Today there are hundreds of websites available to help you with every stage of planning—and enjoying—your journey. You can find flights, compare rates, and purchase tickets online without any kind of middle man. Travel agents, for many, have become things of the past. But these specialized agents are still incredibly valuable people who can help you plan the best journey possible without breaking the bank.
Here are five reasons why you should hire a travel agent:
1. Travel agents have specialized knowledge in planning complex trips
If you’re taking a single flight to one destination for a few days and then returning home, you’re probably better off with a travel agent. But the moment you start planning to go to three or more locations, you should also start thinking about hiring a travel agent.
A good travel agent will already know the best places to book your flights, hotels, and activities. This knowledge helps them find the best deals faster, and frees you up to enjoy your life without stressing out about your vacation.
2. Travel agents know the best ways for groups to save on travel
Thinking you’ll travel with a group to save money and do something awesome? It’s a great idea, but actually putting it into practice can be a big headache.
Your travel agent knows exactly how to plan a big group trip. They know which companies offer the best discounts, what places are the best for group expeditions, and what activities appeal most to large groups.
3. Travel agents have their own professional network who provide access to the best prices
Do those internet prices seem like a steal? Well, some of them are, but they’re often not as good as the deals offered to travel agents. This is because travel agents maintain individual relationships with people at the right companies, and leverage those personal connections to get a hefty discount on your behalf.
A high quality travel agent should be able to give you a list of companies they’re connected to and countries they usually book trips for. This network is how they’ll get you the best deals, so make sure you choose a travel agent who frequently books trips in your area.
4. Travel agents have the best understanding of cruises
Want to take a cruise? Not sure where you want to go? Planning something on short notice? Travel agents can help you with all of these things.
Your travel agent should be familiar with a wide network of cruises going to different places over different periods of time. They’ll have a much easier time navigating the ID and papers you need to visit each stop on the cruise, and even giving you a basic rundown of customs in each location. They can even recommend great sights and activities in every place the cruise visits, providing a completely customized trip.
5. Travel agents advocate for you
Having someone in your corner is essential to every aspect of life, and planning a big trip is no different. If you don’t want to do the advocating yourself when you run into troubles or fail to get the best prices, a travel agent can do it for you. Their job is to make your journey the best it can be, even if that means spending several hours in negotiation with a resort or airline.
A travel agent is also equipped to deal with emergency travel needs you have during your journey. This can also take a load of stress off your back, which is essential when you’re dealing with an emergency in an unfamiliar country.