Photo Credit: Playful african woman in dress holding passport with tickets while looking away over purple background
5 Travel Agent Myths & Stereotypes Debunked
Written by: Trasheka Journet
Planning your dream vacation sounds easy, but using a travel agent is even easier.
Forget all those stereotypes that travel agents are expensive, no one uses them, and they don’t exist anymore, and focus on why trusting today’s modern travel agent is much easier than a DIY vacation.
Here are five travel agent stereotypes debunked.
1. Using a travel agent means doing everything the old school way.
False. The travel industry embraces new technology and functionalities as much as any other industry. And, because the industry depends on the health of the world to be successful, having an eco-friendly mindset is more important than ever, so paper itineraries and tickets aren’t as common anymore, as I use email, texts and even Facebook / Instagram Messenger when communicating with clients.
2. Booking with a travel agent is expensive and time-consuming.
False. Does researching your entire trip then booking your own flight, hotel room, transportation, entertainment, dining, and excursions really sound all that easy? And what if a flight gets delayed, more people join your group or there were hidden fees on that sweet deal you found? Sure, I make a commission, but that is paid by the supplier I’m booking with – not you. And if you’re already purchasing travel on your own, wouldn’t it make sense to work with a professional?
I spend tons of time learning travel preferences, researching destinations and airlines, fact-checking and curating personalized itineraries for clients. Ultimately, working with me will save you an incredible amount of time, and what is more valuable than your own time?
3. Talking to a travel agent is similar to speaking with salesmen or saleswomen.
False. My previous experience was in the healthcare field before I became a travel professional, so I get it! I’m always genuinely excited to work with my clients because of the real conversations that lead to uncovering your vacation styles, hopes and dreams to achieve the ultimate vacation, again and again. My goal isn’t to end our relationship with you after selling you an epic adventure, but rather be your go-to guide, for every vacation you take moving forward and build an everlasting friendship. I love my clients and have great relationships with them all, you can not get this type of relationship from Expedia, Costco, etc.
4. Traveling with large groups or extended trips is the only time using a travel agent is worth it.
False. Sure, working with me to successfully book the honeymoon of your dreams or a multi-generation trip is satisfying. But the same satisfaction can – should – be felt by using me for even the simplest of vacations. What if you booked a trip to Europe in August to find out most tourist hot-spots and local businesses are closed for the holiday? I can tell you which seasons are best and worst in low-key places as well as arrange your transportation in destination, find hidden fees and cancellation policies, tell you what type of crowd is joining your two-week cruise and so much more.
5. Travel agents are becoming extinct since everything is user-friendly and easy to DIY.
False. The travel industry is booming and it’s because everything is user-friendly and DIY. I typically take familiarization trips to new or renovated hotels and resorts to know what clients can expect when visiting a new place. This gives me special access that you as a traveler don’t get, or necessarily need. This insider scoop gives me deep knowledge and expertise to use when working with you.
I stay on top of updates and events in the industry to give you the real scoop on an issue. Remember the Hawaii volcano eruptions everyone was freaking out about in May 2018? Well, they were happening in a very small area on the east side of Hawaii Island, and it was totally fine to travel to Hawaii. Major news outlets didn’t tell you that, but I could have.
Knowing the ins-and-outs of a situation that could potentially affect travel is what you come to me for. I’m plugged into that information, whether that’s negative destination headlines or advisories, a changing TSA regulation or travel regulations and policies per country. You can’t always find that info on your own.