Nowadays you can plan an entire trip abroad on your phone. There are many online booking sites where you can find affordable airline tickets; travel review sites and business directories to pick hotels and restaurants from; and dozens of blogs about things to do in a particular country.
So, does anyone really need to use a travel agency anymore?
Well, it depends on what type of traveler you are.
In the airline travel business there are two types of passengers; business and leisure travellers. Business travellers are taking work trips and so don’t care much about costs (the company is paying), but are concerned with time. These types of passengers don’t need a travel agency.
Nevertheless, the company they work for may be concerned with keeping travel costs low, and use a travel agency.
The second type of passenger is the leisure traveller; they are going on vacation/holiday trips. They are concerned with costs, enjoyment and are flexible with time. These are the types of passengers that may need professional assistance planning a trip.
There are 3 main reasons why leisure travelers need to use a travel agency.
1. Market Expertise
Low prices aren’t what make travel agencies appealing. Instead, a travel agencies main selling point is their knowledge.
For instance, you can find information online about good safari tour packages in Tanzania, however, your travel agent will know what the peak and low seasons are; when they have special offers; which specific tour guides to request, and the particular perks of different hotels. A travel agent’s knowledge will maximize the enjoyment of your trip, while sticking to your budget.
Additionally, you should use a travel agency that specializes in the type of trip you are taking. For instance, if you plan on going on safari in Tanzania, then use one of these travel agencies that specialize in safaris. They’ll not only be able to pick the best tour for you, but they have developed relationships with tour operators, guides and hotel managers to get you the best deals, perks and ultimately experience.
2. Saves you time
While money is something that you can always get more off, time isn’t. So while a travel agency will charge you a fee for their services, what they give you in return is priceless – your time.
There are so many details that go in to planning a trip. In addition to spending hours searching for cheap airline tickets, you will have to:
- Find accommodation for each place you will stay
- Plan for transport
- Research and prepare necessary safety precautions
- Figure out what you need to bring (including travel documents, clothes, currency, and specific things like mosquito repellents)
- Research and create an itinerary for places to visit, and book in advance when necessary
As a result, for many, planning a trip is the least fun part of travelling. However, unlike yourself who probably has a job, schooling and/or parenting to worry about, a travel agents job is to plan your trip. All you have to do is explain to your travel agent what you want, and they’ll do the rest!
3. Save money
As mentioned before, travel agencies have market knowledge that can help you reduce costs. They know when you should travel and can even broker deals for you through their contacts. Moreover, their connections can get you perks like room upgrades, exclusive restaurant reservations, sold-out tours and events.
However, the best way travel agencies save you money is by giving you the best value for the budget you have. You can plan a trip by yourself and have an ok experience, or hire a travel agent who is literally a professional travel planner, and have an unforgettable time.
You have to remember that travel agents want you to use them over and over again, and also want you to recommend them to family and friends – so they will do their best to get you the experience you want (within reason), at the amount you are willing to spend.
Worry-free travel is the best
Leisure travelers want to enjoy themselves. If you spend your hard-earned money on an experience, then you don’t want to waste time dissatisfied with the choices you made in accommodation, transport or worried about any aspect of your itinerary etc.
So, why not let someone else worry on your behalf, use a travel agency, and have a stress-free travel experience.