Before I became a luxury travel advisor with a leading travel agency, I truthfully had never used a travel agent myself. I always loved the planning part of a trip. It was like half of the fun of planning a vacation! I loved researching, creating itineraries and saving places to consider for dining, tours and more.
Why Use A Travel Agent
But not everyone feels that way. Planning a vacation for an involved trip can feel really daunting. Having someone help you with the details and make it more seamless can be a huge help. This is of particular importance when traveling to foreign countries where you may encounter language barriers or more involved bucket list trips like safaris or certain adventure trips where there is a lot of nuance and safety factors to take into account.
For a fee your travel agent will be able to be a valuable resource for you as you plan your next trip. Travel agents also typically work on commission but those commissions can vary greatly based on the client and the trip which is why a planning fee is also usually charged.
Below are some of the considerations of why you may want to use a travel agent.
Travel advisors know the destinations they plan for inside and out. So they have an internal rolodex that they can use to personalize your trip to help you have the best vacation possible. The internet is an amazing place and social media as well but search any popular destination when you start to try and plan your trip and you’ll be inundated with thousands upon thousands of search results that would take hours and hours – if not days and weeks – to consume and vet.
Having a travel agent help you plan the ins and outs of your trip, book your hotel, draft an itinerary and more will help save you time.
Being a part of a travel agency means I have an entire intranet at my fingertips as well as 200+ colleagues who are also travel experts and full time top travel agents that can help me answer any questions, source new vendors and research new opportunities for my clients.
Want to go to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris before it opens? We can do that. Want to do after hours tours? We can arrange it. Need special attention paid for a person in your party or celebrating a special occasion? We’ve got you.
We have on the ground partners who help us make your travel dreams come true.
Travel agents work with properties and vendors or travel suppliers at scale which means they can offer secure better pricing and save you money. So even if you are an experienced traveler, you may benefit from a travel advisor’s connections.
Especially with more in-depth or complicated trips you’ll likely want to have a knowledgable resource that knows on the ground partners as a safety net.
I personally work with a variety of hotel partners in France and England who hold special rates for travel agents or don’t publish certain rates or rooms on their websites for public booking. So working with a travel agent may end up not only saving you money but you may also get to take advantage of booking a special room or package, too.
As advisors we have relationships with the hotels sales teams and often the GMs as well. They know who is “selling” a property and they go above and beyond for the clients of those advisors in many cases at luxury hotels.
These relationships are important year round but especially in high season and especially in popular destinations like Paris and London where I do the volume of my business. A good advisor should help you feel like a celebrity or VIP when you’re at your hotel.
I love the aspect of being a travel advisor that allows me to get my clients VIP perks like complimentary breakfast, spa credits or food and beverage credits, complimentary hotel room upgrades when available, and special other VIP treatment aspects.
Especially with cruise lines and other particular bookings using a travel agent can ensure you get the very best pricing and service.
Complimentary breakfast may not seem like much but if you’re staying at a luxury hotel or at a resort where there aren’t many options, breakfast can often be around $50 / person. If you’re staying there for a week you’re looking at a savings of hundreds of dollars for the week alone. All because you booked with a travel advisor.
Full service travel agents handle airfare and that means you can rely on them to handle customer service issues with airlines when things sometimes go wrong. Dealing with flight cancellations or flight delays? Let your travel agent handle them so you can get rebooked with less stress.
I don’t personally book air for my clients but my agency does have a dedicated AirDesk to help with issues when they pop up.
There’s so much information on travel sites and across social media these days when it comes to planning travel nowadays. And you need to be careful on who to trust and whose recommendations are worthwhile. Finding a travel agent whose recommendations feel on-brand for you and whose aesthetic you enjoy is crucial.
Travel agents are also always getting feedback from clients so they know if places have become too touristy or overpriced. I am personally always vetting new places for clients that have just opened but I also go back to my tried and true recommendations to ensure they stand up to the test of time and are still addresses I want to recommend.
I personally don’t do dinner reservations for clients due to credit card holds and due to plans often changing but I know a variety of travel advisors who will handle dinner reservations for clients for a supplemental fee.
I personally prefer to have my clients work with their hotel concierge directly. The concierges are well connected and can usually get desirable bookings for their guests.
. . .
Vacation planning is absolutely fun and you can still enjoy the fun when you hire a great travel advisor to save you time and money.
I for one became a travel advisor specializing in Paris and London because I was obsessed with seeking out the best addresses and well appointed experiences and loved sharing them.
Following the global pandemic travel has continued to skyrocket in popularity so pricing and opportunities are more competitive than they ever were.
Want to plan a trip to France or England? I’d love to work with you. Book at En Route to Rêverie.
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