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.
As a travel agent, I Thank you for this!! Well said.
I believe in always using professionals.
I agree. Especially if anything goes wrong, Its nice to have someone helping on the other end.
Yes, in a way it’s their job to take the frustration we don’t want to!
I agree with you, Carol. I spent at least five hours over the weekend looking at various configurations for air travel to Europe. I don’t know how many sites I checked. Pretty stressful. On Monday I contacted a travel agent whom I have recently gotten to know, and he sent me onto his travel department. I was ticketed late yesterday with a lower overall fare than what I was finding, and with the plus of being able to get back to Tampa from Helsinki on the same day (a challenge since I needed a later departure). Expertise and access to travel software make all the difference.
My time is worth more than that….so glad you found a TA who helped, Karen!
Husby absolutely loves the ‘deep dive’ into airfares, hotel bookings and places to see. I basically pack my suitcase and show up. But if it were left to me? Travel agents and set tours every time!
You are so lucky!
I grew up with a mom who always used a travel agent. I miss those days. If I ever travel again I will use one!
It really is helpful. They truly add value.
I’ve spent hours and hours trying to find the best deal on an airline ticket to go visit my daughter in Madrid. It is time consuming to arrange your own travel.
We used a travel agent on our last few trips abroad. It was well worth it. Although I had to convince one that I didn’t want to stay in a big “American” hotel outside the city center in Warsaw and preferred a small local hotel in the old section. I was glad I won out because it was fabulous.
Good for you, Rebecca!
I haven’t done the sort of traveling that would warrant a travel agent. But now that the world is opening back up I think I foresee that type of travel in my future and I will certainly be relying on someone more knowledgeable than me.
It can be so helpful!