In the past when someone was thinking of going on a trip it was common to consult with a travel agent to plan out the details. But now with all of the online resources available to book discounted flights and hotel stays, the number of licensed agencies has dropped almost 50% in recent years. Many think it is a dying and obsolete business. But the right agency with qualified agents can be an incredible advantage for scheduling a perfect holiday excursion.
Why Should Anyone Use A Travel Agency?
Many people try to use online agencies and of course many are perfectly fine. But even the legit online agencies that help people all over the world with scheduling their holiday travel arrangements, often do not have satisfactory support when things go wrong. The reason for this is they are simply set up to arrange the details for a fee. They are not a full-service travel agency.
A full-service agency has agents that have actually experienced the package deal the traveler is considering buying. This gives the agent personal insight to what someone can expect on their holiday or trip abroad. This can be invaluable. The agent can tell the person if the room accommodations were everything advertised or if the water was brown and mosquitos were the size of bats.
When the agent has actually experienced every aspect of the trip including the flight, other transportation needed, the hotel accommodations, the restaurants, the shopping and other important aspects of the travel package being selected, it helps the traveler better understand what to expect. This makes it more likely they will enjoy the experience. This type of personal service is the difference between a company that simply organizes the arrangements and one who offers a more detailed service.
It is possible to get good results from a truly qualified online agency, but it requires the traveler researching the agency and making sure others who have purchased travel packages had the experience they expected. The other way is to go to a local agency where the meeting can take place in person and the traveler can get a feel of the agency and its agent.
Is The Travel Agency Certified?
The 3 biggest organizations to certify agencies are the ASTA, The Travel Institute, and the Assoc. of Retail Travel Agents. If the agency is certified by any one or more of those then it is a great sign that they are a legit and full-service agency.
It might seem that going to some of the biggest online discount travel companies and buying airline tickets and other accommodations at a big discount is the best way to go. But anyone who ever experiences the personal service of a qualified travel agent knows the fee paid for those services can make the difference between a trip that is ok and one that is spectacular.
Although the use of agencies has reduced over the years, the value one brings to the travel experience is still there. Anyone planning a trip should try using a full-service travel agent. Once they do they will always use one when planning their trips.