8 Reasons to Book with a Travel Professional
by Mark Faldmo, Jr., Vice President, Columbus Travel
Planning the perfect vacation can be a large undertaking. There is so much involved in planning a vacation that many vacationers don't get what they expect. One way to help plan that dream getaway is by using a travel agent who has the knowledge and expertise in planning and arranging vacations. Below are 8 reasons why you should consider using a travel agent from ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents).
1. Customer advocacy: If you have a problem with a particular part of your travel experience, the agent is there to act on your behalf to see that restitution is made. ASTA, for example, is the only travel industry association aggressively fighting to improve the travel experience, and air transportation in particular, for all consumers, not just those with access to the Internet.
2. Expert guidance: Travel agents, unlike instructions on a Web page, are experts in understanding and deciphering the myriad of travel information and codes out there. It’s what they’ve been trained to do and they do it every day.
3. Personalized service: Instead of an impersonal voice thousands of miles away, travel agents are your neighbors. They know what you want and what you value in your travel experience.
4. Professional advice: Travel agents are there to make sure you get where you want to go, when you want to go and for the lowest price.
5. Time: Instead of checking a long list of travel Web pages, which only provide rates and fares for the companies that have contracted with them, why not go straight to the source? A travel agent has all the information at their fingertips, saving you a few hours in front of a computer screen.
6. Unbiased information: Agents work for their clients, not for a travel supplier. It makes sense that a happy customer will be a repeat customer.
7. Value: Travel professionals have access to online deals, as well as many consolidators that only work with travel agencies. A travel agent will help you find the best products that provide you value.
8. First-Hand Experience: Many travel professionals have been to where you want to go and give you the inside-scoop on what to do and when to do it. Look for a travel professional that is an expert in your chosen destination or type of travel.
I've been leading tours for over eight years and in that time I have become a big believer in travel agents. As I've lead these tours occasionally there have been unforeseeable problems, from very minor to serious, and the biggest benefit to having is travel agent is that they've "got your back." When I've run into these problems often they have been resolved in just one call to the travel agent. ~ Alicia
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