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Published on 02/25/2018

Vacation Hacker Tip 1:  Hire a Pro Travel Agent

Travel Agents are worth their weight in gold!

Vacation planners no longer need the help of a travel agent to book their accommodations maybe an accurate statement but is so far from the truth. A great travel agent is one of the best kept secrets in vacation planning. Understandable, not all travel agents are created equally. Finding a great travel agent is rare and hard to find, like a unicorn. When you find that great travel agent, they are worth their weight in gold.

Why Use a Travel Agent?

Why would you ever hire a travel agent to help plan my vacation when I have traveled all around the world? I have to ask the question; would you hire a doctor if you we’re not feeling well or a lawyer if you got into a legal situation? You hire professionals, like a travel agent, for their expertise in a specific industry or their ability to execute a skilled function. Travel agents are no different. Travel agents are trained in the travel industry beyond entering information to a website and taking payment for trips.

Because you have traveled all over the world, doesn’t mean you understand the travel industry. It seems like everyone today is a travel professional and I can understand why. Booking website make it simple to book airfare, cruises and tours online. The professional due care and service is missing from these booking agents. Even if you know what you want to do on your vacation, a travel agent can help book everything correctly, monitor problems with your booking, and help if any changes need to be made that stem from the airline, cruise lines, or you. If everything goes well with your vacation booking a vacation online is easy. If things go sideways, then that is where that professional can come in and make things much easier.

A great travel agent can find deals, experiences, and destinations that your standard booking website can never provide. Plus, your travel agent will be able to advise and expertise. A great example is when I was a Travel Agent, I would ask customers that wanted to book an Alaska cruise if they had any problems with waking up when it gets daylight. Come to find out, this is a common problem as people see light and they naturally wake up and stir. If the customer had this problem with sunlight, I would recommend an inside cabin. Depending on where and when you cruise Alaska, it might get dark at 11 PM and daybreak at 3 AM.

Finding an Agent

The best way to find a great agent, because they are unicorns, is to ask your friends and family for recommendations. People are ready to talk about a travel agent that provided great services. If your friends and family cannot recommend a travel agent, then search the Internet for great blogs with expertise in the areas you want to travel. The blogs will give insight into the travel agent’s knowledge and experience.

Before you hire a travel agent, call and interview them. Ask them about their area of expertise, experience, certifications, etc. When I am interviewing travel agents, I want to make sure they personable and someone I connect with I can connect with them.

How Much Does Using A Travel Agent Costs?

Most travel agents are compensated by the travel products they sell. Using a travel agent doesn’t cost you anything. There are luxury and specialty travel agents that charge a fee to use them, but it is not a common practice.
Many travel agents have a cancelation fee. This fee is for those who cancel their commendation. This is to help the travel agent recoup some costs in booking the vacation. Before booking with a travel agent, ask them their fee structure and what happens if I need to cancel.

Hire a Pro

Before you plan your next vacation, hire a professional travel agent. The agent will make you vacation planning experience more enjoyable and help you find adventure in your next vacation.

February 2019
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