Many people do not understand the role of the Travel Agent. They think they will save money and get a better experience by arranging and booking all of their travel themselves – here are 7 reasons why they are wrong!
Your money is much safer when you book through a Travel Agent.
The vast majority of Travel Agents around the world have bonding in place to ensure that should they or their suppliers go into liquidation, the services that you have paid them for will still be honoured, or if for any reason they cannot be, you will receive a full refund of all monies paid. You should always ask your Agent what arrangements are in place for your financial protection should the worst occur. If you make your own independent arrangements, you will generally have no protection whatsoever should one or all of your suppliers fail.
When you book on the Internet there is no real way to know exactly what you are getting.
Descriptions are purposely vague. Photos can be distorted or carefully chosen to omit undesirable elements. User reviews are unreliable as many are obvious fakes and even the ones that are not need to be taken with a pinch of salt as they may only reflect an isolated occurrence, or the opinion of one person who may or may not be qualified to make a considered judgement.
Independent Travel Agents are the real experts
Travel Agents will have been to the places they are recommending to you and will have established trusting relationships with their suppliers, who will in turn be highly motivated to please you. Agents will not only help you choose the destination that best matches your requirements, but will advise you where to stay based on your preferences, what to pack depending on the time of year you are travelling, what to do while you are there and will generally prevent you from making mistakes that might ruin your trip. Half the fun of travel is having new experiences, however when you book through a faceless website you may have more unsavoury experiences than enjoyable ones. Travel Agents know that they are staking their reputation and any future business on the recommendations they make to you and they take that very seriously.
Travel Agents are there for you if something goes wrong.
When something changes or goes wrong with a trip you’ve booked yourself you are forced to enter the dreaded abyss that is phone or even worse, online support. Travel Agents do not have to go down this route. They will have an account representative or a business development manager that answers to them when the best laid plans go awry. These people are often compensated according to how much business the Agency gives them, so they are highly motivated to keep your Travel Agent happy. This means that you can go back to enjoying your trip, because once you’ve called, emailed, or text messaged your Agent, you can rest assured that you have passed your problem to the person who is best placed to resolve it for you.
Travel Agents do all the work for you.
Even a straight forward trip is likely to involve at least two or three suppliers, which means that the process of pulling all the pieces together can be extremely complex and time consuming. Added to which you may never know if you have made the best choices from those available. A good Travel Agent will know the best suppliers for your particular requirements and will be able to assemble your itinerary far more quickly than you would be able to yourself, whilst enabling you to deal with just one organisation rather than several.
Travel Agents give you more for your money.
When you work with a good Travel Agent not only will they often be able to match online prices, but they may be able to offer you added value. This might take the form of a bottle of wine in your room, free breakfast, free room upgrades or special events and activities. Travel suppliers tend to look for ways to give special treatment to people who have booked through a Travel Agency because they know that the best way to get an Agent to recommend their product to others, is to have one of their customers return from their trip fully satisfied.
Travel Agents will give you greater booking flexibility.
When you book online, in most cases you have to take the non-refundable option in order to obtain the best pricing. Usually this is not true for Travel Agents. Travel Agents offer the opportunity for future business to a supplier and in exchange for this they are afforded much more flexibility in booking and payment terms. Not only can a travel agent often hold space for a period of time without a deposit, they can also make changes that an internet traveller cannot make and in certain cases they may be able to get price adjustments if the costs come down between when you book and when you travel.
ProTravelAdvisors.com brings together discerning travellers and many of the UK’s leading Independent Travel Agents, to create bespoke travel plans to suit every requirement and budget.