People work with travel agents for all sorts of reasons: our expertise, our connections, our ability to get deals, we come highly recommended. But one important reason often gets overlooked, and that’s all the mundane work we do. Yes, it can be pretty exciting to work in the tourism industry! However, there are numerous tedious activities I do for each trip I book. And those are tedious activities that you don’t have to do because I’m doing them! Let’s take a look at all the menial tasks you could have avoided if you only used a travel agent on your last trip!
I’m probably revealing how much of a millennial I am by saying I don’t particularly enjoy phone calls. I like the written record of emails. Although, now I’ve gotten used to phone calls for work because I make a loooot of them. Why? Often suppliers have deals that can only be booked over the phone. I’m also hopping on the phone if I need to make a change or ask a question that needs an immediate answer. And no matter the reason I’m calling I always have to experience on-hold music. I’ve mentioned this before, but once I needed to change one teeny part of a client’s trip, and I spent over an hour and a half on hold—and no, they didn’t play different music. I heard the same thirty seconds of music over and over. (I’ve built up on-hold music immunity, but it would almost certainly drive you crazy.) And there’s no need for you to be on hold when you have a travel agent!
There are two kinds of clients: those who pay for their whole trip at once and those who pay a little at a time until the final payment due date. If you’re paying in installments, payments can easily slip your mind. But I email a reminder every month, and you don’t even have to make the payment yourself! All you have to do is tell me how much to pay! Payments can take time (especially if a company’s website is down). Why waste your time when a travel agent can do it for you?
What do I compare? Literally anything: prices, quality of lodgings, timetables. Lots of decisions have to be made when going on a trip, and it’s a lot easier to make those decisions if they’re already narrowed down for you. If you have a price point for a cruise, you don’t need to wade through all the options that don’t meet it. You should only have to choose from those that meet your criteria. Which train schedules are the best? Let a travel agent go through all the options before presenting them to you!
Not only do we save you time because you’re not completing the task, we also save you time because we’re more knowledgeable and efficient. It’s easier for us to weed out the duds.
I love making itineraries! I love making things fit and making schedules. When I mention itinerary planning to people, I always see them squirm and suddenly get itchy. It’s like they don’t like itinerary planning… But I do! That’s why I always include a detailed trip packet with each trip so you know even the smallest things like, “How do I get from baggage claim to my rental car desk?” or “What’s the best route to walk from my hotel to get to the Vatican?” If you don’t like the minutiae of trip planning—great! I do!
All of these tasks have to be completed for you to have a good trip, so why waste your time when it’s my job to do them?
Now get out there and go!