5 Reasons to use a Travel Agent

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We’re going on an adventure….five reasons to use a travel agent rather than DIY

A guest post by travel agent and FiveHiver Jodie at Meridian Travel.
(Add your comment below and you’re in the running for the fantastic family travel pack you see at the bottom of this article!)

So you are thinking about organising a holiday, maybe 10 days in Fiji, maybe a month in Europe, maybe a local resort in Queensland? It doesn’t matter where you want to go, for how long or how far away, there is no need for you to book yourself! Here are five great reasons why you should make your travel plans with a travel agent!

1-We’ll save your precious time and use our valuable experience!

So, you’ve decided to invest your time and money in a family trip of a lifetime, Where do you start? It’s a Sunday morning you begin your search online…looking at websites, by the time you know it you’ve spent hours pouring over reviews on different hotels and looking into what connection you’ll need to take you from here to there, and you’re still no further along in the process.

All you really need to do is walk in to or call your local travel agent. They have access to all of the flight times and costs, they can get you on to the right connection and can recommend hotels based on their own and the experiences of many passengers before you, and they have access to specials not available to the general public.

Even if you travel for business and think it’s cheaper to organise your own travel or have a staff member do it, it rarely is, you should give your local travel agent a try and compare the difference!

2-Experience takes the stress out of your pre-holiday preparations

You shouldn’t need to worry about making sure you’re landing at the right airport at the right time, to take that particular connection or whether it’s easy to get a cab at the airport or whether a private car or bus might be a better option. You might not even think about checking your bags through to your final destination rather than having to race through unfamiliar airports luggage in tow. Or there might be a fabulous opportunity to travel with a group or family that you would never have known about online!

Your travel agent can pre-arrange all of this for you. Not only that, they’ll know what to ask you and what is available and allowable, all with the benefit of knowledge and experience.

3-We are real people, with a real passion for travel not a faceless website

Why wouldn’t you want to share the excitement of a family journey and benefit from the knowledge and passion of a real person who genuinely cares about your travel experience and how your money is invested? Do you get the same experience when you book your travel experience online?

Who is that company you’re dealing with online? Where are they based? What experience will you have if you have to call them for any reason before or during your trip? Are you going to always get to talk to the same person? Do you know who they are? Are they sitting in a call centre in a far off place or are they local? Can they call up itinerary and help you if you’re stuck somewhere? Will they call you back if you need them?

4-We have access to specials and earlybird rates

Just in the last 2 weeks we have been able to offer our clients over 15 different earlybird specials and group discounts on tours and fares because we have buying power! There might be hundreds of online websites showing you specials on flights and holidays, but what happens when you search for the dates you want to travel…”oh dear sorry that special is not available for the dates you want to travel”…how about that! A faceless website, keen to pull you in via deceptive marketing! How often has that happened to you?

For our customers, if you tell us what dates you want to travel, we’ll keep an eye out for any specials coming up for those dates and destinations, no need for you to keep searching, we’ll do it for you and we’ll tell you first about the specials coming up, before they hit the marketplace.

5-We’re there for you if your plans need changing

What if your plans need changing? Maybe before you leave you get a promotion in a job and can’t travel when you first thought and you need to change your dates. Perhaps you’re part way through your trip and you get snowed in to a city you’re supposed to leave the next day?

If you’ve booked your own arrangements, you’re on your own. You’re the one making frantic calls to airlines, hotels and onward connections. If you’ve booked through a travel agent, the scenario is different, make one call to us (regardless of timezone difference a good agent will have given you a 24 hour number to call) and we’ll make contact with everyone necessary, then we’ll call you and let you know the outcome! Simple! You continue enjoying your trip while we’re doing the re-arranging!

So if you’re thinking about a fabulous family trip (big or small), you’re a business traveller, or a travel afficionado next time you think about travelling, give your local travel agent a call or visit them, they’ll give you a no obligation quote, some gorgeous books and brochures to take home with you and most importantly they’ll give you personalised and attentive service not possible online!

Visit Meridian Travel.

[Ed: Jodie has given us this fab family travel pack to give away - so leave a comment about this post OR your family travel story and you're in the running! Winner judged by Jodie end Feb)

  • Alister

    wow. I completely disagree with most of what’s in this article.
    My experience with travel agents has been that they are more expensive, more likely to book you on multi-stop flights to weird places, more likely to book super tight connections where you are running through airports and more likely to have no clue about where it is you are going.

    At least with booking via the web, I am responsible for the bookings, so I actually make sure that every connection is reasonable, that we are getting the best possible price without the stupid connections, and we can get the opinions of other travellers who have visited that area via recommendations.

  • http://twitter.com/ajmckenna Andrea McKenna

    I travel overseas with my young family at least once a year, mostly we try to fit in visits to lots of places and it involves lots of connections.

    Now, I wouldn’t do it without a travel agent. My experience is, (having done it independently and using an agent) that it takes me hours of my time to trawl through sites looking for the best hotel options, flight connections etc, costing me hundreds of dollars in lost time (I am a business owner and every hour I spend on DIY of anything costs me either in lost revenue or in lost time spent with family or doing things I love).

    I have a fabulous agent, who cares and knows about me and my family and our needs, I’m more than happy to pay her to give me peace of mind and my time back. Like any service provider the benefit comes from having a great relationship with them so that they know you and what you need from them.

  • Peter

    Alister you obviously need a new travel agent then as the one i deal with all the time are nothing short of sensational or do actually work for one of these online companies.?

    I dont know about you but i dont have time to be looking on the net all the time wondering if my flight is going to connect, whether or not the hotel i want to book exists.

  • Michelle

    For me, the truth lies somewhere in between. I have had Alister’s experience more often than not. On the other hand, I also know there are times when they can get the best deal. It’s also possible to have them do some leg work, learn from it and then split the load. Overall, however, I have found that they are often more expensive, even taking into account lost time. I still have to do some research anyway, no matter where I’m travelling.

  • http://www.facebook.com/warwickmerry Warwick Merry

    I do all my own domestic bookings as they are easy. International I leave it to the travel agent. I could probably save a couple of bucks but with all the stuffing around and visa requirements etc They can do it. It is not my core competency. I figure that if I pay the small amount to have someone else do the hard work I can spend more time at the pool/snow/beach/wherever.

    So know I have an excellent relationship with a travel agent and others in her team so I have more than one person looking after my needs. A recent trip planned for Bali the travel agent could do it much cheaper than I could the same thing on the internet and her price also included transfers. Why would I do it myself?

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