Leave it to the Pros 6

Why using a travel agent is a great idea.

Travel really is an escape from the chaotic pace of everyday life. In fact, several recent studies have indicated that travel actually makes people happier and healthier. However, whether you are traveling solo, as a family or in a large group, travel planning can have the opposite effect, leaving you awash in stress and anxiety.

In a time when technology connects us to the world, it’s easy to go online to plan your next adventure. But the Internet can be a place of uncertainty and misinformation that can lead to unanticipated expenses or a vacation that isn’t everything you thought it would be. So why invest so much time and energy with so much on the line, when an experienced travel agent can do the research for you?

Here are a few reasons why.

A travel agent can save you time

A Google search for “Mexico all-inclusive” returns more than 41 million results. A search for the “best 3-week European itinerary” brings 5 million results. You could spend days or weeks reading, reviewing and comparing. But an experienced travel agent will know the destinations, flights and properties that best suit your travel wish list. Agents have either experienced the destination themselves, have a client who has, or have access to industry professionals who can provide relevant feedback. Your travel agent can tend to every detail.

A travel agent can save you money

You read that correctly! An experienced travel agent CAN save you money, without compromising the features and amenities you want. Travel agents have access to highly trusted vacation providers with sales, promotions and resort amenities that are not available to the general public. And, since resorts, cruise lines and tour providers compensate travel agents to take good care of their guests, most travel agents provide their services at no additional cost to their clients. Yes, travel agents earn commissions but those costs are not passed on to customers. You are much more likely to become a repeat client if you feel your travel agent has your best interest in mind.

A travel agent provides personalized service

A travel agent works for you, not the airline or resort, and will be your first line of defense if something goes wrong while you’re away. You can call your agent directly, instead of a national call center with long hold times. Your planner can arrange dining, spa reservations, tours, or even recommend local establishments within the community you’re visiting. Want to pop the question at a private dinner on the beach or say “I do” at sunset on the Amalfi Coast? A travel agent can manage those details as well.

A travel agent will offer travel insurance

I’ll be honest. I never purchased travel insurance until I became a travel professional. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, a lot! I could write an entire article on the importance of protecting yourself and your vacation. Travel insurance is not a tactic to get you to spend more money. Travel planners offer insurance because they have either had their own experience with travel mishaps, or they have assisted many clients who experience their own. In short, listen closely when your travel agent offers insurance. Potentially, it can be the most important component of your vacation package.

Travel agents take their role in your life seriously. If you have a trusted travel agent, you understand the value they bring to your travel experience. If not, why not consider having one plan your next vacation? It will be the first step in planning a stress-free adventure.

Cynthia Davis is a contributor to Brentwood Lifestyle and the owner and operator of Cool Springs Travel Group. For more information call 615.600.1226 or visit CoolSpringsTravel.com.