Do you suffer from “Decision Fatigue”? It is said that the average person visits 21 sites online during nine sessions while preparing for a trip which leads many to decision fatigue. There are a lot of great tools to use online for booking your next vacation but many are finding that going to a trusted travel agent is saving them time, money and enhancing their travel experience. Although for short trips or trips to places you have visited before, you will find that booking your travel arrangements online will work. It is for those places that you have never visited and extended stay trips where a travel agent may come in handy.
Why use a Travel Agent?
Often they know more than you do about a specific location. They are better connected to hotels, restaurants and more than you are. They often can get you perks that you couldn’t online and can usually find you better rates. They also know the lingo of the travel industry and are familiar with the trends of when pricing will go up or down and availability. If something happens on your trip, you can rely on your travel agent as a safety net or resource to get out of a jam.
Not all travel agents are the same. Make sure to do your research before booking with an agent. Your must trusted source is your friends and family. If they have a great travel agent, ask them more about that person. You may want to see that your agent is a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) which means they have worked five years full time in the industry. Also check with the Better Business Bureau. Over 7000 complaints were filed last year. You want an agent that has good reviews through the BBB. Another great resource is Virtuoso. They list some of the best travel agents in the industry from over 350 agencies.
Other tips to follow when booking with an agent:
1) Get all your vacation details in writing so you have backup.
2) Verify your reservations.
3) Pay with a credit card and not cash.
4) Be alert for any travel scams out there.
5) Ask your agent questions about a place you have already visited or feel is overrated to see if your opinions are similar.
6) If the agent doesn’t ask a lot of questions, they are probably not the best fit. The agent should be asking as much as they can to find you what will make you the happiest on your trip.
Do you prefer to do all the vacation research and booking on your own or do you rely on a travel agent to help you? What do you feel is important for travel agents to consider or do when helping out a client? We would love to hear your responses.