Why your travel consultant should be on speed dial
Travel agents are back, baby, and we’re here to stay!
Actually, we never went anywhere. It’s just that this amazing thing ‘the internet’ came along and suddenly the power to book anything, anytime, anywhere was in anyone’s hands. But just like you can find out how to cut your own hair online (Google has 111,000,000 results for that) why would you when there’s an expert more than willing to do it for you. And do it well.
Experts in travel
It’s here that we’ll highlight the word ‘expert’ because that’s what travel agents are – they’re experts in travel. They know the ins and outs of different destinations, hotels, resorts, airlines, car and rail travel, visa requirements… the list goes on and on. Things like this and this are much less likely to happen if you’ve booked with an expert travel consultant.
Whereas stories like this from Bruce Mackintosh are very likely. ‘I’ve just finished a booking for a guy who has booked online for years. When I delivered his documents, his exact words were "I’m so glad I booked through an agent". Why? Because my quote was over $2,000 cheaper than what he could get online for the itinerary he was after.”
The reason it was cheaper? Bruce’s experience and knowledge. These guys do it all day, every day. They know what will work and they know what won’t. They're no longer 'just' travel agents; they've become so much more than that... they're like travel advisors or travel designers. Or, what we like to call this talented bunch here at World Travellers, 'Personal Travel Managers', because that's what they do; they personally manage your travel.
Some of our agents clockwise from top: World Travellers Galaxy Travel, World Travellers Best Travel and World Travellers Napier
What's the cost?
And since we’re talking money and savings, let’s take this opportunity to add that using a travel agent usually costs the same or less than booking a trip on your own, as travel agents are typically paid on commission by hotel groups, tour operators, cruise lines and other travel suppliers for selling their products. But, it’s often by booking through an agent that you can secure extras such as a free breakfasts and room upgrades or credits at no additional cost. Nice!
It's all about who you know
Which takes us onto the next point. One of the biggest advantages of booking with an agent over the Internet is that they have connections. They know people. They know stuff. They have clout. Often, all it takes is a simple phone call and 'voila', you’re upgraded to the next room type or you’ve got a late checkout. Try doing that the next time you book on the Internet.
Too much information
Not that the Internet is all doom and gloom; it’s actually a wonderful tool to use to plan your trip and get lost in the pages and pages and pages and pages and pages of information available. But it’s this very overload of information that’s, well, overloading us. What you need is someone that can guide you through all the different options available and help you make the very best choice for you… someone like your friendly personal travel manager! The good news is that all your research won’t go to waste; they'll be able to build on it and together you’ll be able to book the perfect itinerary for you.
Another key point is that travel is unpredictable. Yes, you may have booked your flight, car and hotel without a glitch online. But what if, say, a volcano erupts and pretty much stops all air travel across an entire continent for almost a week. Not so far fetched actually.
‘I had a client that was stuck in Glasgow when the Icelandic Volcano blew up. I was in constant touch with him and managed to get him back to New Zealand when the airlines were unreachable as phone lines were clogged solid,’ says Dale Watkins. ‘He was so impressed that he gave me a Wonder Woman mug as he said I was a Wonder Woman Travel Agent.’
Maybe it’s not a volcano. Maybe you just want to change your travel dates because you’re having an awesome time. It happens. And it’s then that you’ll wish you had a travel agent.
And we’re here to help. We want to help. Whether it’s a small flight to Australia, or your dream trip to Antarctica, give us a call… because in the awesome words of Meg Wislar (with some adjustments... thanks Meg!), ‘The Internet is for looking, but World Travellers is for booking.’ :)
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So tell us....
Do you use a travel agent? Do let us know what you think in the comments below; we'd love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time… safe travels