A Tale Of An Organized Traveller
Here’s a travellers' actual dinner table recount for you: “We were taking a 4 week family holiday to Italy, all the sights: Rome, Amalfi Coast, Pisa, Florence, Turin, Tuscany and more along the way. Being the resourceful guy I am I wanted to plan and book it myself, thinking I’d save some money along the way. Wow was I wrong. After literally weeks of planning and chasing flights and hotels, it became bigger than Ben Hur. I am an organized person but wow did this one have me. Print outs, websites book-marked, review sites: I was overwhelmed! I surrendered. So to save face on the home front and get this show on the road before everything got booked out, I walked down to the local travel agent with all my notes and knowledge. Why didn’t I do this straight up? With her tools of trade she had it organized in a couple of days. Two more days of questions and adjustments and we were done. We had the best trip we could imagine; even when we decided to stay an extra couple of days on the Amalfi Coast, our trusty travel agent sent some emails and adjusted our next stop. Easy.”
"Any downside of using the travel agent?" I asked.
"She hadn't been there which could have helped a little in some of our stops. Did it cost more? Who knows. there were so many components and details that I would have paid anything for that service. I certainly couldn't do what she did, as it turns out. What was I thinking when I started researching. Argh!" was the answer I got.
We’ve all met travellers that brag they’ve saved hundreds of dollars by doing it themselves. We’ve also met the traveller that wished they had done this and done that or missed out on going there and seeing that because they planned and booked themselves.
The online booking platforms have become dominant in travel booking. Or have they? If you are travelling point A to point B, and maybe need a hotel, then sure, that’s what they do: aggregate all the availability and prices and let you pick. If you want a quick and easy holiday without any variation, then jump onto one of those platforms and book a ‘get-what-you-get’ packaged holiday. But if you really want to experience the destination and not follow the same people around the same sights day in and day out, then you need some experience to guide you.
Travel Agents are your holiday advocates. They work for you to find the best flights, best hotels, best prices and gel it all together. They are also there for you if something goes wrong while you are away. No they probably won’t go and water your plants, but they can adjust bookings if your flight gets delayed, or cancelled, or your hotel if they just started renovating yesterday and is just too noisy. They are with you before, during and after your trip; they’re building a relationship with you.
Planning a trip really can be time consuming. In fact, about twenty percent of travellers said it took more than five hours to search and book travel online, and we’re not just talking multi sector trips. Travel agents, however, make a career out of easing your holiday planning pain. They can take away the stress of vetting the countless options out there, and ensure you find the best one while saving money.
But there are travel agents and then there are travel agents. You can walk into any travel agency and say you want to go to ‘mid-west-far-away’ and the wonderful specialist across the desk will look it up or pull a brochure off the wall. Great, but you could’ve done that yourself. So what would make the difference? Let us answer that for you: Sit on your couch, call the Travel Agent, and ask if anyone has been to ‘mid-west-far-away’ and you get the answer: “Yes, I have.” Wow, someone with real been-there experience of the place you are travelling to. You don’t get that very often. No doubt you’d get very excited and book the trip with them.
So a ‘been-there’ travel agent can offer insight that an online booking website won’t be able to, with local knowledge and on the ground experience. Did you know most travel agents travel? That’s one of the attractions to the job. So given their travel industry knowledge and all the on-hand booking tools that they have, and on the ground experience, a travel agent really is your best way to book a vacation. Remember that if you think you’ve saved $43.78 of airfares and $18 on hotels you’ve lost $200 elsewhere on your trip due to lack of knowledge.
But how do you find these ‘been-there’ travel agents when they are all over the country? The expert in your destination could be in another state and you’ll never know. Well there is a new travel platform to connect Travellers with ‘been-there’ Travel Agents. Going.Expert
matches your destination with a powerful database of travel agents who have created profiles of their destinational expertise. They have been where you are going. It costs you nothing to search and match with these holiday planning specialists, and if you see a Profile you think is a match, connect with them and you’ll receive all their contact details – still costing nothing.
If you’re going somewhere, there is a travel agent who has been there too.