Going on a vacation soon? Yes, you may not be planning a particularly exotic or complicated trip but it is still worth considering seeking advice from the professionals. If you get the right travel agents or advisors and build up a good relationship with them, they not only will be able to value add to your upcoming trip but your future ones as well, offering more than just pure booking services for you and your family. Still not convinced? Check out the top reasons below to consider getting your personal travel agents when going on a vacation!
Hassle free planning
It can be a hassle even to decide which destination to go to for a vacation, especially if travelling with people of different ages and have varied interests. Travel agents will be able to help you make the decision on the final destination of your upcoming vacation, as they walk you through the pros and cons of each destination you have in mind while keeping the various interests of the people in your travelling group at the same time. After you have decided on the destination, they will be able to offer valuable insider insights based on their experiences that will save you headaches planning the itinerary such as where to eat like locals, the best buys in town or how to visit major tourist attractions without the crowds.
With their connections and resourcefulness, they can also help fulfill your special interests and fill your travel itinerary with activities such as getting architects or designers as walking tour guides, visit the studio of a local artist or even give you directions to explore hidden “not in the travel guide book” gems of the city. On top of that, they will be able to link you up with trustworthy local guides or airlines so that your itinerary will be seamless without last minute cancellations or hiccups that can ruin your vacation.
Lower fares, rates and more perks
Most people are not aware that the most affordable fares and rates, especially for luxury travel, are not always available online. Cruise lines and hotel, that do not reduce their rates for online travel websites or agencies, will offer special deals, rates and promotions to their working partners or members of their partnering consortia – who will in turn transfer these benefits to their clients or alert them of the lower fares and rates. Hence, travel agents or advisors will have access to lower prices than the publicly available rates as a result of such consortium collaboration or partnering contracts. These deals can range from a four nights stay at a three nights rate or free upgrade to business class air tickets for the air leg of a fly-cruise package.
Being part of large consortiums that leverage on the collective purchasing power of their partnering members, travel agents or advisors are able to provide the perks as well as guaranteed lower rates to their clients. The additional perks can mean free room upgrades with daily breakfast, restaurant credits, spa vouchers, late checkout as well as welcome drinks and treats. Travel agents or advisors may also get preferred status with additional benefits for their clients from a particular hotel, airline or company that they have more frequent dealings with. You get the extra perks without being charged extra markups since the travel agents or advisor will be earning commission from your booking.
No more gloom for room
The sold-out luxury hotel that you have not been able to book may not always sold out. Many hotels will hold back a certain percentage of rooms as reserves. Another small percentage may have been reserved by local tour operators who may release them to their partners or members of their partnering consortiums. Good travel agents or advisors are famous for clearing out space and getting the “supposedly sold out” rooms for their clients. These travel agents or advisors are also skilled at putting their clients into the right rooms such as avoiding cruise cabins below the gym or misleading rooms that overlook car parks instead of views of the parks or gardens.
When trouble arises…
Big or small – every trip or vacation will have its fair share of hits and misses. Small hiccups can be instructive or end up being a fun lesson to navigate. Bigger troubles such as missed connection, snow storms or clouds of volcanic ashes that halts most airlines in several countries can become nightmares. When you are unluckily in one of these major troubles, you will realize how very valuable it will be to have a travel agent or advisor.
They will be able to help rebook you on the next available flight through a special VIP phone line with their partnering airline, catapult you to the top of waiting lists or getting seats on planes that seems to be fully booked. Besides securing air tickets for you, they can also help book you into hotel rooms at last minute notice and even help you file for insurance claims when trouble arises.
If your luggage was sent to Mexico when you are supposed to be in Alaska, the travel agent or advisors will be able to direct you to a local store where you can get replacement clothing and other necessities to still enjoy your trip while they help you track down your lost luggage. Be sure to enquire the after-hour services of a travel agent or advisor before you make your bookings.