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If you’ve ever wondered whether you need to contact a travel agent for your next trip, here are Eight Vacations You Need to Book with a Travel Agent and Four You Don’t.
It’s interesting the things that come up in conversation. About a year ago I was at a party and the subject of my history as a travel agent came up. A lady I was talking to asked if she should use a travel agent on a trip in her near future. She was about to start planning a trip to Ireland with her brother and couldn’t decide where to start.
I said that it really depended on a few different factors. What type of experience is she looking for and is this her first visit to Ireland are just a couple things that she needed to consider. I did end up advising her to contact a travel agent to help her navigate the different options available to her.
The conversation did have me thinking about how a traveler should go about deciding which trips to book themselves and which are better left to the expertise of a travel agent. It gave me the idea to create this list of Eight Vacations You Need to Book with a Travel Agent and Four You Don’t.
Yes, you can book tours directly with the tour companies. However, a travel agent has an established relationship with these companies. They will know which one will best suit you and your needs. In most cases
Like tours, you can definitely book directly with the cruise line but there are a few things to keep in mind before you do that. Is this your first cruise? If it is, a travel agent can help you find the best cruise line for you. Not all cruise lines are created equal and which one you choose can depend on several different factors.
If you have booked a cruise before but you’re considering a new destination a travel agent can help you figure out which cruise line will suit you best for that destination. Travel agents may also have access to better pricing that you don’t or know of upcoming sales. It’s definitely worth your while to consult with a travel agent before booking a cruise.
New International Destination
Whether it’s your first trip out of the country or your tenth, if it’s a new destination you should definitely consult a travel agent. There are many things to consider when traveling internationally and each destination is different. Do you need a visa? Should you plan an independent trip or would you be better off with a tour? A travel agent can help you navigate through your questions and concerns and help you make the best decisions for you.
Looking to do an all-inclusive Caribbean getaway? Or maybe Las Vegas is more your style. There are many types of resort packages that can be built and a travel agent is exactly who you need to make that happen. Their access to wholesalers helps them build the right package for you.
I especially recommend working with an agent if you’re planning a Hawaiian island hopper vacation. You’ll want the multiple resorts and flights put together in a nice and neat package.
An African safari is quite often a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. A travel agent can help you decide on which tour company to go with and which areas you want to go see. These trips can be quite an investment. You want to make sure to get it right the first time around especially if there’s a chance it’s your only time around. Having a travel planning professional is exactly who you need to help you have the safari experience you’ve been dreaming of.
Domestic Destinations with Long Stays, First Time Visits, Special Occasions
Not all trips within the US require help from a travel agent. It really depends on the destination and other varying factors. There’s a lot a travel agent can do for you when you’re visiting a city like New York City. They can build packages that include hotel stay, sightseeing activities, and even Broadway shows. If it’s your first time traveling there and it happens to be for Thanksgiving weekend, they can guide you through the special events for that weekend, like the Macy’s parade.
Exotic destinations like Indonesia have become more popular among travelers in recent years. Depending on where you want to go and what you want to do, a travel agent can help you make decisions on what is best for you and your safety. It’s also great to have someone back at home to help make mid-trip changes if it’s needed. This has happened to some of my former clients in the past. Luckily for
Family / Group Trips
Having a travel agent handle large group reunion trips is practically a must! It reduces the amount of stress that you have to deal with handling each person’s reservations. All you have to do is give your fellow traveler’s your agent
As you can see there are many ways a travel agent can help you plan your future travels. There are, however, some occasions when even a former agent like me has to admit that you probably don’t need an agent’s help.
Quick Overnight Hotel Stays
There really is no need to work with a travel agent for a short hotel stay. There are so many review sites out there to check for a decent hotel. When it’s not a special occasion or you’re not looking for a special rate, it’s understandable to book it yourself.
This falls under the Airbnb category, too. If you’re looking to book something with a private owner, there’s no need to contact a travel agent. There are not a lot of commission opportunities in this category so agents will have to charge a service fee to do the booking for you.
Vacation Rental sites like Home Away make it very easy to book the vacation rental that’s right for you all by yourself. No professional assistance needed.
If you’re visiting an area again and feel comfortable enough at going alone this time around, feel free to book it yourself. You still may want to contact an agent if it’s an international destination. You never know when they can get a consolidator rate on air or a wholesale rate on hotels. If you’re looking for a special package for a destination like Vegas, then definitely call your travel agent. They might be able to get you a better deal.
If you’re looking to book a rental car, go ahead and book it yourself. Travel agents sometimes have access to special rates and discount codes. However, I started to find near the end that I could find better rates with my Costco membership and Hotwire. I used Costco over my agency rates for my personal travel all the time.
If you’re looking to rent a car internationally, then call a travel agent. They can advise you on what you need to do and book you a car through a consolidator like AutoEurope.
I hope this Eight Vacations You Need to Book with a Travel Agent and Four You Don’t list will help you the next time you’re facing the dilemma of whether or not to consult a travel agent.
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