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Why Travel Agent

Booking with a travel agent

also "What To Look For In A Travel Agent"

and "103 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent/Expert/Specialist"

With so much information out there, a good travel agent can help you focus in a short time on a few lines or a few ships or a few destinations that would best match your needs. The agent usually would start with asking questions to find out what the interests are and be able to focus on the cruise line or package that works for particular client.
Aimee J. Ricca, owner of Bonne Amie Travel in Rockport, Maine, and one of the experts featured on the Travel Channel's Vacation Challenge, says that most Internet travel sites are actually travel agencies - that just make you do all the work. Here are some other reasons to use a travel agent:

  • You already have a job. You don't need to spend what little free time you have trying to piece everything together - tickets, hotels, routes, etc. A counselor takes the time so you don't have to make planning your vacation a second job.

  • 90 percent of all cruises are booked through travel agents. Many clients suggested the same thing: "Use a professional travel agent."

  • You're an individual. By asking questions up front, an agent can provide a relevant needs assessment. This can include your schedule, if you are traveling with children, grandchildren, or pets, your interests, preferences, and budget. No two travelers are alike. What works for one may not work for another.

  • You do not get charged any more to use a travel agent than if you booked it through the line directly.

  • A good travel agent should give you unbiased advice. Traveler's comments: "We had already tentatively settled on a port and ship because we wanted to drive to the port to save money. When we told the travel agent our plan, she said she could not in good conscience put us on that ship and she refused to book it if that was our final choice. She didn't feel it would fit the experience we were seeking. I don't think the cruise line would have told us that."

  • Value. Travel planning is not just about price, it is about value. If the hotel was not in the right location, or the tour package did not meet your needs, it does not matter how much you saved. A travel counselor can recommend relevant offerings and also provide cost saving strategies. Moving a date, using a preferred travel partner, being open to flight options, etc., can save money. Nobody wants to pay more than necessary, and a counselor will help you find the best value without the sacrifices of a cheap trip.

  • Some prefer the personal interaction and having someone to hold accountable or call if an element of a trip goes awry, and they also like knowing precisely where their money is going.

  • With a travel agent you have someone to go to bat for you if something goes wrong. They have representative with cruise lines and travel groups and are usually booking volumes of vacation packages each year - more reason for travel companies to keep agents happy when they are recommending lines and packages.

  • Travel agents deal directly with the vendors, like individual cruise companies, who can offer wholesale prices and perks that they pass down to clients. The agents make money off commissions from referring clients to a specific vendor. Credible agents also go on a few "familiarization" trips each year to see hotels and destinations firsthand.

  • Multidestination and international trips are often better handled by an agent "Humanizing the human experience" is an interesting article on TraveWeekly.com by Arnie Weissman that talks about the lack of human interaction in the digital booking industry.

  • If it weren't for her travel agent, Debbie Ricketts of Taylorsville might have missed seeing the black and white birds on her down-under vacation. "We would not have had a clue about seeing the ferry penguins," says Ricketts, 50. "I didn't even know they had penguins in Australia." But her trusted travel agent of 11 years, did. "I did book online once, and before I even left, the price went up. I'd already paid for it. I had to pay more, or the trip would be canceled." She says she didn't notice that all reservations and prices were "subject to change" any time prior to the trip and ended up paying $200 extra.

  • And its not just for baby boomers, several twentysomething are designing their honeymoons and European travels through travel agents.
  • What To Look For In A Travel Agent

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    Most travel agents are in the business to not only make money but to also serve their fellow travelers. Most current travel agents are experienced travelers who enjoy traveling and want to help make your trips more enjoyable.

    Travel agents can help you sort through vast amounts of information so you can make the most beneficial travel arrangements. They offer advice on destinations and make bookings for transportation, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and tours for you. They are also book the most tickets for the major cruise lines. Also, resorts and specialty travel groups use travel agents to promote their travel packages.

    Agents are also expected to know about and be able to advise you about your destination, such as the weather, attractions, customs and events. Travel agents can provide information on customs regulations, required papers (passports, visas, and certificates of vaccination), travel advisories, and currency exchange rates. If you need to change your itinerary in the middle of a trip, they can make alternate booking arrangements.

    Travel agents use many sources for information on departure and arrival times, fares, quality of hotel accommodations, and discounts. They should also visit hotels, resorts, and restaurants to better evaluate the comfort, cleanliness, and their quality.

    When you select a travel agent be sure that the person is truly interested in the travel industry and not just the money which they can make from it. According to the latest estimates provided the travel industry has become one of the world's fastest growing occupations today.

    Keep in mind that a well versed travel agent is worth their weight in gold. They should be intimate with subjects such as touring, hospitality services, lodging, air travel, airport operation, cruises and theme parks. A well rounded agent is a valuable asset to an organization. If you sense that your travel agent feels that he can make a difference in whether you have an enjoyable trip or not then you have found a jewel in the making. A good agent specially one specializing in leisure travel should want to help their clients to learn about various cultures and they should be willing to go to all lengths to achieve this result.

    Ensure that the agent you select has the necessary talent to be in that positions, the energy to obtain the needed information for you should you require additional data and a good work ethics. Keep in mind that our current work at home society has enable tens of thousands of travel agents to literally work from their home. Do not underestimate these work at home people for they put just as much effort into satisfying their customers as does one with a store front shop. In some cases since their overhead is lower you stand a good chance to gain from lower ticket prices. These agents are well worth checking out.

    Often times a travel agent will specialize in a particular sort of travel such as singles travel reservations or elderly travel plans or perhaps their specialty is in a particular region or a lifestyle. Occasionally you may want to partake of some of these great savings that this type of agent can offer you. Get to know them as a professional acquaintance and you will be glad you did.

    If you happen to be interested in taking a cruise with or without any specialized requirements your travel agent should be able to handle this request with no difficulty. Whether the cruise you are interested in is a luxury cruise, a barge cruise or a river cruise they can handle it all. Usually you can contact them by e-mail or by phone to learn more about the programs they are currently offering.

    Perhaps you do not care so much for an ocean cruise but would rather prefer a land vacation. Possibly you have always dreamed of visiting Tahiti. If so then now is the time to sit down and discuss all your desires with your travel agent. They can make a difference in whether your trip is enjoyable or one that is a nightmare.

    103 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent/Expert/Specialist

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    1. Convenient One-Stop Shopping: Travel agents can handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging, ground transportation, activities, tours and more.
    2. Consumer Advocate: If you should have a problem during your trip, travel agents can act on your behalf to see that proper restitutions are made.
    3. Expert Guidance: Travel agents are experts in helping travelers get where they need to go and in helping to create possibilities most people never would have dreamed were possible.
    4. Save Time: Avoid the headaches and let the travel agents call around and do all the time consuming work of planning a complex itinerary.
    5. Choice: Travel agents offer you an array of options and price quotes from a variety of travel suppliers, giving you the upper hand when making your final travel decisions.
    6. NO HIDDEN SERVICE FEES: I can obtain the exact same price you may find online after hours of searching. In most cases I will find a better resort, destination, or view offering more extras, for the same price!
    7. Updated Information: Travel agents are constantly communicating with the travel community, thus giving you the most up to date info on airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel visas, and other travel services to consider as you plan your trip.
    8. Updated Information: Travel agents offer that “personal touch” to your travel planning experience- Offering help and advice that a website cannot provide.
    9. Travel Documentation: Travel agents can help you to prepare and organize any necessary documents that you may need in order to travel outside of the country. They can direct you to your local passport office, and they know where you need a visa, as well as any other documentation that you might need along the way.
    10. Travel Expertise: Many travel agents are considered experts in the area you are traveling to and have probably already been to your chosen destination.
    11. Best Value for Your Money Spent: Travel agents can help you to make your dollars go farther while you are away. They have access to finding all sorts of deals ranging from flights to hotels to dinner recommendations.
    12. Location, Location, Location!!!!: Travel Specialists can help you to find a place to stay pretty much anywhere you desire. If it is a hotel with a view of the ocean in Hawaii or a jungle hut in the Nilgiri foothills, a travel agent can help you make it happen.
    13. Knowledge of All the Ins and Outs: Travel specialists can help bring you up to speed on the local laws and regulations of wherever your travels take you.
    14. Credentials: Travel agents attend all sorts of seminars and classes to prepare themselves for trip requests like yours.
    15. Tourist Attractions: Travel agents can give you a list of all the not-to-miss spots: such as amusement parks, museums, nature preserves, and historical locations.
    16. Avoid International Flight Confusion: Travel specialists can help organize those confusing international flights that internet search engines do not cover.
    17. Where to Go With Kids: Travel agents can help you to find great locations that are kid- friendly.
    18. Trip Cancellation: Something has come up and you need to cancel your trip? If you have used a travel agent they are the only person you need to call.
    19. Travel Insurance: With all the countless options for travel insurance these days, it can become confusing. A travel agent can help you pick which package works best for your needs.
    20. Personalized Trips: A travel agent can prepare you a personalized trip based on where you want to go and what you want to do.
    21. Where to Go to Avoid Kids: Want to go somewhere without children running all over the place? A travel agent can help you to find excellent retreats that are open to adults only.
    22. Good Senior Trips: Need a trip with a good balance of sight-seeing, rest and relaxation? Travel agents can help lucky retirees plan great extended trips that are senior-friendly.
    23. Student Discounts: Some travel agents are an excellent go- to source for students looking to go on discounted trips.
    24. Exotic Adventures: Travel experts can help to recommend great once in a lifetime experiences. They can help you to find the best/safest shark cages to dive into and the highest free-fall bungees to jump off.
    25. Great Deals without Sitting at a Time Share Presentation: Want an affordable trip to Florida without having to sit through a timeshare presentation? A travel agent can help you to exceptional deals without the stipulations.
    26. What to Eat: Where are all the top chefs at your destination? Travel specialists give great advice on the best restaurants to hit on your trip.
    27. What Not to Eat: Leaving your home country and not familiar with the new language? Travel agents can help give you some forewarnings so you do not accidently order the local delicacy (which may or may not be specially prepared bugs) without meaning to.
    28. Local Traditions: Travel specialists can update you on all local traditions and customs of places you are visiting, so you make a good impression. For example, in Japan many people expect their visitors to take their shoes off before entering their homes.
    29. Local Laws: Many countries have laws that are very different from your own. Travel agents can help give you a quick rundown of what you need to be aware of before you go.
    30. Busiest Travel Times to Avoid: If you want a quiet trip, travel experts know what dates you should avoid and can help you plan your trip accordingly.
    31. Avoid Unexpected Expenses: Travel agents will be able to inform you about expenses you will incur on your trip, even ones you might never expect.
    32. Exchange Rate Knowledge: Travel agents are knowledgeable of the countries where your dollar can go further.
    33. Useful Travel Books to Have with You: A travel expert can give you advice on what travel books are the most useful to have with you. Some of these books list restaurants, customs, and small amounts of the local language.
    34. List of Not- to- Miss Places: Travel specialists can give you a great list of not- to- miss hikes, waterfalls, and cliffs that may or may not be published elsewhere.
    35. What to Wear: Many restaurants have different types of dress codes. If you are interested in dining at specific places on your trip, your travel expert can advise you on appropriate dress wear for the occasion.
    36. What Not to Wear: Travel agents can help you to be in the know of local dress code restrictions. So if a thong is part of your favorite beachwear, you should know that they are illegal in places like the Isle of Palms.
    37. Crime Rates: Travel experts are great at informing you about questionable parts of town that you may be heading to and can give you tips on what to look out for.
    38. Someone to Call if Having a Problem During Your Trip: An online travel agency is not going to answer the phone when you call with any complications during your trip. A travel agent continues to give you that personal support even while you are away.
    39. When You Shouldn't Drink the Water: We are always told when you travel be careful of the water. Travel agents can advise you on when it is safe and when it is not safe to drink the water.
    40. Small Intercontinental Flights Delayed – What to do?: Travel agents can help you find somewhere to stay when you are left helpless at an airport overnight due to flight delays.
    41. Saves You Precious Time on Your Trip: To avoid 36 hours in the airport, your travel expert can help plan your trip so your time spent getting to where you want to go is the shortest it can be.
    42. Anticipating Trouble: Travel agents are extremely useful if you are planning a trip to a known weather troubled area such as the hurricane plagued Caribbean islands. In the event of a natural disaster, your travel agent can work to immediately reschedule or cancel your trip so there are no worries for you.
    43. Complicated Itineraries Made Simple: Travel experts can take care of all the details for those complicated around the world itineraries and all the extra headaches that go with them, such as hotel and transportation along the way.
    44. Special Needs Travelers: Travel specialists can prearrange any wheelchair or special need that someone in your travel party may have. They can also take the time to make sure your reserved accommodations are safe and easily accessible for the special needs traveler.
    45. What to Pack: Some activities you choose to partake in may require different layers of clothing throughout the day. Your travel agent can advise you on what to bring. A bike trip down an extinct volcano in Hawaii for example, may require you to start out with jackets and wool socks, but when you get to the bottom you may be down to shorts and a tank top.
    46. Let Them Wait on Hold: By using a travel agent you no longer have to wait on hold and talk to automated systems while trying to book different parts of your trip.
    47. Business Concerns: If the airline you are scheduled to use goes on strike or bankrupt while you are traveling, your travel agent can work to find you alternate travel means while you continue to relax at the hotel.
    48. Transportation in Smaller Countries : Travel agents can arrange all your transportation and travel needs, especially in those smaller countries where you may not know if cabs or van services are safe.
    49. Group Hotel Reservations: agents can help to keep everyone in your group on the same floor at a hotel.
    50. Charter Private Boating Trips: Travel specialists can help you to avoid paying top dollar for chartered snorkeling or fishing trips for large groups. They can often find great deals for large groups who want to do personalized tours.
    51. Immunizations That May Be Needed: To enter certain countries you may be required to obtain certain immunizations first. Your travel expert can advise you on the steps you need to take.
    52. Special Deals Worked Out in Advance: Travel agents may have a relationship with certain tour operators and could be able to get you a special price that might not otherwise be available.
    53. Make Travel Meaningful for Children: Travel agents can offer information about kid-friendly activities on your trip to make the experience exciting and meaningful for everyone.
    54. Where to Shop: Travel agents can offer excellent advice on great shopping neighborhoods in your destination city.
    55. Avoid Scams: Not all 5 star hotels are treated equally. Many times photos are outdated and information about the hotel you are considering may not be true. Travel agents can make sure that what you are seeing beforehand is what you get.
    56. What You Can Buy Later: New airline restrictions make packing for long trips hard. Travel experts can give you advice on what you might be able to purchase while you are on your trip to avoid having excess weight in your luggage beforehand.
    57. Advice on Where to Go if You Get Sick: If you happen to be unfortunate enough to get hurt or fall ill while on your trip, your travel agent can help you find somewhere clean and safe for medical attention.
    58. Trust: If you should have any questions after booking your trip, you know how to reach your travel agent and can avoid the confusing FAQ section on a website.
    59. You Know How to Reach Them When You Need Them: Problems at the airport? Reservation issues at the hotel? Your travel agent is a phone call away from getting your problem solved.
    60. Tips and Tricks: How early do you really need to be at the airport? What are the quickest ways to get through security? Your travel expert can advise you of the airport security levels the day of your trip and any new security checkpoints you may have to worry about.
    61. Is the Upgrade Worth It?: Your travel expert can help you save money by helping you decide if certain upgrades at hotels are really worth the extra money.
    62. Difference in Days to Save Money: Instead of playing around with dates on the internet for hours, your travel agent can advise you on any changes to your travel dates that might save you hundreds of dollars.
    63. Staying In-the-Know of Daily Promotions: Travel agents get emails and faxes of daily money saving promotions.
    64. Enhancing the Trip with Extra Amenities: Your travel specialist may be able to arrange for those little extras- like a bottle of champagne to be waiting in your room when you arrive.
    65. Using Clout in Impossible Situations: Whether it is airline seats, cruise reservations, or overbooked activities travel experts have more buying power than the average consumer.
    66. Clarifying the Fine Print: Your travel agent can advise you of all the cancelation penalties and restrictions hidden in the fine print of your travel documents.
    67. Detailed Itineraries: Your travel expert can help you plan out your trip day- by -day to give you a good mix of fun and relaxation.
    68. Advice on Activities to Book Beforehand: A travel expert can forewarn you of any activities that tend to sell out early so there are no unexpected disappointments when you are there. For example, character dining in Disney sells out months in advance.
    69. General Ideas on Where to Go: A travel expert can offer excellent trip advice based on the details of what type of trip you want to take. Internet booking sites tend to require a destination up front.
    70. A Trip to Nowhere…Sort of: Want to get away to somewhere that is not normally a vacation hot spot? Your travel specialist can help you find that perfect place.
    71. Great Singles Trips: A travel agent can help find you exciting singles trips and cruises.
    72. What to Pack: Your travel expert can give you great advice on what to pack to those exotic destinations.
    73. Plan a Trip Where you Bring the Kids but Can Still Get Some Alone Time: Many cruises and resorts now offer activities throughout the day for young children that make the day fun for them and give you some time to yourself. Travel experts can help you find great family destination options such as these.
    74. Higher Productivity Benefits: You have your trip planned while you are hard at work in the office.
    75. You Get to be the Boss: You get to tell someone what to do for a change.
    76. Great Group Trips: Trying to organize a trip for big group of people? A travel expert can help get all the details finalized and update everyone in the group.
    77. Someone to Complain to: If that slim chance were to occur that you do not get what you were promised, you have a real person to go back and complain to. Travel agents will work hard to rectify the matter.
    78. They Are Considered Travel Experts and Specialists: Wouldn't you rather have a travel expert plan your trip rather than a preprogrammed website?
    79. Best Pre-Seat Assignments Possible: Travel agents can talk directly with the airline to arrange for you to get the seats with the most leg room, seats that might not otherwise be released until the day of the flight.
    80. Mapping Routes Out Ahead of Time: Not really good at reading maps? A good travel expert can help you to map out any basic directions you might need on your trip ahead of time.
    81. Family with 3 Small Children and Only Want 1 Room?: A travel expert might be able to find a way to help a family with small children get around the hotel policies of only 4 to a room.
    82. Help, I am Lost!!!!!!: If you should get lost somewhere along the way, your travel agent could be a good outlet for help.
    83. It just Makes Sense to Use a Travel Agent.
    84. They are Out There - Use Them: Why do the work if someone else like a travel specialist can.
    85. Possibility of a Free Gift: Some travel agents offer free incentives. Who doesn't like the possibility of free presents?
    86. Even if the Internet Goes Down Your Trip Can Still Be Planned: Your travel agent is still getting your trip planned even if your internet at home or at the office is not working.
    87. Back-up Distributor of Documents: You can give your travel agent a copy of all your travel documents so if anything were to get lost you have someone to call that can send copies.
    88. Less Stress: Planning a trip can be stressful. There are so many options and details to worry about. Travel agents do the work, resulting in less stress for you.
    89. What to Expect on the Flight: Your travel expert can give you helpful answers on what to expect long flights to be like, and maybe some interesting activities to do while flying.
    90. It is Their Job: Travel agents actually work to get different accreditation to increase their qualifications as a travel expert.
    91. Lost Baggage: If the airline should lose your baggage, your travel agent can get on the phone and make sure the airline works as quickly as they can to solve the problem allowing you to at least go relax at the hotel.
    92. Travel Agents Must Be Doing Something Right. They Sure Have a lot of Business: Travel agents still sell 51 percent of all airline tickets, 87 percent of all cruises, 81 percent of all tours and packages, 45 percent of all car rentals and about 47 percent of all hotels.
    93. Don't Like Letter Writing?: A good travel agent will send a letter to the airline or hotel for you if you should have a bad flight or poor service at a hotel.
    94. Sound Important When Talking About Your Trip: After a bragging about a great trip to coworkers or the neighbors, and they ask how you got all those details organized you can say, "My agent did it."
    95. Forbidden Fruit: Your travel agent can forewarn you of items not allowed to be brought back into the United States. "Yes, you have to smoke those Cuban cigars before you leave to come home and you can't bring that "rattling rose apple" back with you from India!
    96. Financial Planning: Travel experts can help you to create a budget to stick to while you are on your trip, so you can have a good time and not break the bank.
    97. Good Babysitters: Travel experts might be able to help you find a local babysitter in the area you are traveling to if you want to plan a night out alone.
    98. Good Lounge Recommendations: specialists can help you decide if purchasing access to an airline lounge is worth it or not.
    99. Good Airport Hangouts: Travel agents travel a lot. They can probably help you figure out what to do with that extra time you have in an airport after getting through security.
    100. Where to Watch Your Wallet More Carefully: Although you should always take extra care to hold onto your wallet when traveling, travel agents can warn you if pick-pocketing is common at your future destination.
    101. What to Put in the Hotel Safe: Travel agents can give you good advice on what you should be keeping in that hotel safe while you are out exploring the sites so there is nothing important missing when you return.
    102. Altering Your Travel Arrangements: If you have already booked your trip but want to change some details your travel agency can help get all the necessary steps done, leaving you without the headache and confusion.
    103. It Makes Traveling Easy: Once you find a good travel agent, your dream vacation is just a phone call away.

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