Nowadays, with airline and hotel reservations, car rental bookings and just about every other travel-related consideration just one mouse click away, many people opt to make all of their travel plans on their own. It’s hard to argue that position that any of these tasks is difficult to do because they’re not. But there can be advantages to using the services of an online travel agent. Here are just a few.
The Internet is great for getting deals, but with travel there isn’t always that same advantage. While you can search for and find deals that look great, they aren’t always any better than a travel agent can get. Since travel services like accommodation providers, airlines and the others are in such a competitive sector of business, there is not a lot of profit margin. Until these providers have booked their services to a certain level, there is often no profit. Higher rates are often offered to those who do their own booking online.
Every airline seat, hotel room night, car rental day and state room on a cruise has an expiration date. If it’s not sold before that date, it becomes lost money to that business. In the interest of filling every seat, room, car, cabin, etc., the airlines, hotels, rental agencies and cruise lines often make the best deals to online travel agents. Think about it. Individuals will only be interested in buying enough airfare, lodging and other amenities for themselves and maybe their travel companions. The travel agents can move many more of these assets, keep them from expiring worthless and help the businesses turn a profit.
Another advantage of dealing with an agent is getting a complete package of services at one stop. Not only does any good travel agent have access to great vacation ideas and some lesser known accommodation packages that can be quite deluxe, they can easily fill your days and nights with the things you love to do while you’re there — and you don’t have to hassle with doing it yourself. If tennis is your thing, why not have clinics, training and even matches included in your package?
Unless you’re very thorough, booking packages yourself can be touch and go. Happening upon a great deal on travel from the US to parts of Europe could mean you accidentally depart and arrive from two different airports in London if you’re not careful. That’s just an example, but things like that have been known to happen.
Booking everything on one’s own means handling many details. Flight times, ground transportation, late hotel check ins, to name a few, must all be coordinated. Since air travel often has its delays, making changes and informing all of the services involved in your travel itinerary can be a chore. Having a travel agent can be like having your own personal travel concierge. He or she deals with the details so you can focus on having a good time.
If you’ve ever traveled with a large group of friends, business associates or extended family, you know that getting everyone situated in the same place at the same time is nothing less than an event. Having a travel agent is almost a necessity. If each person handled their own itinerary, something would undoubtedly get fouled up somewhere. The job is a lot of work and handing it over to a professional in most cases will most assuredly make any group less stressful.
Those who are getting married have an extra incentive to use a full-service online travel agent to book their honeymoon travel — it’s call honeymoon registry. The travel agent that invented this should get a medal! Honeymoon registry works just like regular registry but gift givers can contribute toward your honeymoon. You register for the meals, services and activities you want and people buy them for you as a gift. What could be better than that?
Booking your own travel is certainly doable, but why do it when you don’t have to? Especially when you can spend the same thing and have a professional do it for you.