The Truth about Travel Agents

“Why in the world would someone use a travel agent when they can plan trips on their own?”

My exact thoughts when I heard that my current boss wanted to meet with and possibly hire me to help her with some admin work for her travel business. Sure, the job sounded absolutely fabulous and way better than my job at the time, but I couldn’t help but wonder how people like her made money. And my honest question was:

“Why would I pay someone to do something I can just do on my own?”

These, I’m sure, are thoughts that have run through your mind at one point or another. Hey, I’m cool with it! But, I also am a travel agent myself now, and I get asked plenty of questions on the reg about my job. Questions that I’m happy to answer, and happier to post here on my blog for the world to see!

When I realized The Truth About Travel Agents, I had a major lightbulb moment. Followed by the self-questioning of why I had never used one before. Let me enlighten you!

“So, what are your fees to book a trip for someone? Asking for a friend…”

None. Zip. Natta. Zero. 

If you were to ask me to plan a trip for you, YOU pay ME nothing. Some agents do have start-up fees or other miscellaneous charges, and maybe one day I might run into a situation that I need to charge a fee, but for now, the answer is zero dollars for my services, friends. 

Generally speaking, travel agents make their money on hotels, cruises, tours, excursions, air packages, etc. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense: hotels and other travel vendors want to pay travel agents and foster good relationships with us, because we can help bring in business. 

‘Ohhhhh,’

“Well, doesn’t that mean I’ll pay more for my trip since I’m using you, and the hotel is the one paying you?”

Wrong again! I can see why people would think that, but it’s actually quite the opposite. I can always get the cheapest price that you could find yourself, and the hotel (for example) will pay me a percentage as an agent. No one will up-charge you because you’re using a travel agent. 

“Okay, so what all can you do for your clients?”

As I mentioned above, I can always get the best price for travel that YOU can see, but I also have access to unpublished fares that you cannot see, and most of the time, I can get you a cheaper price as a registered travel agent. 

But wait! There’s more! 

At certain properties, because of relationships or networking affiliations I have as an agent, I can get you the best prices AND special amenities when you travel. Imagine checking into a hotel or resort, expecting to get the room you paid for, and then being told that you’ve been given an upgrade to a nicer suite at no extra charge… Or walking into your room to find a $100 credit to be used for food, drinks, or the spa… Or receiving a little welcome amenity… Or getting a free shore excursion on a cruise… Or being treated like a VIP and getting special treatment on any trip, big or small, just because…

‘Yeahhh, now we’re talkin’!’

After that first meeting with my current boss, and after learning way more than I could ever write in a blog, my thoughts have changed quite a bit! 

“Why in the world would someone use a travel agent when they can plan trips on their own?”

“Why in the world would someone plan a trip on their own, when they can use a travel agent? Someone who can get them free amenities, is plugged in with hundreds of other experienced agents, has connections with hotels, vendors, tour operators, and networks across the globe, and knows the ins and outs of getting the BEST deals?” 

“Why would I pay someone to do something I can just do on my own?”

“Why would someone do something on their own, that I can do for them — for free? Why stress over every detail of a trip, organize group travel, make dinner reservations, research hotels, or wait on hold for hours to talk to someone in another country when someone wants to do it for them and wrap it up in a pretty bow?”

If you missed the PSA, I do love my new gig. And I’m so excited to be in an industry where there are no limits to personal growth, knowledge to learn, or experiences to be had. If you’re in the market for a travel agent, I would love to talk with you about it! Feel free to email me, shoot me a message on Facebook or Instagram, or check out the agency I work for and our affiliations online!

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