Ten reasons to use a travel professional, concierge service or tailor made travel services.
In the age of technology, booking trips online may seem like a no brainer. Yet, a recent study indicates that the use of a travel professional is up by 12%. Here are 10 reasons ways a travel professional can help improve your journey.
1. We’ve been there, we know the places, we listen to you, and we understand your interests.
Today, travel professionals often specialize in niche markets. This specialization offers greater insight into a specific destination or segment of travel. You want to experience a local culture or perhaps an upscale spa. Whether you want the perfect beach or best place to bungee jump, travel professionals can help make it happen. From floating markets, to upscale restaurants, we’ve been there. Professionals also spend time getting to know the customer in order to make client specific recommendations tailored to what you want to do.
Travel professionals are up-to-date on destination requirements. They know where you need a visa, how to advise you about special vaccinations, if a destination is facing the Zika virus, or has a passport regulations. We help you choose the most amazing restaurant down the street or the best way to avoid crowds. A travel professional knows where to go and when.
3. Get more for your money.
Many travelers mistakenly believe that they can find a better deal on line than what a travel professional can offer. In reality, we have access to deals and promotions that you won’t find on line, we can price match anything that you do find, and we can maximize your day so that you don’t miss the best of what a city has to offer. Whether it’s a cruise, hotels or tours, suppliers know us and offer us specials such upgrades, bonuses, special offers and early entrance tickets so that our VIP clients can avoid the long lines.
4. Customer service.
An online company may have call centers to assist customers with basic site navigation, they offer little further support. Travel professionals help during the booking process and stay with you to make sure all goes right. In order to get the most out a professional’s customer service, clients will be given real time deadlines needed for things like visas, vaccines, hotel availabilities, and much more. Clients can help professionals make the trip perfect by respecting these deadlines even when they don’t quite understand them.
5.Travelers are frustrated with online travel agencies.
Consumers are wising up. Online travel agencies (OTAs) often advertise one price, and then tack on fees and other hidden charges, or restrictions and blackout dates in the fine print. And there is just too much information out there to sort through. And doing the research is overwhelming. Among travelers who regularly seek information from an OTA when planning a vacation, only 13% typically book their reservations on OTA sites, according to MMGY Global’s 2015 Portrait of American Travelers, compared to 36% in 2014.
At the touch of travel agents’ fingertips are resources a traveller simply does not. Yes, we have the internet, but we have personal contacts with local suppliers, we have a vast network of travel professionals not available to the consumer through on line bookings. And when there is a problem, they are there to intervene—whether it’s a supplier who doesn’t deliver or an emergency that makes them cancel the whole trip. We have cover the unknown, especially in places that are undiscovered.
Things happen. A travel professional can offer insurance in a number of ways, from guaranteeing that the hotel is safe and the company running the excursion won’t rob a traveler, to actually advising on which insurance policies are needed, from trip cancellation to medical emergencies. We also insure that you will have the correct travel documents, so that you don’t end up missing your plane or cruise. And when things do go wrong, travel agents have the resources and the contacts to help solve your problem.
Travel professionals are insured. If something goes wrong with the ship you booked or the hotel you reserved, they can help you get rerouted or refunded.
9. Travel agents’ customer base is skewing toward Millennials.
The percentage of travelers under the age of 35 who prefer to book their vacations through a travel agent increased 50% between 2014 and 2015, reports MMGY Global. For those who don’t have time to wade through all the options, and who understand there is only one chance to make a vacation perfect, a travel professional is the right choice. Just as you hire an expert to do your taxes or maintain your garden, a knowledgeable professional can help you from a good trip to a GREAT trip.
Let’s face it; we all want to be a little bit different. A travel professional knows the new destinations and the new places in them —and often they can get their client in. We also know the destinations where life remains as it has always been, unchanged by tourism. Through our partners, we sometimes get freebies for our customers that range from a free drink, breakfast included, to an exclusive admission to a hot event. Some professionals, like the ones at Evia, organize niche experiences such as ballroom dance cruises, walking holidays in Italy, wine tasting experiences, hiking the Inca Trail in style, and much more.
Time to find your travel professional and plan your best trip ever.