Here at CTE headquarters we get asked the same questions all the time. So we thought a quick question and answer session might help you when your talking to your clients and they give you the ol “why shouldn’t I just book direct on the internet” line:
Why should travelers book through a travel agent instead of going online for what seems a cheaper deal?
When you book online and there’s a problem or your plans alter and you need a change who are you going to call for an effective and immediate solution? 99% of the time people in this situation head to the nearest travel agency to ask for help. The internet is your best friend and your greatest foe at the same time. Primarily it is best used as a sourcing/informational tool. But travel agents are licensed professionals who have experience and knowledge that cannot be matched by the internet. They also have the compassion to understand that things do change – not everything can be set in stone.
What do travel agents do when they book holidays for clients verses going booking online?
A good travel agent goes that extra mile. They listen to the client and understand their needs and preferences. They can get the client the best airfare and source the best options for stopovers. They are professionally trained to know the airline rules and can advise of the cost to change or cancel flights upfront so you know what you are getting into before initially booking. They are also kept up to date with current trends and deals and look for hotels and resorts that have current specials, knock-out views and extra add-ons like breakfast and free Wi-Fi.
What is our best tip for traveling overseas?
Travel insurance, travel insurance, and guess what – travel insurance! A travel agent can advise people of the pros and cons of a policy, but if people prefer to buy their insurance online or with their credit card they must read the fine print of whichever policy they purchase and be aware of what they are and aren’t covered for. No matter where you travel, be aware of your personal safety. It doesn’t have to be be the most expensive policy but having something in place goes a long way when traveling in a world where stability isn’t necessarily a given anymore. Lastly keep your eyes wide open – Signs and directions at airports, train stations and popular tourist destinations are usually up high so look up. And should you lose your way know it just adds adventure but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember, don’t panic – its uses up to much energy and gets you nowhere.