The most frequently asked question I get when I tell people I’m a travel agent is, “why would I use a
travel agent when the internet is so accessible to everyone?” While the decision to use a travel
agent is ultimately up to you, there are some very compelling reasons why you might want to
consider using one. Firstly, a travel agent can save you time and money. The internet is a big place,
as is the world, so finding the best rates and deciding on where to go can be a feat in and of itself
(and you haven’t even booked flights, transportation, dining, or activities yet!).
Your local Charlotte, NC travel agent is not only able to find you the best rates, but they work directly
with the industry’s most trusted vendors. For example, imagine booking a trip on Expedia because
you found an unbeatable deal. Now, imagine getting to your destination and learning that your room
wasn’t available and the hotel was actually sold out. This happens because third party websites like
Expedia overbook hotels and resorts all the time because they are counting on cancellations. It’s a
risky gamble on their part, because sometimes those cancellations don’t happen and the hotel they
overbooked is unable to accommodate all of the reservations made through the third party site.
Working with a travel agent ensures the trip you’ve looked so forward to isn’t gambling on the
cancellations of others because the vendors they work with are trustworthy!
When selecting a travel agency, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family who they use to book
their vacations. If you google travel agencies in Charlotte, NC you’ll see a slew of agencies listed.
Take your time! Look at their websites, read their client reviews, visit their FAQ section. It is okay to
shop around for a travel agent and even “interview” a few agencies before making a final decision.
It’s not okay, however, to ask several travel agents to book the same trip for you and then go with
the one who finds the cheaper rate. Remember, your travel agent is working on 100% commission,
and wants to do a great job for you, but it’s important to keep in mind that even a travel agent
spends as much time as you would (if not more) on creating your trip. Often, a travel agent will
charge a small upfront fee. Think of it as a contract you’re making with your travel consultant.
Agreeing to pay their fee ensures they will work for you through the completion of your trip and it
ensures your agent you will keep your business with their agency.
It is always possible to book your vacation on your own, but choosing to use a travel agent creates
an experience for you from the very beginning. You can tell your travel agent that you want to plan a
trip and let them know exactly what you’re looking for and expecting from your vacation. Let them
know the type of hotels, activities, and any special needs you may have. Don’t forget, your travel
agent is able to use your American Express Platinum membership, rewards points with hotels, AAA
membership, frequent flyer miles, etc. you just have to let them know what you have! The more
information you can give your agent, the better and more successful your trip will be.
Lastly, booking your vacation with a travel consultant allows you to have a point of contact during
your trip. If you’re going international, it’s comforting to know you have someone back home who’s
on your side if anything goes awry. If you’re unhappy with your hotel, rental car, etc. your travel
agent is there to help. As agents we are prepared to make your vacation as stress-free and
enjoyable as possible. We do it because we’re well traveled ourselves, care about cultivating an
experience for our clients, and are truly passionate about the travel industry!