"Why would I use a travel agent?" As travel professionals, that's a question we're often asked. Today, with the overwhelming number of sources for travel information, it's no wonder people are confused. The Internet has turned into a minefield of SEO and paid-for listings. Not to mention all the new tools and apps available which have essentially put the traveler in a bubble of recommendations. In many ways, increased access to travel information online has made the human expert more important than ever.
Earlier this year, USA Today reported that travel agents are more than just agents; they are advocates for the traveler. Travel agents stand up for travelers at a time when travelers need a voice--now more than ever. We're not just ticket bookers; we're verified travel advisors who have your back. And we add value to our clients by managing their most valuable asset--their time.
The best thing an agent can do is to match up a traveler with the vacation that's right for them. We have access and resources and connections that would take the average traveler a lifetime to build. But our most important relationship is with our clients, the traveler.
Below is a list of some of the important services that you get by using a travel planner like Huckleberry Travel.
- Distilling the product information: Through an on-going and time-consuming process of familiarization, continuing education and customer feedback, we've become experts at planning travel.
- Investigating and supplying competitive information: No single supplier is going to advise a consumer that a better route or a better fare is available on a competing carrier. An agent will give you that info.
- Staying abreast of the most current and timely promotions: Via daily faxes, agent-only e-mails, and our relationships with our preferred travel providers, we get the most current promotional information.
- Analyzing the current promotions: The cheapest is not always the best. Every resort has rooms that are less-than-desirable. Every cruise line has staterooms that are harder to sell. A deal isn't a deal, if you're unhappy with your vacation. We know that, and we'll take care of you.
- Clarifying the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions: Again, the benefits of a professional's experience can save a traveler money, as well as headaches.
- Making recommendations for travel-related options. If you're looking for small ways to make your great vacation a trip-of-a-lifetime, we've got ideas for you.
- Simplifying the research and the transaction: Like a personal shopper, we can provide one-stop shopping for travelers who require air arrangements, rental cars, cruise accommodations and hotel stays - with suggestions that are in your best interests--not the supplier or the booking engine.
- Enhancing the trip with value-added benefits and amenities: We can add to your experience by leveraging our relationships with travel providers who are in our network.
- Using our clout to obtain the best possible in seemingly impossible situations: Whether it's airline seats, hotel rooms or cruise space, the travel agent has more buying power than the consumer.
- Getting problems resolved: The agent serves as your advocate in the unfortunate and unlikely event that something goes wrong.
People use outside professionals for all sorts of things that are best not left to chance. People don't think twice about using a qualified professional to handle their tax returns. Well, if you're going to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your vacation, as well as a good chunk of valuable leisure time, doesn't it make sense to use an ASTA Verified Travel Advisor?