Here we will discuss the specific reasons why hiring a travel agent may or may not be beneficial to your trip.
Statistics show that over 43% of people hire a travel agent for family vacations, and about 72% of businesses hire an agent for work-related trips. Overall, top travel agencies have a satisfaction rate of approximately 92%.
Let’s go ahead and jump into the scenarios of when you should consider hiring an agent.
Unfamiliar with the area
If you plan to take a trip to a city that you are unfamiliar with, hiring a travel agent may be a good idea.
Travel agents have the inside knowledge of the best places to stay, restaurants to dine at, ways to travel, and events taking place during your stay.
It is common for people to plan a trip to a foreign place, and when they arrive, the hotel is in a bad area, or local businesses are closed down. Travel agents do their due diligence to ensure that no issues transpire.
You are short on time
If you are going on a trip, there is a good chance that it’s because you need to get away from your busy life.
You may not have time to plan an entire trip, and that is where travel agents come in handy the most. Looking into hotels, travel, shopping, etc., can turn into a task that takes days. You can avoid the stress of planning by laying it all on your travel agent.
If you’re looking for exclusive deals and discounts
Many people do not use travel agencies because they believe that their services are expensive. However, this is not the case. Most agencies are free or very affordable.
Travel agencies can provide these free and cheap services because they have contracts with hotels, restaurants, and other booking-related portions of your trip. Travel agencies receive a commission on every booking they make, and because the agents bring in business, they are given exclusive deals and discounts to offer to clients.
If your budget is tight, you could save quite a bit of money by working with an agent.
If you need help planning an itinerary
Travel agents know exactly what is going on in the city you are traveling to. Because of this knowledge, agents can help plan the perfect itinerary for every day of your trip.
Your itinerary would include travel departure times, car rental pick up and drop off, hotel check-ins and check-outs, meetings and events, dinner reservations, and more.
If you are not much of a planner and organizer, having a travel agent can help keep your trip on track.
If you are going to be away for a while
Planning a trip of four or five days may not be too complicated or overwhelming, but trips that are weeks long can quickly become hectic to organize.
This is another situation where hiring a travel agent may be ideal. Agents can help with finding long-term car rentals, daily or weekly budgeting, deciding on travel insurance, and possible short-term rentals. If your trip is for business, deciding on a hotel or a short-term rental is essential; Hotel Engine nicely breaks down the hotel and short-term rental differences.
If your trip is for business
Business trips are much harder to plan on your own because you may be making arrangements for multiple people, sometimes even hundreds of people.
A travel agent will be able to help with:
- Booking multiple hotel rooms at a discount
- Making restaurant reservations at a discount
- Collecting travel rewards
- Purchasing travel tickets
- Finding new hotels or flights if an issue arises
- Reserving meeting rooms
- Purchasing event tickets
- Finding bulk pricing
- Creating an itinerary for every team member
When the trip is for business, hiring an agent is most beneficial for saving time, money, and obtaining records for bookkeeping or taxes.
When you shouldn’t use a travel agent
For some trips, hiring a travel agent may not be needed.
You are more than likely able to plan a trip on your own if:
- The destination is not very far
- You are familiar with the destination
- The trip will be short
- You are traveling alone, or with few people
- Budget is not an issue
- You would like to arrive and be spontaneous
- There are no events or meetings that you will be attending
You now know what a travel agency can provide, and you can use this information to determine whether or not an agent aligns with your needs.