Pros Using a Travel Agent

Pros Using a Travel Agent

Nowadays, everyone has access to book online 24/7. If you are an Internet savvy that knows where to check for deals and where to get legit reviews, you might be able to to nail exactly what you want. In all fairness, even if you are not so knowledgeable when it comes to perusing the Web, you might still be able to land the deal you are after. However, every holiday varies from one another. Booking a flight to your friend's wedding is nothing compared to booking a three-week trek through seven countries in Africa. Both booking online and using travel agents have advantages and disadvantages. What suits you better really comes down to you and your travel needs.

Agents for Advice

When you use a good agent, you have someone to turn to with all of your questions on what to pack or how much things cost. A travel agent has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to tours, hotels, documentation, places to eat and transportation. From sightseeing to visas and vaccines, a travel agent can help you advise on you everything you might need to visit an unknown destination. Unless you are an expert, you might need an agent to help you plan cultural trips, such as safaris or guided visits to ruins.

Agents for Deals

Travel agents are sometimes able to get you special deals or upgrades or cruises or hotels, among others. Although some agents work on commission and they might charge you extra fees to make a booking, sometimes the companies such as the airlines, cruise lines or tour operators pay the agent just to get recognition, costing you nothing. Agents might enable you get a discount they get directly from cruise lines. Agents who belong to trade groups get other bonuses they can pass on, such as free airfare. In foreign hotels, some agents can get you certain upgrades such as free breakfast or drinks.

Agents for Solutions

If you are embarking on a complicated trip, you'll be particularly thankful for your travel agent who can point out potential hazards and arrange your tours in advance so you don't hit a dead end or wait in ticket lines. When your destination is packed, your travel agent has a better chance than you to book a room. Some agents can even find frequent-flyer flights during the hard-to-book times.

Although most people are comfortable with booking flights and accommodation online, there are plenty of products that are difficult or impossible to book online. Furthermore, there are still plenty of travellers who prefer to have the advice and back-up of a travel agent, or they just don't feel confident enough to make their own booking online.

A recent study by British operator found that while 98 per cent of those tested could book a flight online, only a third could complete a rail booking online.

The study showed another issue with internet bookings and it's the time the traveller spends on the process. Those who did manage to complete a train booking spent an average of 12 minutes making the booking, much longer than a typical phone booking. Not to mention the time the traveller might spend online just research tours, accommodation and transport in the place of destination. This is how an agent saves time, since they are already experts and once they listen to your needs, they are able to tell you straight away what suits you best based on their knowledge.