If you’re under 50, then you probably think the internet replaced travel agents. Expedia, Orbitz, and Hotels.com now offer everything the travel agent of yore did.
But you’re wrong.
While it’s true you can now compare prices all by yourself through aggregator tools like those above, those sites don’t actually provide most of the benefits you get from a travel agent.
Using a travel agent in 2019 is actually the best travel hack out there.
Why should you use one? Here’s what they offer.
1. You Save Money on Better Experiences
Anyone can search for a flight or hotel on a site like Orbitz. But you’re at the mercy of an algorithm, and algorithms aren’t people. They don’t understand that you don’t want to fly from Phoenix to Seattle to go to Atlanta for the best price.
But those are the options search engines provide. Yes, they’re cheap, but they’re very imperfect.
Travel agents have the same access to deals, if not better. However, a human intervenes before showing you the results. So you can get a flight at the same price as those internet deals but without the nutty connections.
The same is also true of hotels, cruises, and vacation packages.
2. Unlock Access to Luxury Experiences
Are you booking a luxury honeymoon, anniversary trip, or just a well-earned vacation? Unless you’re a celebrity or you’re willing to be very obnoxious to guest services, you shouldn’t book luxury accommodation without booking through a travel agent, ever.
Hotels like Four Seasons offer serious perks to preferred travel agent partners. And you can only get those perks if you book with them.
Not only do you get the best prices, but you also get a whole bunch of freebies, like breakfasts, spa credits, or guaranteed upgrades. And if you have a travel agent who has a really good relationship with a property, you might get even better treatment.
3. Your Travel Agent Has a Direct Line to Travel Providers
Things happen when you’re on vacation. Natural disasters, strikes, and political events can occur without warning.
In these cases, your travel agent is like your CIA extraction team. See, you can call up your airline and ask customer service to get you out of there. But you’ll spend hours on the phone and may need to wait to leave.
Your travel agent, however, has a direct line. They can wait on the phone for you and schedule your return trip while you pack.
But the direct line offers value even when everything is going well. If you have a question about a flight, all you need to do is call your agent. They can take care of the rest on your behalf.
4. Travel Agents Make Group Travel a Breeze
Are you booking a trip for more than just yourself?
Travel agents make group travel a breeze by taking care of all the details and scoring group travel deals in the process.
While you have spreadsheets, travel agents have powerful software. If Uncle Bob needs a wheelchair access room, and Aunt Marie wants an east window to wake up with the sun, your travel agent can work it out.
All you need to do is tell them what you need and then turn up to the airport.
5. Unlock Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations
Do you love the idea of a safari? A Nile river cruise? A trek through Central Asia? A trip to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics?
You might struggle to plan one of those trips on your own successfully. So, you start looking at group tours.
But not only do you dislike group tours, but the organizer also charges $10,000 for a nine-day trip. Hey, everyone’s got to eat, but you want to go to a location where $10,000 could buy you a house, car, and financial security. So $10k on nine days’ worth of bus journeys and meals out seems a bit much.
A travel agent can help you avoid group tours (if you want) and help you explore on your own. They have both the knowledge and connections to help you plan your trip without spending hours pulling your hair out.
6. You Get Into the Latest Properties and Trips
Do you know about the latest hotel properties or cruise destinations? We don’t mean the ones all over Instagram. We’re talking about the not-yet-open destinations that have the travel and hospitality industries buzzing.
A well-connected travel agent can get you into the newest luxury design hotel — the one that’s not taking public bookings yet — or get you onto one of the new cruise ships.
Find that on Expedia. (You can’t.)
7. Get Great Trip Insurance
Trip insurance isn’t for chumps, and the protection offered by your credit card probably isn’t as good as you think it is.
A travel agent can recommend excellent travel insurance (and related services) so you know you’re covered, no matter what.
8. You Can Leave for Your Trip Relaxed
The thing about planning a trip is you don’t get to plan your vacation while you’re on vacation. You need to squeeze it in between work, appointments, running errands, doing laundry, running the kids across town, and dealing with general stress.
Planning a vacation is just another thing you have to do.
A travel agent takes it off your plate, which adds value just in itself. You get your dream vacation without lifting a finger. Why not?
Hiring a Travel Agent Is the Smartest Way to Travel
Internet services like to say travel agents are expensive. In reality, travel agents can not only save your time and money for unique requests, but they add value too!
You don’t cut your hair yourself. You probably don’t rotate your tires or sit down with a calculator and do your own taxes. So why not have an expert help you with your travel?
Get in touch to discover how an online travel agent can make your next trip the best one yet.