The Internet is for looking, Travel Agents are for Booking!!
I was born to plan travel. At least that’s what I always believed. Planning vacations was something I always wanted to do. Heck, it was always something I did. I was actively involved in planning our family’s vacations for as long as I can remember. I can remember pouring through the Mobile Travel Guide and helping my mom select hotels (probably motels, let’s be real) to stay at on our next family trip.
When the internet first became “a thing” I used to plan vacations I could never take. I’ve always been in a constant vacation planning mode. It’s just been my thing.
So when I had the opportunity to begin planning travel professionally, I knew this would be a perfect fit. After all, I knew EVERYTHING there was to know about travel planning. I was an expert. I had been training for this my whole life. Other than learning a few hotel chains and where I might find a certain river in China, what else could I possibly need to know?! I mean I have the internet.
What I didn’t realize is how much BETTER a knowledgeable travel advisor can make your trip. How much a travel agent can help save you money. How much a travel advisor can do to take your trip to the next level.
I could probably write an entire novel on “what I’ve learned since becoming a travel advisor” but I thought I would focus on a few of the most important things I have learned while planning travel and why using a travel advisor is more than just having someone book a trip for you.
1. Don’t ever rule out a destination based on the cost of airfare. Travel agents often have access to discounted airfare that is not available to the general public. We can bundle flights, hotels, and rental cars and save you a ton of money. The vacation you are dreaming about may not actually be just a dream. Let’s make it a reality.
2. Book early. Book early. Book early. I’ve seen prices rise day over day, hour over hour. You will very rarely get a deal by waiting. You run the risk of paying thousands more by waiting a few months. Work with a travel advisor to secure your vacation of choice as early as possible. Deposits are often extremely low and can be fully refundable if something changes but you can lock in the low rate. Do not wait until you get your tax refund—book your deposit and then pay it off with your refund. Trust me.
3. Some “luxuries” are worth the cost. Uber is great. But how much better is it to arrive in a new location and be greeted by someone holding a sign with your name on it. Did you know arranging private transfers is often less expensive than using a taxi? Why not take a little stress off your plate and allow your travel advisor to arrange all of your transportation from end to end? Knowing that you will have a vehicle sized appropriately for your family and waiting to take you to your hotel just means you can start your vacation that much sooner—no stress! Trust us on this.
Being a travel advisor is WAY more than knowing how to navigate the internet. Anyone can do that. To be a true travel agent, it means giving full customer service to your clients and helping make their trips as easy and as enjoyable as possible. We all have the internet. The internet is for looking, agents are for booking! Let us plan your vacation from end to end and give you the expertise that you may not even have known you needed.
Cara Hatcher Blair