The Top 5 Advantages to Using a Travel Agent vs. Planning Your Own Travel
Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Ever planned a vacation and it didn't turn out even close to the way you wanted? Lost luggage that you have to hunt down after you get home? Navigating layovers or flight delays?
Chances are, you probably didn't use a travel agent.
It's kind of like when you need your car fixed - unless you're a mechanic, you're probably going to need some help. I don't know about you, but I couldn't tell you how to find the ammeter or glow plugs on the fly. Don't even get me started on EV vehicles!
The same goes for planning vacations. There are so many moving parts and pieces, that it's easy for something to get lost in the shuffle - especially if you're trying to do it all yourself. There are several reasons why you should use a travel agent to plan your vacation instead of planning it yourself, but I'll give you my top ones here in case you haven't used one before:
Here Are the Top 5 Advantages to Using a Travel Agent vs. Planning Your Own Travel:
1. Travel Agents Save You Hours of Planning Time & Stress
Let's say you want to plan a family trip to a foreign country, but you've never been. Where do you start? What are the must-see sights? What's the fastest & safest way to get around the country? What kind of documents do you need to enter? To exit?
A good travel agent is already very knowledgeable about the destinations they sell and can help you plan your dream vacation without all of the stress. Researching your destination takes time on your own, but a travel agent can do it for you quickly and easily!
Think about your hometown. Wouldn't it be easier to list off the "must-do" activities & places to stay in that area than someone who's never been there or doesn't know anything about it?
That's just like a travel agent! They've most likely visited or researched the area multiple times, so they already know all the best places to go, things to see & do and how to navigate - you'll save so much work by using a travel agent!
2. Travel Agents Offer You the Best Value for Your Budget
When many people DIY their own vacations, they often look for the "cheapest pricing".
Let's say a honeymoon couple has a budget of $5000 for their 7-night trip. A "DIY" traveler would start googling "hotels in X destination" and then probably proceed to filter for the "cheapest ones", right?
But what if the "cheapest ones" don't include daily breakfast, hotel taxes, have a really bad reputation in the industry or are located in a less than desirable area of the destination where travel to activities requires a 30-minute cab ride and that cab ride is unreliable? No one wants these "surprises" when booking their own vacation.
On the other hand, a good travel agent will work with you to figure out what's most important to their travelers.
Do you want an all-inclusive resort with top-notch dining options? Or maybe a boutique hotel located in the heart of the bustling city? A rental car? Travel by train? Do you want "off-grid" suggestions? What about tickets to a concert, theater, or event while you're there?
When using a travel agent to plan your vacation, they will help identify what's most important to you and find the best option that meets your needs - not just find you the cheapest options - that's for amateurs. Travel agents focus on the best "bang for your buck!"
And remember, you get what you pay for when it comes to travel.
3. Travel Agents Can Pass on "Extra Perks"
When you book your own travel, you're usually just another transaction for that website or call center.
But when a travel agent books your trip, they often have personal & longstanding relationships with the suppliers (hotels, resorts, tour companies, etc) and can often get "extras" for their clients because of it!
Maybe it's an upgrade to a nicer room, a free bottle of champagne upon arrival, or a 10% discount on a tour or activity. These "extras" can really add up and enhance your overall vacation experience without costing YOU anything more!
And it's not just the "big things", but also the little things that can make a difference.
For example, perhaps the concierge at your hotel knows your agent and gives you a priority seating in their luxurious restaurant for your 10th anniversary dinner. Or, perhaps your tour guide goes out of their way to make your experience even better because they know you are a client of the travel agent who arranged the tour.
You don't often get this type of attention or service when you book everything on your own.
4. Travel Agents Help You Avoid Vacation-Ruining Mistakes
Even if you're a seasoned traveler, there are always new things to learn about the travel planning process, especially today - and that's where a travel agent can help! With their vast experience and knowledge, they can help you avoid the most common mistakes people make when planning their own vacations.
Ever made a mistake when spelling your name on an airline ticket? Forgotten about the 6-month passport rule? Wore camouflage in the Caribbean? Entered the wrong dates for travel? Or accidentally booked a one-way ticket instead of a round-trip ticket? Need an OTC medication that suddenly you can't find at all in your new destination? These may seem like small things, but they can have major consequences and ruin your entire trip.
But when you use a travel agent, they will take care of all the details for you - big and small - to make sure your vacation goes off without a hitch!
5. Travel Agents Provide Peace of Mind.
When you book your own travel, YOU are usually on your own and held responsible if something goes wrong. This can lead to hours on the phone or on a computer, missed flights, and increases in out of pocket expenses. But when you use a travel agent, they will be there to help you every step of the way - before, during, and after your trip.
If your flight gets cancelled or you miss a connection, a travel agent will be there to guide you on rebooking your flights and making alternate arrangements. If your hotel situation is not as expected, a travel agent will be there to advocate for you and get the situation resolved. And if you have any problems or questions while on your trip, a travel agent will be just a phone call or text away to help resolve the issue.
What would happen if you planned your own trip and had an emergency occur? You would be on your own to figure everything out! Travel insurance, rebooking tickets, possible medical bills, etc. No one wants to think about these things, but they can and do happen. And if they do, you will be glad you have a travel agent in your corner!
And who can leave out the current state of air travel around the world? Do you know that many agents spent 8+ hours on the phone just to rearrange ONE airline ticket for their client? Who's got time for THAT? That's the type of peace of mind and level of service you can expect when you use a travel agent.
As you can see, there are many advantages to using a travel agent when planning a vacation. So why not let someone else do the work for you and take the stress out of planning your next trip? After all, vacations are supposed to be fun, relaxing, and worry-free!
Here at Travel Plans by Ash, I specialize in bringing your vacation dreams to life while providing outstanding service and peace of mind every step of the way.
Click the link below to set up a time to discuss your next adventure!