OR – why would I even need a travel agent?

Written by Wendy High
Owner – Wendy High Travel

Travel has changed dramatically in the last 10-15 years.  Security issues, internet travel agencies, trip advisors, cramped planes and the question of ‘Are there still travel agents and when in the world would I use one??’ Here’s some information to help clear up some of the confusion.

Having been a travel agent for 20 years I’ve seen and been affected by all these same issues in my own travel and my business.

Security issues – when you’re at airports the obvious answers are be sure to bring good, appropriate ID and make sure your passport doesn’t expire while you are traveling. Get to the airport early and realize everyone is in the same boat and it’s the slow boat.

Booking your own travel – Internet agencies lack the follow through that your own personal agent would have. When I read the travel section in the Sunday newspaper there are frequently the same issues in the ‘Help me” column. It’s usually a problem booked through an online agency and not being able to get a resolution to a refund or ‘when we got to our destination we got moved/bumped to another hotel due to overbooking’, or a significant health emergency with no travel insurance.

The problem using an online agency is … You never get the same person to help with a problem so you get put on hold a million times or there is lack of response by email. Using an online agency is OK for a simple trip, like an airline ticket or hotel in Chicago/New York/San Francisco/Las Vegas…. But, if this is a family trip, a honeymoon, a multi-generation family trip or a girlfriend getaway when everyone lives in different cities  OR, the big one…a destination wedding….why would you take the chance that you could have issues that will make the trip unforgettable and not in a good way??

Travel agents frequently travel and have great connections in the hotel business, tour connections, cruise ships, etc. Travel agents often have a niche, so they have been to the destination many times and know what it’s like. Example….you are traveling with girlfriends and you all have children. Would you want to stay in a quiet, adults only hotel or stay in a hotel where there are kids jumping into the pool right next to you, splashing your drinks and your hair???  Or how about an adults only hotel full of 20 year old ‘adults’ who party all  night or a highly romantic  or even a swingers hotel where everyone is swinging…everywhere???

Periodically I see pictures on an online site and KNOW they are photo shopped. Travel agents meet frequently with hospitality suppliers, managers of hotels, they train on destinations like Figi or river cruising.  They help you protect your valuable investment in travel.  They are fraud busters.

Find a good agent in a Travel Leaders agency, or call me at Wendy High Travel.  Find someone you are comfortable with and with whom you feel a connection. Travel isn’t about getting from here to there…it’s about dreams, experiences and making an amazing experience. It’s about making family connections, introducing you to yourself and others!! A good agent will ask you questions and find out what you want…then she or he will design a vacation for you and your companions.

We can email the hotel before you get there and get preferential treatment for you. You will not get bumped or moved to another resort when your friends are at the one you wanted. That will not happen !! Travel agents get paid by the supplier like Funjet, Apple, Delta Vacations, etc. You may pay a service fee for our expertize, but it’s not much compared to how much the trip is costing in dollars and emotional expectations.

Travel agents can help find the perfect trip for you.  So, where would YOU like to go??
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