Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, at the top of the list of “Frequently Asked Questions” was, “What is the value of a travel agent when I can search review sites then book on Expedia, AirBnB, Travelocity, or just book direct with the resort or cruise line website?”
Even before Covid-19 I was able to speak for hours about the value of a travel agent, the endless options and amount of misinformation, pitfalls and uncertainty of booking online, and the risk involved with traveling without a trusted advisor to call in case something doesn’t go as planned, or worse. Sometimes people would shrug and say the risk wasn’t that big of a deal, other times they’d admit to being control freaks who needed to do everything themselves, and often those same people would ask for assistance, they’d become a repeat client. That was before vacations went away amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Traveling After Covid-19 Will Be Different
Today, the value of a travel agent is higher than ever because planning a trip of any type on your own, without the assistance of an expert is big gamble. Regulations change by the day (sometimes hour!), health and safety protocols go from wild speculation to implementation to something completely different and equally outrageous. Countries open up to visitors from some countries, flights are inconsistent, and perhaps most dangerous: everyone has heard (and believes) something different from some random source.
In 2020, there are far more questions than answers. More guesses than certainties. Google, online booking sites, review sites, even resort and cruise lines aren’t sure when travel is going to be possible, where we’ll be able to go and what steps will be taken to keep guests safe. So what is the value of a travel agent if there are no answers?
Related on MSN.com: How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Permanently Change the Travel Trade?
A travel agent follows the updates, gets information direct from the source, and most importantly has your best interests in mind. A travel agent is your advocate, helps you make the best decision about where to go, how to get there, and what to do while you’re away. We’re not biased — we give you solid advice and plan your perfect vacation based on experience and knowledge, not on the marketing and advertising messages from resorts, cruise lines and other vendors.
Call 844-483-6669 for unbiased information, advice, and assistance when you’re ready to begin planning your next vacation — or you’ve had one that has been canceled!
The Risk Of Booking Your Own Vacation
Prior to Coronavirus booking your own vacation was time consuming, potentially stressful, filled with expensive fine print, and somewhat of a gamble. Did you get the best price? The best value? Enough opinions that you trust? Think of all the little details? Was the website or vendor completely honest? Pictures up to date?
Vacation horror stories are always fun — when they happen to someone else. Missed connections, staterooms with windows that look directly at lifeboats, realizing at the end of the vacation that lunch wasn’t included in your meal plan and you owe hundreds of dollars, the hotel being under construction (or worse, having bugs the size of your rental car crawling around), or arriving at a destination only to realize that your reservation “got lost” between the booking site and the resort.
Those things are all bad. They all ruin your vacation and are most likely avoided — or at least salvaged — by a travel agent. But in 2020, the value of a travel agent is higher because the potential problems are bigger, more expensive, and harder to see in advance. What happens when the cruise you booked is canceled — again — by the cruise line? What’s more frustrating than waiting on hold for three hours? Wondering if after waiting you got accurate information about how to navigate their policies.
The Value of a Travel Agent Summed Up In Three Words
Peace of mind. In the planning stages, a good travel agent knows what questions to ask you, vendors, and governments to make certain your vacation is unique to you and enjoyable in every way and that you’re getting the best value. After the initial planning and booking, a good travel agent keeps on top of what’s going on in the world — especially now that Coronavirus is making vacations difficult — and managing details. While you’re getting ready to travel and you’re actually on vacation, a good travel agent is behind the scenes making sure every detail is being carried out, you’re getting the treatment you deserve (and stepping in on your behalf if you aren’t), and keeping up with any changes to your plans.
So the value of a travel agent is, beyond everything else, peace of mind. Let an expert think of everything so all you have to think about is how much fun you’re going to have seeing the world.