We often get asked why it’s beneficial to use a travel agent and not just do it yourself. There are several key reasons, but according to a recent article on the travel web site Tripology, there are actually 101. Here they are, in no particular order:
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.
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. 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.
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. Customer Service
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’s 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.
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 don’t 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 don’t 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’s 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
Travel 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.
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.
64. 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.
65. 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.
66. 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.
67. 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.
68. 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.
69. Great Singles Trips
A travel agent can help find you exciting singles trips and cruises.
70. What to Pack
Your travel expert can give you great advice on what to pack to those exotic destinations.
71. 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.
72. Higher Productivity Benefits
You have your trip planned while you are hard at work in the office.
73. You Get to be the Boss
You get to tell someone what to do for a change.
74. 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.
75. 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.
76. They Are Considered Travel Experts and Specialists
Wouldn’t you rather have a travel expert plan your trip rather than a preprogrammed website?
77. 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.
78. 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.
79. 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.
80. Help, I’m Lost!!!!!!
If you should get lost somewhere along the way, your travel agent could be a good outlet for help.
81. It just Makes Sense to Use a Travel Agent.
82. They’re Out There… Use Them
Why do the work if someone else like a travel specialist can.
83. Possibility of a Free Gift
Some travel agents offer free incentives. Who doesn’t like the possibility of free presents?
84. 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.
85. 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.
86. Because We Said So
Our business is to help you find a qualified travel specialist.
87. 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.
88. It is Their Job
Travel agents actually work to get different accreditations to increase their qualifications as a travel expert.
89. 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.
90. 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. *
91. 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.
92. 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.”
93. 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!
94. 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.
95. 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.
96. Good Lounge Recommendations
Travel specialists can help you decide if purchasing access to an airline lounge is worth it or not.
97. 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.
98. 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.
99. 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.
100. 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.
101. It Makes Traveling Easy
Once you find a good travel agent, your dream vacation is just a phone call away.