In the day and age of the internet is there any point booking through a travel agent?
I booked my last epic adventure with my favourite travel agent and I am so glad I did. That trip lasted 18-months and spanned several continents. Prior to departure, I booked 12-months worth of cruises and tours through North America, Central America and South America. The timing of all this travel was tight with very little room for changes. The beauty of a travel agent is that if there were any changes, they would take care of them while I enjoyed my extended holiday.
*On a side note, travel agents may be able to source additional discounts for you when you book multiple segments of your holiday through the same travel provider or tour company.*
Then it happened, one of my many tours was cancelled.
Before embarking on my first tour, I started my extended holiday with a relaxing break of two cruises around the Caribbean . While sipping on a cocktail and soaking up the sun I received an email from my travel agent explaining that my second tour, three weeks across Alaska, was cancelled. Argh!
I knew it was not a ‘guaranteed departure’ before I left Australia but I hoped it would still go ahead (more on ‘guaranteed departures’ in another blog post!).
The email contained the bad news but also contained some good news. My travel agent researched alternative tours providing a list for me to choose from that fit within my timeline and budget . All I had to do was email back which tour I wanted.
Had I not booked through a travel agent the stress of researching alternatives would have eaten into my Caribbean cocktail time and my wallet with the price of internet on cruise ships!!
In the end I opted for a two week tour of Alaska with a week spent exploring a small town. It is a definitely a highlight of my entire travel career and I want to go back.
Whether you are a first time traveller or a seasoned traveller, I highly recommend a travel agent. They can help with decisions and take the stress out of organising holidays. If you are loyal to one travel agent you will find they end up knowing exactly what you want, even if you don’t.
I can go on about the benefits of travel agents, but I will save some for next time.