ARE travel AGENTS STILL USEFUL?

Last Updated: 8/9/20 | August 9th, 2020

Back before the Web (you keep in mind those days, right?), when people wished to plan a vacation, they utilized a travel agent. These charming people would book your flights, cruises, resort stays, honeymoons, as well as whatever in between. They would take care of all your plans as well as be there to liaison between you as well as the company.

They were who you called when things went wrong. They got you the offers you couldn’t discover on your own since you didn’t have gain access to to the resources they did.

But travel agents feel antiquated now.

As on the internet booking web sites as well as the sharing economic climate have ended up being a lot more popular, travel agents have diminished in value (9/11 as well as the 2008 economic downturn didn’t assist either).

The Web age have made it simple for us travelers to cut out the travel agent as well as plan our own trips by booking directly with airlines as well as hotels (or, nowadays, with locals — thanks, Airbnb).

Moreover, the lots of offer web sites available assisting us discover affordable airfares as well as hotels have enabled consumers to discover the affordable costs that utilized to be the domain of agents.

The web has cut out the middle guy as well as the age of travel agents seems to be on the decline.

According to Ryan Geist of burner Air:

The direct-to-consumer web sites cut down the time it took to plan a trip from hours or days to minutes. as well as there is total transparency. You can bargain-shop with a click of your mouse. It’s been devastating to an market entrenched in custom as well as stale relationships.

And yet, though “the death of travel agents” has been touted considering that Expedia debuted, they still exist, though greatly diminished in number (the number of freelance travel agents went from 124,030 in 2000 to 66,670 in 2019).

But that’s still a quite high number.

In fact, 43% of travelers still like to utilize an agent when booking flights.

That is since they still offer value for specific kinds of travel (they’re heavily utilized for luxury, corporate, as well as group travel), in addition to for their expertise as well as special service connections — not to mention their time-saving, stress-relieving, as well as problem-solving skills.

Travel agents are beneficial if you’re doing a extremely expensive or complex trip, planning a honeymoon or something fancy, or traveling with a big group. They have gain access to to a number of offers as well as bulk getting choices we diy solo consumers don’t, particularly when it pertains to tours, high-end flights, as well as cruises.

As Patricia Serrano from Fresh Traveler puts it:

It’s extremely simple to book a flight from new York to Miami today, as well as if that’s all you want, then you must do it online. however if you’re trying to find flights for a group of a lot more than 10 people or a flight travel plan like JFK-MIA-BOG-EZE-LAX-SEA-ORD-EWR, then a travel agent would be of excellent help.

They are likewise best for people who just don’t want to manage a big, challenging trip themselves. travel agents offer them peace of mind. As Ryan said, “Logistics can be basic or complicated, however they nearly always cause a headache. people will pay great money to somebody they depend on to just ‘handle it’ for them.”

Alicia Saba from The Splendid Traveler echoes this:

Travel agents are still utilized for professional guidance, individualized travels, as well as to save time. The Web has made it much easier to book your own travels, however keeping that comes informational overload. travel planning is a time-consuming process, as well as you don’t truly understand if you’re taking full advantage of your holiday time or planning experiences that line up with your interests as well as travel style.

As Cheryl Oddo from carefree holidays says,

People want firsthand understanding as well as experience, the inside track on getting the most out of their vacation, making it unforgettable as well as affordable. They want somebody to state ‘that’s a mistake, I suggest this instead,’ as well as to describe travel insurance, passport requirements, visas, self-drives in foreign countries, customs as well as cultures, as well as all of the ‘how-tos.’

I agree with all of them.

Travel agents are for people who don’t want to spend hours researching their trips, are not experienced travelers, or are traveling in such a big group that the economics as well as logistics of booking it yourself do your head in.

I’m not shocked that travel agents have seen a increase in usage of the last few years, particularly among millennials who try to outsource time-intensive activities.

If you’re traveling with a group of 15 people for your grandmother’s birthday on a cruise, a travel agent can absolutely get you a much better offer than you can yourself. Agents are available in helpful when getting inbulk since they commonly have gain access to to offers (this applies to airline tickets too).

Planning a honeymoon or a high-end trip? challenging round-the-world trip for a household of four? The extremely specialized nature of travel agents makes them excellent for these type of trips too.

Take cruises. travel agents have connections with cruise lines as well as gain access to to offers we daily consumers don’t. Doug Parker from cruise Radio advises that you begin with a travel agent, as they have connections with the cruise business as well as can commonly get much better rates as well as last-minute deals. travel agents commonly can discover much lower costs as well as can likewise act as a liaison to cruise business when something goes wrong.

Agents speak to cruise lines all the time so if you want that 15 person trip to go smoothly, an agent would be better.

And that’s one more location where travel agents might are available in handy: when difficulty crops up. Patricia advises, “Travel agents can save you time as well as money when you are in an emergency. A great deal of airlines as well as hotel chains have favored numbers for travel agents so they can get in touch swiftly with the people who can finest resolve your situation. “

Ryan agreed: “A travel agency’s biggest assets are its special as well as leveraged relationships, its capability to problem-solve for its clients in real-time, 24/7, as well as its function as a feline herder for group travel. When you’re in trouble, there is no substitute for a knowledgeable, reliable, as well as leveraged travel agent.”

So am I unexpectedly enamored with travel agents? No. I still personally don’t utilize them. I like booking trips, understand where to discover deals, as well as don’t plan household trips for twenty. provide me a flight on points, a hostel, as well as a bus ticket, as well as I’m all set.

If you’re planning a trip to Bermuda for you, your spouse, as well as family, it’s quite straightforward: go online, discover a affordable flight, book a hotel or Airbnb, as well as off you go.

Backpacking with Europe? A travel agent can’t tell you to opt for the flow. They aren’t going to get you offers on hostels, backpacker tours, train tickets, or beat those budget plan airline carriers.

Every travel agent I spoke with agreed with me on this point. “If you’re staying in budget plan accommodations as well as not seeking to preplan any type of activities or transportation, you’re much better off booking on your own,” Alicia responded.

But if you are organizing a significant group, requirement lots of airplane tickets (like on our FLYTE groups, for which we utilize a travel agent), a honeymoon, a complex itinerary, or an costly trip, a travel agent is most likely a great idea. They will make life easier, get you bulk discounts, as well as be there in situation anything goes wrong.

If I were planning a trip that fell into one of those categories, I would look into a travel agent, even if it was just to test the waters.

They’ll save you idea as well as be worth the cost you pay for a seamless, stress-free trip.
 

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Book Your Trip: Logistical ideas as well as Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a affordable flight by utilizing Skyscanner. It’s my preferred browse engine since it searches web sites as well as airlines around the globe so you always understand no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, utilize Booking.com as they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses as well as hotels.

Don’t fail to remember travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will secure you against illness, injury, theft, as well as cancellations. It’s detailed security in situation anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to utilize it lots of times in the past. My preferred business that offer the very best service as well as value are:

SafetyWing (best for everyone)

Insure My trip (for those over 70)

Medjet (for extra evacuation coverage)

Ready to book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the very best business to utilize when you travel. I listing all the ones I utilize when I travel. They are the very best in class as well as you can’t go wrong utilizing them on your trip.

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