The travel industry has changed tremendously over the past several years. The Internet has become a valuable research tool for travelers on all levels. However, spending hours surfing the Web looking for the best deal can sometimes lead to the opposite result.
If you book a vacation online, ask these questions:
• Have I compared allmy options to findthe best deal?
• How much is included inthe total price?
• What’s in the fine print?
• What fees will be charged?
• Are there restrictions onrefunds?
• Is the information postedonline accurate and updated?
• How would I find outabout price reductions?
• Am I eligible for any upgrades,discounts, special promotions, etc. and how do Ireceive them?
• Can I book with a debitcard or is a credit cardrequired?
• How will I get my tickets?
• What phone number can Icall if I have problems?
You should ask some of these questions no matter how you book your trip, but working with a travel agent could make your experience less stressful.
Most travel agents are travel experts and can make recommendations based on personal experience, past clients’ experience and from relationships built with travel suppliers. Personal service, knowledge and value is what you’ll get from a good travel agent, and in most cases it won’t cost you a dime.
A recently returned traveler reported the value their travel agent added to their trip. They booked a trip to Cancun with friends. They used a travel agent, and their friends did not. Both couples decided on a particular hotel based on the recommendation of the travel agent.
However, the friends then went online to book and saw some information about the recommended hotel and decided to switch hotels. The couple that used the travel agent, after some consultation, decided to stay with his recommendation.
After the couple returned, they reported that they were very appreciative of the travel agent’s knowledge and recommendations. Despite the reports on the Internet, their hotel exceeded their expectations and their friends’ hotel was well below their expectations.
A good travel agent works as a “value interpreter,” using his or her expertise to find amazing experiences that fit within your budget. Travel agents can provide the small things that make for a better trip.