As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, travel is at an all-time high. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, global travel and tourism levels are projected to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
People now more than ever are looking to spend time with friends and family, visit their bucket list destinations, and simply enjoy what this huge world has to offer. If that sounds like you, and you’re looking for the best way to travel, then read more on why using a travel agent is the right way to go.
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Why Is Having a Travel Advisor Important?
Even the savviest of travelers will tell you that planning a complete trip is no joke, especially if it’s a group trip. While you may have a knack for planning, researching, or finding hot deals, take into account the amount of time you spend and even the money or perks you leave on the table.
What Is a Travel Agent?
Travel advisors are experts in the travel and tourism industry and have the knowledge, suppliers, relationships, and experience to provide you with the best travel package and personalized itinerary to meet and often exceed your needs. Here’s 7 benefits of using a travel agent with data to back it up.
1. They Save You Time
Think about the last time you planned a trip. How many hours did you spend comparing flights, looking at hotel deals, Googling the top 50 things to do or see at your desired destination? How many times did you have to hound friends or family for money, see a new Instagram post or TikTok with a new excursion for you to add, and after weeks doubt that you’ll go on the trip at all? And if you’ve never planned a trip, there’s a peak at what it looks like DIY-style.
Your time is valuable, and no one understands the importance of that like a travel agent. What I could do as a travel agent now in 2-10 business days, took me months before when I was planning international group trips. Travel agencies like Carry On Travel, have the systems, suppliers, and experience to be able to provide a quicker, stress-free turnaround.
Fact: Based on the work it takes to plan a trip, you can save over 20 hours and $600 worth of your time by booking with a travel agent.
2. They Save You Money
From payment plans to supplier perks and deals, travel advisors can save you money and offer more perks for your budget. As a travel agent, we have access to reserved inventory and oftentimes can offer our clients things like free room upgrades or daily breakfast! We also have direct lines of contact to company representatives to ensure that your experience is smooth and any unexpected issues get resolved quickly.
One of the biggest advantages of booking travel via a travel agent is the fact that you can budget. When you use online travel agencies such as Booking.com, Expedia, and Skyscanner - you have to pay in full right then and there. Have you ever seen a deal, waited until payday next week, and saw that the price dramatically changed or what you wanted wasn’t available? Feel secure and not stressed by using a human travel agent. Typically when working with a travel agent you pay a deposit to secure your booking and can pay your remaining balance however you deem fit before your remaining balance is due (typically 30-90 days before your departure date).
Fact: Travelers save an average of $452 when booking with a travel agent vs booking themselves. [Source]
3. They Take the Stress Out of Planning
Most people travel as a means to relieve stress and take a break from their typical day-to-day, but oftentimes people underestimate the stress that comes with traveling. In fact, a lot of people attribute most of their travel stress to things prior to the trip itself - planning, researching, and developing an itinerary.
Why put yourself through stress planning for a time of relaxation when you can have a travel agent handle the planning along with any unexpected incidents during the trip? Here at Carry On Travel, we ask that you fill out a “Plan to Carry On” form that takes 10-20 minutes out of your day and within 2-3 business days, you can have a trip proposal to review, adjust, and approve!
Fact: 50% of travelers surveyed in a study by Trafalgar noted that their primary cause of travel stress was the needed time and planning for the trip. [Source]
4. They Offer Expert Recommendations
Want to stay at a villa in Bali? That’s easy right? Just head over to Google, type in “best Bali villas”, and sort through the millions of results that pop up. Not to mention vetting the property by combing through pictures and reviews. Just to get there and realize it’s nothing like you saw on the internet, they might be undergoing renovations, or you realize there’s a bunch of hidden costs and by then it’s too late. Travel agents utilize suppliers and vendors that are vetted, and we know how to ensure that your accommodations size up to the rest of your travel experience.
Another important aspect is that we don’t work for the resort, hotel, or city. We work for you. Unbiased, expert recommendations ensure that you get the most out of your vacation with trips catered to you and your travel needs.
Fact: In MMGY’s Portrait of American Travelers report, consumers who have used an agent in the past 12 months told MMGY that they value travel advisors most for their knowledge of destinations and the ability to provide an extra level of service when things go wrong (85%), and the ability to take the hassle out of booking travel (84%). [Source]
5. They’re your Advocates for the Unexpected
Have you ever experienced a flight delay or cancellation? Realized a week before, the weather forecast would be rainy during the entire duration of your vacation? As a travel agent, we ensure that you’re prepared to the fullest extent and try to inform you about things happening at your desired destination. There might be an uptick in crime, it might be hurricane season, or political unrest. Whatever the situation, we want to help you navigate through it or select a better alternative.
One of the things travel agents emphasize, especially here at Carry On Travel, is the use of travel insurance! Let’s face it, unpredictable things may happen. With travel insurance, you’ll be able to protect your travel investment and cover emergency medical expenses overseas.
Fact: Flight cancellations in 2022 have surpassed pre-pandemic times. For the first six months of 2022, the reporting marketing carriers posted a cancellation rate of 3.2%, up from 2.4% for the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. [Source]
6. Their Industry Knowledge, Connections, and Expertise
Here at Carry On Travel we have relationships with dozens of vendors and suppliers who offer accommodations, transportation, guided tours, and excursions all over the world. We also keep up with the latest travel news, regulations, and requirements for destinations our clients wish to travel to.
As previously mentioned we also get access to travel deals, free upgrades for our clients, and limited inventory. Simply put, we have access and intel on things that average travelers can’t find themselves.
Fact: 1 in 3 Millennials are planning to hire travel agents in the next two years. [Source]
7. A Truly Personalized Customer Experience
Getting to know our clients is the primary reason why we’re able to exceed their expectations when it comes to their travel experiences. It is not only important to know your likes, but to also know your dislikes. You may love to go and lay on the beach, but you may be deathly afraid of the ocean. It can be tedious to craft the perfect itinerary for yourself or a group that has diverse tastes, but ultimately, a travel agent can create something that works for everyone because it’s our job to know you. We also have our own experiences and can provide first-hand reviews on where to go, what to do, and anything else you can expect.
Carry On Travel is available by email, call, or text to all of our clients before, during, and after their trip. We try to incorporate special things for our clients such as a bottle of champagne on arrival or rose petals and wines for couples. You just can’t beat having someone in your corner to handle your travel needs and wanting you to have an unforgettable experience.
Fact: 66% of travelers say that their agent helped them avoid costly inconveniences and mistakes. [Source]
There are a ton more reasons to keep a travel advisor on hand, but these were our top favorites. Let’s do a quick recap on the benefits of using a travel agent to book trips.
Book With Carry On Travel
We are a proud Black-owned travel agency dedicated to immersing our clients in worldly experiences. We offer customized travel experiences along with pre-packaged Book & Go Trips. We also have travel guides and fact sheets to help inform you on your next journey!
As your Personal Travel Concierge, let us take the stress of planning and logistics off your hand, so you can seamlessly enjoy your travel experience.