time and are being fairly compensated for their work. While there are still a few agents who will offer free travel quotes, the most confident and experienced travel professionals will charge a service fee.
Fees can range from $50-$500 based on their years of experience and destination knowledge. Some luxury agents will charge a percentage in advance of booking private jets and islands. Travel advisors will always inform clients of any service fees in advance.
Agents will usually have prospective clients register and pay service fees before any itinerary work is completely. At Vacationkids, we want to be play fair and our goal is to create trusted partnerships with our families.
With any travel inquiry, we schedule a free, 15 min consultation via phone or zoom. During this time, our travel advisors will access if we can bring benefit to your family’s travel planning or not. If we both agree to move forward, we will ask you to register with our agency.
Once fully registered, we will begin working on your next travel adventure. If you complete your trip, we do not charge any additional service fees because we will be paid via commission from your tour company, resort, or cruise line.
If for any reason, you choose not to move forward with your travel plans, then we will not receive any commission. In these situations, we will charge a $200 service fee so that we are paid for the time we have invested in you. Some families travel together in larger groups.
- Other families may require complicated or very intensive itinerary planning
- Negotiating group contracts, building online booking pages for groups or extended trips abroad do require a larger investment of our time
In these situations, we will charge upfront service fees that are based on the specific situation and agreed upon but all parties in advance. Indeed, our clients certainly do appreciate our value when they compare the itinerary and experiences we create for them verses their own DIY attempts at travel planning. Your blog post content here… Topics: family vacations, Affordable Family Vacations, Family Vacation, family vacation ideas, travel tips .
Is there a fee to use a travel agent?
But doesn’t the cost of using an agent invalidate the savings? — Not at all! The cost of using a travel agent is generally marginal, and oftentimes they won’t charge you at all. Much of their money comes from the hotels and wholesalers they do business with.
Is it a good idea to use a travel agent?
They will be your advocate. — One of the best ways to utilize a travel agent is as an advocate should something derail on your trip. They can help you with lost luggage, in the case of natural disasters, if you get stuck in a location before your trip, etc.
What does a travel agent give you?
Travel agents are key professionals dedicated to helping individuals and families create memories that will last a lifetime. Through their expertise, research, and services, individuals can plan vacations or trips that are directly catered to their wants and needs. A travel agent is a highly organized professional who is passionate about travel and helping others. They are focused on creating the best possible experiences, directly catered to their clients. They work with hotels, airlines, and other vendors to create travel packages and experiences that their clients will love. Travel agents can work with large groups, individuals, families, professional organizations, and others to help create seamless travel experiences that help create memories.
Planning a dream vacation can be stressful for an individual or a family, and having a travel agent can make the process much easier. If you’re passionate about travel, organization, and helping others, a career as a travel agent can be a great fit.
The primary role of a travel agent is to help people make travel arrangements, which might include booking flights, hotels, sightseeing tours, and making dining recommendations. A travel agent assesses each customer’s unique needs, preferences, and budget to ensure their trip goes as smoothly as possible. Here are the core day-to-day responsibilities you’ll typically find yourself performing as a travel agent:
- Meeting with clients to discuss upcoming travel plans and gather information regarding travel dates, transportation, and budget. This may be done face-to-face in a brick-and-mortar setting or online.
- Planning the travel itineraries for clients and arranging transportation, lodging, and activities throughout the trip.
- Advising clients on important aspects of their travel plans. This may include providing information on passports, visas, customs, insurance, vaccinations, and trip cancellation policies.
- Keeping accurate records of client bookings, such as payments, travel dates, flight numbers, and hotel check-in and check-out dates
- Handling any travel issues that arise, including flight or hotel cancellations, delays, conflicts, and refunds.
Due to the customer-focused nature of travel agent jobs, it’s ideal to be passionate about and/or have experience in hospitality. Those who make the best travel agents tend to be versatile and have a friendly personality where they’re concerned with keeping clients happy, comfortable, and safe. A bachelor’s degree in business management is a great starting place for those interested in becoming a travel agent.
This type of degree will give you experience and knowledge in finances, marketing, organization, and strategy. This is key for those who are working with multiple clients, vendors, handling budgets, and marketing themselves to clients.
A bachelor’s degree can help you stand out from other candidates in working for larger companies and organizations as well.
Why use a travel agent instead of booking online?
Travel Agents Could Save You Time Compared to Booking Online — If you’re like me, you spend a ton of time researching your destination and fine-tuning your plan to make your vacation as flawless as possible. But there is so much information out there to dig through online, especially for a new destination, to be sure you are getting a good deal and booking with a trustworthy company.
Travel agencies take that responsibility from you, and in turn, save you a bunch of time. As long as you are booking with a reputable agent who is experienced in your destination, you can be sure that they are an expert.
In the same way, you can have a high level of confidence that you won’t be left sleeping on a bench when you get there, and you won’t be riding a scary bus with no AC on your tour. Your travel agent should know who to trust and who does what best, setting you up for a great trip.
What are the disadvantages of using a travel agent?
8 Great Reasons NOT to use a travel agent
Are travel agents cheaper than online?
Travel agents are closing branches as more people head online to book their holidays. However, our research has found that visiting a high street travel agent can be just as cheap. So, should we turn to them more often?How did you book your last overseas holiday? These days, most people use the internet to book a trip.
In fact, from 2007 to 2011, the number of holidays arranged in travel agency branches dropped by 16% – although they still accounted for an impressive 17 million bookings last year. It’s harder for many people to find a local travel branch now.
As companies continue to merge, the number of branches run by the big name companies is dwindling. And many branches have relocated to out-of-town retail parks – First Choice has done this a lot.
Are travel agents worth it 2021?
If you’re thinking about booking a vacation in 2021, it’s a no brainer to book with a travel advisor. Working with an agent can save you both time and money and in turn, reduce all the stress that comes along with travel planning. Most agencies don’t charge a fee, but even if the one you’re going to work with does, it’s 100 percent worth it.
In the long run, they will end up saving you money on your vacation. Here’s how. First and foremost, you can’t put a price on the amount of time you’ll save. Some people put hours, days and even weeks into planning a vacation.
When you work with a travel advisor, they do all the busy work and extensive research. They’ll end up presenting you with a beautiful itinerary that would have taken you ages to put together. They also know all the current deals and promotions. When you let them know what type of trip you’re looking for, they’ll be able to pull up the best deal that will work for you.
- Travel advisors work closely with various tour operators, resorts and other travel companies
- Oftentimes these companies provide agents with exclusive rates to offer their clients (aka you)
- Another perk of agents having close relationships with their travel partners is that they can help you avoid change and cancellation fees if something comes up to alter your trip
What might take you five hours to figure out on the phone takes a travel agent one simple email to a partner. They will also make sure to hook you up with the best travel insurance plan, so you don’t have to worry about spending a bunch of money when a hiccup presents itself.
The year 2020 has been met with ever-changing travel requirements. What’s optional one day is mandatory the next. Do you really want to spend time figuring out what you all need to visit a destination only to arrive and pay out of pocket for a COVID-19 test you didn’t realize you had to take? Probably not.
Let an agent take care of all of this for you. Booking with a travel advisor in 2021 will not only aid in the travel industry’s recovery, but it will also help out a small business. You’ll help the advisor get back on track and yourself to save money..
Does anyone still use travel agents?
Yes—and now they’re called travel advisors. They could be more helpful than you may think. If the idea of using a travel agent to plan your next trip sounds like recommending a rotary phone to confirm your flight reservation, think again. Travel agents—often known as travel advisors today—are alive and well in the age of Google flight searches and HotelTonight app bookings, flexing their muscular connections to hotel, tour, and cruise companies to get their clients good deals, convenient itineraries, and tailored experiences.
Virtuoso, a network of advisors specializing in luxury travel, increased its membership by 14 percent (to 20,000) in 2018, testifying to the strength of the industry. When should you use an advisor? For simple getaways, it may be easier and cheaper to go it alone.
«If you’re going to Vermont for a fall weeekend, it probably makes no sense to use a travel agent,» says Kevin Brasler, executive editor for the nonprofit watchdog group Consumers’ Checkbook. «Where a travel advisor can add value to the equation is when the itinerary is slightly more complicated or you have children or grandparents along,» says Mollie Fitzgerald, co-owner of Frontiers travel company.
- Advisors also can help plan trips that align with personal values such as conservation and sustainability
- Advisors not only expedite planning, but they can be your back-up should anything go wrong
- When a flight is canceled, a hotel reservation is lost, or a natural disaster strikes, they are there to help
Ultimately, their connections can become your conduit to a smoother and more stimulating trip. If you decide to use an advisor, here are some tips for how to do it:.
Can a travel agent get cheaper flights?
A lot of travelers wonder if there are any benefits of booking flights through travel agents. Let us assure you that in the modern age of technology which has turned every traveler into his own trip planner, travel agents hold their own importance. While the travel agent vs.
do it yourself saga is seemingly endless, there are quite a few advantages of booking flights through a travel agent. Keep reading if you wish to know why using travel agents to book flights still happens to be a great idea.
Advantages of Using a Travel Agent vs. Booking Online: Travelers often wonder whether to book flights direct or through agents. While you may be able to find cheap airfares by yourselves, booking flights using the services of a travel agent will prove to be a lot more cost effective.
So how do travel agents book flights at cheaper rates than you? They are able to do this because they have access to airline fares that ordinary travelers don’t. That is just one of the several benefits of booking flights through travel agents.
Following are listed a few more benefits you can check if you’ve asked yourself is it better to use a travel agent or book online.
- Travel agents have access to great deals
Is it cheaper to book flights online or with a travel agent in India or elsewhere? This is among the top queries travelers have and the answer is a very surprising one. Booking with travel agents is often cheaper than booking online as they have access to awesome money-saving deals. Privy to secret airline prices, travel agents book scores of air tickets each day and will be able to easily tell you if the flight price you found online is a reasonable one.
- It is cost effective and time-saving
If you were thinking why use a travel agent instead of booking online, it’s because booking with travel agents will be a lot cheaper than booking online. Travel agents can help you avail airline discounts, codes, and coupons which would ordinarily be inaccessible to you. Booking with them will also enable you to save precious hours you’d otherwise have to spend poring over the internet looking for money-saving deals.
- There are no hidden fee charges
Plenty of travel agents or agencies have no hidden charges. In fact, some of them won’t even charge you anything and make their money from the suppliers. Those who charge are upfront about it. This kind of transparency is among the biggest benefits of booking flights through travel agents. However, don’t expect this from airlines because often times, the prices they display are excluding taxes and other charges which pop up when you reach the payment stage.
- Many travel agents are ‘all inclusive’
What this simply means is that with the right travel agent, you’ll be able to book an entire tour package and not just flights. From hotels and tour groups to cruises and adventure itineraries, travel agents will book anything and everything for you. If you’re wondering about cheap places to stay in India or anywhere else, just ask your travel agent. Also, if you need to head out on an emergency basis, they’ll be able to help you book some cheap last minute flights as well.
- Travel agents offer insurance as well
One of the best benefits of booking flights through travel agents is that they offer insurance as well. Depending on your trip, your health, and the intended destination, travel agents will help you get the best travel insurance covering medical emergencies as well as trip cancellations. Travel agents understand fine print better than travelers and will, therefore, make sure you’re well protected when booking with them.
- They can book your seats together, VIP treatment, and what not!
The chances of you grabbing a business class flight upgrade are higher if you’re using travel agents to book flights. It will be a cakewalk for travel agents to book your seats together in the same flight and at the very same price which would otherwise be quite challenging for you to do on your own. Also, they’re well-connected to major airlines, hotels, and other tour companies and will use that to get you VIP treatment should you wish for it. What could be better benefits of booking flights through travel agents than these!
- Travel agents are available 24/7
Getting someone from an airline to address your concerns can be a frustrating experience, to say the least. On the other hand, one of the best benefits of booking cheap flights through travel agents is that they’re available 24 hours and 7 days a week! One of the biggest benefits of booking flights through travel agents is that it’s relatively easier to get in touch with a travel agent to book flights or address a query when compared to a major airline.
This is one of the topmost benefits of booking flights through travel agents. Not only will travel agents respond faster on call but will also give you personalized attention which you can’t really expect from international airlines.
Can I save money using a travel agent?
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we will get a commission (at no cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase. Please read our affiliate disclosure for more information. With all of today’s options for booking hotels, flights, and activities while you’re on vacation, it’s a common belief that travel agents only add costs to the eventual price of a trip. It’s only natural to avoid using a travel agent when you’re already spending your hard-earned cash on the vacation itself. So, to help you better understand their role, I’ll answer the burning question: do travel agents save you money? In short, yes, travel agents can save you money.
In fact, most travel agents have access to exclusive deals you can’t otherwise find when booking your travel online. Pair that with their extensive knowledge, and you’ll find that using a travel agent is one of the best ways to stay within budget.
So, what exactly can they do to save you money? Well, that’s exactly what we’re about to cover. Let’s jump in!.
How do I book a travel agent?
Step 4: Check the Booking policy and Cancellation charges — When you are sending the confirmation letter to the travel agent, make sure to apply the applicable booking policy and cancellation policy. We need to advise our client about cancellation charges at the time of making the booking.
How do you get a travel agent?
Make sure your adviser understands your travel style — Do you like leisurely, slow trips? Packed itineraries filled with sightseeing and attractions? Do you like to travel alone, or are you planning multigenerational trips with children and grandparents? Ensuring that your adviser understands what you want — and maybe even establishing that they have a similar travel style themselves — can greatly help with building rapport (and allow them to plan an even better trip for you).
Some important questions to ask: Do they charge a planning fee? What are some examples of trips that they’ve planned in the past?»Be really upfront about your budget for a trip, and be sure that that is something they can help you make the most of,» Ms.
Richter said. Ms. Belles suggested asking the adviser how they personally like to travel, and some of their favorite destinations. «Interview them a little bit! You can see whether there are some similarities there,» she said. But make sure they’re asking you just as many questions.
Are travel agents more expensive?
How much time do you spend researching your next vacation? According to Expedia, Americans visit 140 travel websites before booking their next vacation. Could you be saving time and money using a travel agent?»Really truly what we work on is value, you’re getting someone with knowledge and experience on your side, so you don’t have to do all of the work,» said Crystal Seaton with Road to Relaxation Travel.
- Seaton says booking through a travel agent typically won’t cost you more
- She says while some agents will charge you a nominal planning fee, many agencies like hers do not charge anything extra for their services
«We get paid a commission on the back end from the vendor, so that’s how we make our income,» she said. She did say they sometimes charge a fee if it’s for a major complex trip with extensive planning. When it comes to getting the same deals offered online, Seaton says, «99 percent of the time we can get the same deals.
«»What I caution people,» she said, «is to look beyond price to value because sometimes those digital deals come with a lot of small print that you don’t notice upfront. «You need to make sure the advertised price is the final cost, and there are no extra taxes and fees added on after booking.
Seaton gave examples of when travel agents can save their clients’ money on trips to Disney. «We monitor promotions,» she said. «Disney had a fall promotion that’s come out recently. Our agents were up through the night waiting for it to drop based on what we’re hearing, and then we go through the reservations that are booked for us and see who qualifies for it and apply it.
«She says agents do the same thing when it comes to cruises and all-inclusive trips. When you book on your own, you could be locked in on the price. The biggest difference is time. According to Expedia, Americans spend nearly 23 hours on travel websites six weeks prior to booking a vacation.
Those are hours that you could save for other things and let a travel agent do the work for you. If you prefer booking your trip on your own online, Rob Stern, with RobPlansYourTrip. com says consider this: » Travel agents offer many things that the Internet does not, including personal knowledge of destinations and our recent travel experiences, knowing the quality of different travel suppliers, and providing a live resource for help during your trip.
- We have access to some industry only booking engines for travel packages as well
- «If you book through an agent, they can also help when problems arise on your trip
- «Travel agents can help with troubleshooting when suppliers don’t come through, in cases of bad weather, labor strikes, lost luggage, flight delays and cancellations,» he said
«If there’s an issue at a hotel or with a car rental when can often resolve it. We can explain what types of travel protection plans are the best for your type of trip. «Whether you are booking on your own or with an agent, Seaton says, «My best advice is to plan early.
Is it better to use a travel agent or do it yourself?
Travel Agents Can Save You Time — Booking a trip, with all its working parts, can take hours, especially if you’re researching and comparing the best deals, said Avery Harris of Viking Travel. A travel agent will take much less time to help you find what you’re looking for, Harris said.