Have you ever been looking up a hotel on the internet, reviewed it on trip advisor, and then arrived only to have it be nothing like what you expected? Have you ever booked a hotel only for them to tell you that you don’t have a room when you get there, despite your printed out confirmation? Have you ever booked a flight that had a layover, had the airline make a schedule change, and ended up missing your second flight because there wasn’t enough time to make your connection?
Often when people find out that I am a travel agent I get a range of responses from “there are still travel agents?” to “with the internet your business must be really slow” to “I do all of my reservations online.” At first I’ll admit I was a little offended. Of course there are still travel agents! And then I realized that it wasn’t something to get upset over.
A lot of business models have changed since the global internet takeover. But I will be the first to tell you that I don’t think travel agents will ever really be unnecessary. And luckily, because I started this nifty blog I get to tell you why!
As a travel agent, most of the companies that I use don’t sell to consumers directly. They are wholesale companies who only sell to travel agents. The benefit of this is that in order to carry a specific hotel, they work up a contract and terms with that hotel. My favorite is a “no walk” policy. This means that if I sell you a hotel room in the Danieli in Venice, you have a room. If they don’t have a room in your category, they upgrade you. They don’t put you in a “comparable hotel” or in a room less than the value for which you paid. These companies also have concierges that I can use to help you with restaurant reservations, show tickets, spa appointments, tours, and other random things that you might want on your vacation. I have utilized them for simple reservations to helping me plan a man’s proposal to his future bride. No detail is too big or too small.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of working with a travel agent such as myself is that between me and the other 41 agents that I work with in my office, we have been to and seen most places on the planet. We have insights that are only possible from someone who has been to Skagway, Alaska, or Lichtenstein or Visby. Having those extra 41 bits of insight allows each of our agents to ensure your trip is the best it can be.
Will you find your trip a little less expensive on the internet? Maybe. Will it be worth the couple of dollars to align yourself with my agency and let us do your planning for you? Definitely! Let me do the worrying so that all you have to do is enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.