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Why I Still Use A Travel Agent To Plan My Trips

In the age of the internet and being able to book travel yourself, so many people are opting to no longer use travel agents. There are lots of websites out there, rewards programs, credit card travel portals and so on that make it so easy for you to just do it yourself. But, I do still use a travel agent, especially for those longer, more in-depth trips and I encourage you to do so, too.

Why I Still Use A Travel Agent To Plan My Trips

Traveling is different today. 

As I write this, it is September 2021 and we are facing the Delta COVID variant. Whereas restrictions have eased and people are able to travel again, mandates change daily. Having a travel agent allows them to be on top of all of the changes that will affect my trip, meaning I do not need to check the news daily (which, honestly, would just add to the anxiety I am already having about my trip being cancelled).

My travel agent lets me know the things I need to know, such as needing proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests to dine indoors. This lets me be fully prepared and not have to worry about missing out on anything just because I didn’t know.

They are free to use.

You do not have to pay for travel agents! They get commission from bookings they do for you, whether it be hotel, airport transfers, or excursions. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this then?

They will save you time and can save you money too, as they may have special deals with certain vendors that you would not have access to regularly.

They take care of everything for you.

Why spend your time looking at hotels and things to do when it is literally someone’s job to do it for you? A lot of times, scouring through different hotel options or things to do can be overwhelming, especially if it is a new place you have never been to.

How do you know what a good area to stay is? How do you know what excursions you should take advantage of? Travel agents have these insights, and these resources, to guide you in the right direction.

Plus, if you need to contact the hotel or anything prior to your arrival, they can handle all of that for you, making sure everything is set in stone. For one of my trips, I had originally booked one flight (pre-travel agent, I learned my lesson!) but wanted to move it to a later flight. I gave the airline permission that my travel agent could make changes to my flight for me, and she did just that!

You have help back at home if you need it.

Things can happen, even when everything seems perfectly planned. Especially when you are abroad or in a new place, you want the ability to have help back at home should something arise. Having a travel agent who booked the trip for you allows you to be able to call for help, and have them take care of whatever the issue is need be.

If unfortunately your trip needs to be cancelled before you go, they can be the ones who reach out to the hotel, airlines, and/or other bookings to get your money back. One less worry for you! Additionally, by using a travel agent, there is less of a chance you will get “stuck” because something is closed, as the travel agent will have that information and be able to advise you.

For instance, if a certain museum isn’t open one day or if a ferry is not running at certain times, they will know better than you from the get-go, and will make sure you don’t get stuck.

You can still get your points and rewards.

As a huge travel credit holder (I have the Delta Skymiles Amex Platinum, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless), I know the importance of maximizing your points. I was very candid with my travel agent about this, and especially in the rates I was seeing in my account, and she made sure to find that same rate, or even better!

She also appropriately used the specific credit card I asked her for, to make sure I still got the correct points. I was so appreciative! This is important to look out for, as some travel agents work for agencies that will send you one bulk bill from the agency.

This travel agent used my specific cards for each purchase, so the purchase still showed up on my card as the specific vendor (i.e. Marriott, Delta, etc.) to make sure I still got the points. Plus, for a couple of the flights that I used points to pay for, she still booked the airport transfers for me, despite not doing the actual flight booking!

Sure, I can book travel by myself, but for longer trips to new destinations, I will definitely be using a travel agent. It is important to use a travel agent that you can trust and who will work with you (and not just try and sell you more things!) so I highly recommend mine,  if you want to reach out to her!

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She is currently working on social media and event planning in the nonprofit world while blogging on the side about the Mets. Her interests include The Mets, The Patriots, iced coffee, Greece, and escaping to tropical islands. Her long term career goal is to continue to share her story and experiences to help as many people as she can.


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