Travel Agent! When evaluating travel, there are many travel agent secrets that top travel professionals use to put together an amazing trip for you.
As an example did you know that if you can grab a last minute holiday, you can frequently get it at a very good value. Suppliers are looking to sell their unused allotment and often will reach out to travel professionals with unadvertised specials that can bring you better value!
Another travel agent secret is that many of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) certified agencies, such as Travel N Relax belong to at least one travel consortium that offers us more buying power to again provide you with better values and special unadvertised add ons and deals.
Consider a consortium like a buying club such as a Sams or Costco where the larger volumes of members provides you with less expensive prices. In the case of Travel N Relax we are members of Vacation.com and Virtuoso and therefore, have multiple offers we can provide to you!
5 Reasons You Need A Travel Agent
As noted above there are multiple travel agent secrets that ASTA certified agencies can offer to you. Five reasons to consider are:
1) Travel Agents Can Offer You More Value
As noted above, our connections with our consortium and our direct connection with the suppliers, provide us with access to unadvertised specials and promotions the general consumer would not have access to. Additionally, with our connection to supplier business development managers, professional certified travel agents can also often add in other specials or upgrades that may not otherwise be available to you. You might believe that by booking with an intermediary you’re saving money, but you’re dead wrong. In fact a recent study has shown that on average an ASTA certified travel professional can save you $452 per trip!
2) Travel Agents Offer Guidance to Turn Your Trip From Ordinary to Exceptional
Let’s face it. Our world today can be quite scary from terrorism events to health scares such as the Zika virus. Working with a certified travel professional can offer you travel agent secrets and advice on how to remain healthy and secure on your trip that you just cannot attain by working online. How often have you ever been on a trip where everything went exactly as planned? Right – this almost never happens. Issues are bound to pop up, and when they do, your ASTA certified travel advisor is your personal help line and “fixer” who knows how to quickly turn things around for the better.
3) Travel Agents Offer Escape From the Frustrations of Online Travel Agencies
Travelers are getting wise to the fact that rather then offer them travel agent secrets, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) only offer increased frustration. In fact a study by MMGY Global’s 2015 Portrait of American Travelers shows that among travelers who regularly seek information from an OTA when planning a vacation, only 13% typically book their reservations on OTA sites. This is down from 36% in 2014.
Why is this? OTAs often advertise one price, and then tack on fees and other hidden charges, or restrictions and blackout dates in the fine print. Additionally there is just too much information out there to sort through. And doing the research is overwhelming.
Working with a real ASTA certified travel professional will offer you the time savings from having to research yourself plus provide you with the real price upfront vs an upfront “bait” price that OTAs offer which only have hidden fees and blackout dates you have to contend with.
4) Travel Agents Offer better customer service
While OTAs have call centers to assist customers with basic site navigation, they offer little further support. If an on-road emergency occurs you are left working with a call center employee who understands that if you leave their company hundreds more are in line to take your place. Therefore, they cannot spend the time you need to research and take care of your situation properly.
Should you need to call them back odds are that you will get a new employee who does not know your situation and only has the previous employees record notes to refer to. Therefore, you have to spend more time bringing the new employee up to speed on your situation.
Travel agents are there to offer you travel agent secrets and to help you during the booking process and stay with you through your trip to make sure all goes right. And when there is a problem, they are there to intervene—whether it’s a supplier who doesn’t deliver or an emergency that makes them cancel the whole trip, your professional certified travel agent will be there to rescue you. In many cases new arrangements will already be made before you even know that there is a situation.
5) Travel Agents Offer a deep knowledge of the destination, and personal understanding of your interests.
Travel Agents often specialize in niche markets, so they can offer even more insight into a specific destination or segment of travel, like LGBT or destination weddings. Also a true travel professional will spend more time getting to know you, so they can offer you travel agent secrets and recommendations custom tailored to what you want to do. In the case of Travel N Relax, we provide an extensive intake interview process that allow us to truly understand you and learn what it is that you desire on your trip, so that we can custom design the perfect trip for you!