Sometimes the travel world can feel like a battleground. Between all of the travel websites that seem to pop up every day, it can be hard for travel agents to feel like there’s still room for them.
But no worries, because travel agents still account for 30 percent of all travel booked.
And, according to the National Post, it’s no surprise that “millennials want someone who knows better than they do to book the trip for them.”
In fact, three new studies have found the value in relying on travel agents. They're looking for experiences rather than just heading to typical tropical destinations. They want to check off their bucket lists. They also want to have restaurants booked for them, have show tickets in hand and to get inside scoops on the best restaurants in town – and they want it all done for them, by somebody in the know.
In this battle with the internet, travel agents win—and here’s 8 reasons why:
1. You're dealing with and paying an actual person
Even with an online travel agent, you’re dealing with a living, breathing human being who works hard to help make your travel dreams a reality. You’re speaking with somebody who knows your story—they know what you like, they can ask you about your dream trip, and they can get a basic feel for your needs. They know that when you say you want "luxury" you mean a plush pillow, stunning views, six-star service and amazing meals - not like those online booking engines that misconstrue "luxury" to just mean a clean, over-sized room. No online booking website can take the same personalized approach like an agent can. Sure, the internet can be smart, but it sure isn’t warm and fuzzy. And besides, wouldn't you rather do business with somebody who you can get to know or, better yet, that you know already!?
Did you know: A travel agents commission does NOT get paid by the traveler! The travel supplier or vendor (ie. Royal Caribbean, Marriott, Club Med, etc.) pays your travel agent out of their share of the price. So…. you can either give the trillion dollar companies more money or help them share it with someone special - like your trusted travel agent who worked hard for you and your vacation.
2. They know if you're getting scammed (...and you kind of are)
For the average person, booking through an online site is too overwhelming. With the hundreds of sites out there, you'd have to make it a job to sit and compare each one, read all of the fine print, and really see if you're getting a better deal - but a travel agent does that job already, and well! Think about it - it’s not every day that you book international trips, so how can you really tell if that website airfare price that is “SO HOT!” is actually good? Lo and behold, a travel agent sees those trips come to fruition like, every day, so they can really tell you what’s hot and what is so…not.
Did you know: All the "big guys" in the online travel engine world are actually all owned by the same person! What this means is that even for the most savvy of DIY-bookers thinking they're comparing four or five main sites for the best price, they're really not getting a competitive comparison at all. Doesn't that feel icky?
3. Travel agents actually know where to go
Let’s be real. If you’re not going to a super top destination in a Thrillist article, you might have a hard time figuring out exactly where to go and what to do. And who has the time to sit around reading gazillions of ridiculous restaurant reviews that really only show people complaining about how the waitress didn’t bring more water fast enough? Luckily for you, travel agents know this kind of stuff— it’s in their DNA! Not only will they recommend amazing local cuisine for you to try, but they probably have some solid contacts there to make your trip even more magical. Another score for the travel agent!
4. Travel agents have connections
That’s right, travel agents can solve all of your group-text stressing with a single phone call. Are you heading to the Caribbean with a bunch of friends for some much-needed fun in the sun? Rather than all booking separately, getting seven different prices and sitting with strangers, your travel agent can hook you up with the same flight, same price and same row(s). Just two of you going? No problem - your travel agent can book you into an exclusive InteleTravel arranged “group” – which means nothing more than that you get better pricing or some of the extra amenities/bonuses as if you were in a large group!
5. Flight delays or cancellations? No problem!
Is some random weather setback putting a damper on your plans? Let us know how it goes when you try to call that generic online booking website to work your way onto a new flight. You probably won’t get as far as you would if you had a travel agent on your side, who’s armed to the teeth with all the necessary tools to get things done…and fast.
6. They get you better prices
Always. Since travel agents have actual relationships with airlines, hotels and cruise lines, those “super hot and super fresh!” deals that those online dealers e-mailed you today were already available to your travel agent two weeks ago.
Did you know: InteleTravel is the only personalized at-home booking travel agency with an InteleTrust Price Guarantee, promising that if you book and confirm any type of travel through InteleTravel.com, and find a directly comparable lower price within certain notice periods, they will match or beat it. If InteleTravel fails to match or beat the price, InteleTravel.com will issue you an InteleBucks credit of 110% of the difference for use toward future InteleTravel.com travel purchases! What could be better than that?
7. They do more than just book you a flight
Those generic online booking websites might seem easy peasy—you just click a big, bright BOOK NOW button and supposedly you’re on your way to the jungle excursion you’ve always dreamt of. Right? Wrong! Travel agents know if there’s any extra legwork you’d need to do—like any shots you are required to get before you step foot in a particular country. They’ve done their homework. But don’t you make the mistake of not doing the research… or more importantly, not relying on a travel agent’s research skills.
8. Speaking of... travel agents do the research for you
Just focus on which outfits look best with a tan. Let your travel agent do the rest.