It’s a common question we get asked. “Why should I book with you” or “why should I use a travel agent”? Mostly, I think people ask that because they assume they can just do it themselves cheaper. In some instances, that may be true. But more often a good travel agent will save you money and time!
I’m going to try to go through a few reasons I suggest you use a travel agent. More specifically, one with experience. Some agents just sell one type of trip or they book travel just to be able to travel and there’s the multi-level marketing side as well. And then people like me have made a career of it. I’ve been a travel agent for 25 years. I have done leisure and corporate, but I prefer leisure. I prefer the connection to people over working at a call center.
Whoever you choose, just make sure they know what they are doing. The best advice is to get a referral. Ask your friends who they use.
Why should you use an experienced travel agent?
Experience. I have 25 years of it. My experience doesn’t usually cost extra. If you are talking a 3 week multi-city vacation through Europe you might pay a little more than if you did it yourself, but not too many people can book that type of a trip on their own.
We choose experienced professionals in just about everything we do. Why not a travel agent? An experienced agent is going to be able to offer suggestions and guide you through the process as well as making sure all components of your trip are booked correctly.
And your travel agent should love what they do!
We don’t charge extra.
Typically everything we do is included in the commission paid to us by the vendor. There are a few exceptions and those vary depending on your agent. I have always been upfront with clients if there are any fees associated with their trip. Normally, it’s rail tickets or event tickets that a client wants booked that we aren’t paid for. It’s like having a personal assistant.
Some agents do charge upfront deposits for more time intensive planning. I have considered it and it would be mostly for overseas trips that require a lot of hours and pieces to make it work. Pro tip: your travel agent doesn’t get paid until you travel.
We know about extras at hotels or on cruise ships that may not be public knowledge. Some agents even have access to specials other agents don’t. Sometimes it depends on volume and other times it’s just connections.
Relationships are key.
I have formed friendships with clients over the years and have even traveled with some of them. The clients might be my favorite part of my job. A good travel agent is like having a good banker, investor or real estate agent. They usually know what you want, how you like to travel (adventure, relaxation, with a group or on your own), and it just makes the whole process easier.
Time and money better spent.
Your time is worth a lot to you. Using a travel agent saves you time. I do all the work, you just have to make the final decision. And even then, I’m going to help you. When you ask me for a quote I’m going to ask you several questions before I start. Typical questions are budget, ages of kids traveling, what you like to do, where you don’t want to go (you’d be surprised), all of these questions help me start to narrow down your options.
I’m not going to recommend something to you I wouldn’t be willing to stay at myself. And then there’s always the risk of booking a hotel on your own that doesn’t meet your lifestyle. Adult only hotels have multiple categories, there are kid friendly hotels with water parks and teen clubs, hotels in Europe near a coffee shop we know about.
I will prove my worth to you.
I guess everyone in sales will go through this at some point – proving their worth to a client. When Covid-19 hit, we were the ones our clients counted on to make changes, cancel trips, get refunds, future travel credits or just answer their questions. Not everything went perfectly, it never does. (hello, 2020!) But, our clients weren’t alone. Some online agencies closed overnight leaving their clients stranded.
I can laugh at this now.
If you are interested in traveling, I’d love to earn your business. You can reach me at Lake Pointe Travel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-698-4071. This is my personal lifestyle blog but I’m a travel agent by day. Check out my travel page to see some of the places we’ve been!
Some days I spend all day pricing and booking vacations and some days I just dream of places to go!
What’s your favorite place to vacation?