OK y’all…I must admit….I used to NEVER use travel agents. No big dramatic reason why. Probably because I don’t mind spending hours and hours and hours researching travel options. I love travel…I mean, it’s why I write this Blog! But, I also know that most people are not like me and don’t want to spend forever researching, taking notes, making spreadsheets, etc. So, how do most people conquer all those travel details? A really good Travel Agent! Why Use Travel Agents: 5 Reasons!
Why Use Travel Agents: 5 Reasons
Before we begin, you might be wondering how I came to know these five great reasons you should be using a Travel Agent? Well, I have the great fortune of calling the darling Melanie Lake my friend, and she is a Travel Agent with Sherry Lane Travel. She generously shared with me her tips and insights, and now I will share them with YOU!
Travel Agent Tips: Reason #1
A good Travel Agent has deep relationships with resort and hotel business development managers. Melanie explained to me that when you or I email or call a resort or hotel, we get whomever is on the receiving end of that communication. Could be a seasoned employee…could be that employee’s first day on the job. There’s no way to know. A Travel Agent has a relationship with professionals who are invested in doing the best possible job for the Travel Agent and his/her clients, increasing the chances of that Travel Agent doing repeat business with that hotel or resort.
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Travel Agent Tips: Reason #2
Melanie looks at her job in the same way an architect looks at theirs. Melanie wants to design the perfect trip for her clients. No detail can be overlooked, or the whole design could fail. It’s also important for a Travel Agent to have an open mind when working with a client. Melanie says it’s her job to listen and respond, not the other way around. And, even in the situation like the movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” when the client tells Tom Hank’s character she wants to move the kitchen cabinets (AGAIN)? When the client tells their Travel Agent they want to change their travel dates…AGAIN….a good Travel Agent is accommodating.
I might be guilty of doing this to Melanie a time…or two…and she is ALWAYS positive, kind, and gets it done. She might have a doll that looks like me on her desk, that she stabs with pins when I do that…but I digress.
Travel Agent Tips: Reason #3
It does not cost you one extra dime to use a Travel Agent, generally speaking. This is true, but Travel Agents do get paid. A misconception, which I think is odd, because these folks aren’t doing their work for free!!! It is their job, after all. Melanie explains that most Travel Agents get paid a commission by the hotel or resort or cruise line when they make a booking. But remember Reason #1….the Travel Agent is HIGHLY motivated to make sure their client has a wonderful trip, increasing the probability of repeat work or referrals. An on-going relationship is more important than a one-time commission, if the Travel Agent is a good one, so the focus is on designing the best possible itinerary.
Travel Agent Tips: Reason #4
This was a big “oh wow” moment for me. Melanie explains that most Travel Agents let their clients have flexible payment options. Apart from airfare, which has to be paid for upon booking, other costs can be paid out over time, with the final payment made around 45 days before travel. That’s SUCH good info, as that flexibility allows clients to consider more expensive options, and afford those options, as payment can be made over time! Ocean view suite anyone????!!!
Travel Agent Tips: Reason #5
Saving the best for last, Melanie shared with me many examples of times she has been able to arrange for upgrades, hard-to-get dinner reservations or other special “extras” for her clients, because she has so many good relationships with guide services, hotels and resorts throughout the world. I can personally attest to this.
On a recent trip to Paris, I booked a Private Guide through Melanie. We were so impressed with the quality of the guide, we wanted a second day with her. Melanie sprang into action, and we were booked and ready to go the next day…even with the time difference. And, as Melanie says, that’s really what being a good Travel Agent is all about. Helping clients make memories to last a lifetime!!!! If you want to reach out to Melanie, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is not Sponsored by Melanie or Sherry Lane Travel….I just think Melanie’s awesome! And I love working with her when planning group trips!
Now get out there, make a travel plan, and make some memories!