Travel agents are professionals who provide assistance with organizing and booking travel. At one time, it was very difficult for people to book tickets for plane, train, and boat trips without the assistance of a travel agent, although this changed with the advent of web sites geared at travelers who wanted to make their own arrangements. The services of a travel agent can still be quite valuable, especially for people who are not experienced travelers. At the most basic level, travel agents are salespeople.
They need to be familiar with all the services their agency offers and be able to cater to their clients’ specific needs. Everything from travel dates to accommodation quality to cancellation policies and available transportation will be considered by the agent. They have many “insider” tips for different destinations and will be confirming each and every reservation made. Travel agents book travel plans for everyone from honeymooning couples to large businesses. Some travel agents specialize in group ventures, such as tour packages or cruise vacations for a large crowd. Some specialize in certain geographical areas or one specific destination. Travel agents have unique relationships with vendors in order to help you get the best deals possible. Travel agencies usually require agents to have a business or liberal arts degree from a four-year college or university. Many agencies also require their agents to be fluent in the language of the location they intend to specialize in.
Most travel agents will also have extensive experience in customer service. If you’re busy with work, kids, or school, you probably have little time left over to sit at the computer and search for travel deals. This is where hiring a travel agent can be invaluable. If you’ve never booked your own trip and have no idea where to start, a travel agent can be a lifesaver. If you’re traveling abroad for the first time, a travel agent is a trustworthy source for all the small details you’ll need to consider, including currency conversion, cell phone use, passports, translation and medicine. If you’re looking to plan a complicated trip that involves multiple means of transportation and several destinations, a travel agent is definitely the right way to go.
Benefits of Using a Travel Agent
Save Money (Perks)- Travel agents who book a high volume of trips often have access to perks that you might not be able to get on your own. Whether it’s a room upgrade, a fee waiver or even reservations at a hot resort or on a popular tour, travel agents often add perks into your vacation plan. If you are planning a trip for a special occasion, such as a marriage proposal, a travel agent has access to the resources and people who can help you plan the perfect event.
Travel Recommendations- Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take a cruise, but you’re not sure which cruise line is best for you or where you want to go. Maybe you want to take the kids to Disney World, but you’re having trouble navigating the endless array of ticket and package options. A travel agent can help.
You Get Advice– Planning a trip can get complicated, especially if you are travelling to a foreign country. You have to think about flights, accommodation, and methods of transportation in addition to ensuring you have all the proper documentation required for your trip. Although much research can be done on the internet, nothing beats the knowledge an experienced travel agent can provide. Often websites can be misleading by using amazing pictures or reviews to draw travelers in. There is nothing worse than arriving at a destination only to be disappointed that the beautiful sights are not what you expected. Travel agents can give you ideas about where to go, what to do, where to eat, and how to get around.
Get the Scoop on Great Deals- One of the main reasons people purchase travel online is because they believe it’s cheaper. This isn’t necessarily so. Travel agents are always looking for seat sales or deals for last minute cruises. Many agents also work with specific airlines or travel wholesalers to make sure their prices are competitive within the industry.
Service – Travel agents are knowledgeable and active in the industry. The Society provides education, training and resource materials to its members to equip them with the tools to offer the highest quality of service.
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