I hear people wonder if travel agents are still relevant. We are more than still relevant.
As society and technology have evolved, the travel industry has evolved, and today, it’s truer than ever that every traveler benefits from using a travel professional.
This is especially more the case than when I started this career in 1971.
For one thing, today’s traveler has different preferences than previous ones, and today’s travel professional knows how to indulge them.
These are exciting times. We get to spend less time booking tickets for people and more time getting to know our clients and creating personal, customized trips for them. The function agents used to serve -- finding domestic flights for people -- is not a role we need or want to fill now.
But there’s much more.
There are more options available, and we know how to navigate them. There are more listings for lodging, more price choices from more outlets.
There are also more scams, and we know whom to trust.
We are more savvy than the amateur planner with using technology to get the best values for the entirety of a trip. We know what’s included and what’s a la carte, where the hidden fees are, and how your apps are changing the prices they offer you based on your search history.
If there’s a crisis while you’re away from home, your travel professional will assist you.
When you need a business to compensate for their own error, ask your travel professional to mediate. Hotels, cruises, car rentals and other travel suppliers want to keep the travel agents happy, so your agent has leverage you don’t -- and an online app certainly doesn’t.
We have insider tips and great advice based on experience and feedback from others. We also have relationships with the businesses we work with, and can often get or arrange things for you not available to the general public.
We know how to save you money, but we also know how to get more for your money by arranging upgrades, luxury features, VIP access and hard-to-get reservations.
Traveling abroad is intimidating; you don’t know the language or understand the signs, and modes of transportation and customs are very different. These are safety concerns. The advice of a travel professional can make the difference in whether you’re prepared when you need to be.
There are so many benefits. When it really matters, don’t risk trying to do it yourself.
Studies show people who work with a professional to plan important trips have a better experience. For milestone events and once-in-a-lifetime occasions -- when it has to go right, you don’t want take chances.
Laura’s Travel, Redlands