We often get asked – “why should we use a travel agent”? Or we often get told that it’s easier and cheaper to book online. Well, we thought it was high time to separate the facts from fiction and give you the top reasons why you should continue using a travel agent, or to start using the expertise a travel agent can provide.
In 2017, 40% of Australians booked their last overseas leisure trip with a travel agent (either in-store, over the phone or via email). Remember, a travel agent manages your most valuable and non-renewable asset – your leisure time!
1. Shop Local. Every time you book online, you’re likely giving your hard-earned cash to an overseas conglomerate that pays little to no tax in Australia, and isn’t employing Australian workers. Your local travel agent is usually a Mum and Dad operation, supporting a family, paying tax and creating jobs.
2. Price. Gone are the days where travel agents worked on contract pricing. Today travel agents have access to dynamic pricing, so those good deals you see online – a travel agent can usually book for you as well. And often they can secure even better pricing than what you’ve found online.
3. One Point of Contact. Particularly for complex itineraries, one point of contact creates simplicity, and reduces the margin of error. All your travel arrangements in the one place means things are not likely to be overlooked and it saves time and effort.
4. Expertise. Travel agents have travelled extensively, and they are constantly attending training and seminars – so they know the best suppliers, the most efficient arrangements and the latest special offers. Surprisingly, Millenials and Gen-Xers are the fastest growing client segment for travel agents. These are generations that are used to paying for experts such as personal trainers and believe in the value of personal service, despite being the biggest users of online shopping.
5. Trouble-Shooting. Nobody wants plans to go awry when you’re on holiday. But when they do, wouldn’t you rather your trusted travel agent sort it out for you? From rebooking missed or cancelled flights, to helping you lodge travel insurance claims, a travel agent can take the stress and time out of a bad situation.
6. Good Advice. The best travel agents are travel advisors. They get to know you and your personality, and can sift through all the choices to provide you options to perfectly suit your requirements. They create bespoke experiences that just can’t be ‘Googled’.
7. Get it Right. Even seasoned travellers don’t know all the options available to them. A travel agent can offer options you may never have thought about. And some holidays are more complex than others, or are for a special occasion. Many airfares options aren’t even available online. Do you want to risk making a mistake, particularly for something as special as a honeymoon?
8. Leverage. No matter how much you travel, you don’t have the leverage with suppliers such as hotels, airlines and car hire companies that a travel agent does. Most travel agents are part of a buying group, such as Helloworld Travel, that gives them preferential service, group buying power and exclusive offers. They can access their consortia’s special rates, dedicated representatives and even hotel room allocations that may be sold out online.