Why use a travel agent?
That was the question a friend posed the other day and my answer came easily.
I have better things to do than to spend hours perusing websites for the best fares and schedules. Sometimes, a necessary follow-up phone call has entailed being on endless hold. I have absolutely no interest in spending my time that way. No interest at all.
They’re the experts
While I usually select our hotels, I do sometimes use a travel agent to to make recommendations (using my criteria) for accommodations in a city with which I’m unfamiliar. They usually have ideas I’d never think of on my own. Or would take me forever to find online.
If I’m going overseas, a professional travel agent can help me decide how much time I want to spend in each place, warn me of pitfalls and give me advice on things I might not have considered.
If we are booking an overseas cruise, we DO pick the exact cruise. But having a professional travel advisor run interference with the actual booking is far less hassle than us doing the same. Their commission costs us nothing, so why wouldn’t we let them make the booking?
And if something goes wrong, it’s helpful to have someone else run interference.
I get that we have a world of resources at our fingertips these days. But “can do” is quite different from “want to do.”
I have absolutely no interest in a deep dive into airline schedules, hotel best-buys and the like. No, let someone whose business it is do that for me.
The travel business was decimated by Covid. But even before that, travel agents saw and continue to experience a major decline in their revenues as more and more people choose to do their own travel planning online.
We choose differently. And see it differently. In the best of situations, a travel agent can be a real partner to the client, understanding their minimum requirements, how they like to travel and saving clients time and money. It might not be for everyone, but it’s definitely the way we choose to go.