In today’s ever changing world it is critical to be a wise consumer and to make smart investments in all areas of your life. As we head into 2012, I would suggest that this analogy applies also to your travel investments. I was reading a recent article in a trade journal entitled “The Travel Agent Annuity,” that suggests that Travel agents are like an annuity that keeps on paying you over time. The payoff to consumers comes in the form of time, convenience and monetary savings as well as in a professional agent’s destination and travel knowledge. Frankly, in today’s time crunched world, most travelers just don’t have hours to spend on research to compare multiple flights, multiple cruises, multiple packages, etc. In addition to the convenience factor, travel agents are also uniquely positioned to deal with disasters affecting their clients, such as the volcanoes, earthquakes, snow storms and civil unrest that we have seen globally in the past year. Travel agents work as personal advisors to provide their clients with the best travel experience before during and after their trip. Thanks to their in-depth knowledge, experience and industry connections, travel agents are able not only to save their clients money, but also their most valuable possession—their time. So with these thoughts in mind, the question becomes how much is your time worth, and at what monetary value does the savings offered by a true travel professional make it worthwhile to utilize their assistance? Each person will of course have a different answer to this, however no matter your response, the common denominator is to be wise in your investments in time and money so that you can attain the absolute best value in your travel investments. Doing so marks you as a wise and astute investor, who is certain to succeed in today’s world!