One of the main questions I get is as a travel agent is, “Why should I book with a travel agent instead of booking online myself”? My question for them is, “Why not”? Many people have the misconception that booking with a travel agent is going to cost them more money. In most cases we can beat or at least match the pricing you are finding online. When you book with a travel agent you also receive a lot of added value and personalized service. I have been in the travel industry for 12 years, and I wanted to share with you the many ways that using a travel agent can save the day.
In September 2017 I had a group of 109 people traveling to Punta Cana from worldwide destinations. This group just happened to be traveling right after Hurricane Maria, and Hurricane Irma came close to making a visit during their stay. They had a wonderful time, but the real work came when it was time for them to travel home. About half of the group’s flights got canceled on the return portion of their trip, because Hurricane Irma was disrupting flights in the US. I was able to help get all of these misplaced travelers re-booked for the following day. This group was extremely thankful since they would not have known where to start had they booked their travel arrangements on their own.
As a travel agent, I also highly recommend getting travel insurance. A lot of people will say, “I am going on this trip no matter what, so I do not need travel insurance.” What they don’t realize is that travel insurance is for unforeseen circumstances. I actually just traveled with my husband to Ireland in March, and I was so thankful that I had travel insurance. A lot of people don’t realize that travel insurance goes so much further than just cancellation, most policies also have coverage for trip delay and trip interruption. Who would have thought that our flight from Amsterdam to Ireland would encounter a major delay due to snow in Ireland? Our luggage did not make it with us to Dublin, and we did not see our luggage for 7 days! Our particular insurance policy would cover up to $300pp for baggage delay so we were able to buy clothes, hygiene items and luggage to get us by while we awaited our luggage. It was a life saver!
I have also had clients who were traveling to Brazil who were waiting to get their Visa until the new e-Visas became available for US Citizens. I found out that the new e-Visas were not coming out until a couple days before they left the US, and that they could take 72 hours be be approved. I worked with a wonderful company called VIP Journeys, and they were able to use one of their contacts at the Brazilian Embassy in Atlanta to help expedite their Visas through before their trip. I do not think this would have happened if we weren’t working with one of our wonderful travel partners.
There is a lot more to planning a vacation than looking for the best price. Working with a travel professional can really help save the day when you encounter a crisis. Book your next vacation with a travel agent, and we’ll show you how stress-free your vacation can really be.