4 Little-Known Perks of Using a Travel Agent

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  • Using a travel agent means having to do less work yourself.
  • But there are other benefits you might appreciate as well.
  • Travel agents can offer firsthand experience with some destinations, and they can offer special deals consumers might not have access to otherwise. 

Booking plans through a travel agent could really be a smart move.

We all need a getaway once in a while. And if your vacation plans have different components -- a flight, lodging, and activities, for example -- then you may be considering using a travel agent. 

The clear benefit of a travel agent? Not having to do all of that work yourself. Your travel agent can find you flights on your preferred travel days, book your hotel stays, and make the process of planning a trip easier from start to finish.

But that's not the only reason to work with a travel agent. Here are some other perks you might enjoy.

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1. You might get a firsthand account of what a given destination is like

Travel agents often get access to free or heavily discounted trips so they're able to stay at different resorts themselves. And so if you use one, you might benefit from getting a firsthand account of what a given property is like.

Let's imagine you're trying to book an all-inclusive vacation in the Caribbean for your family. You may be worried that a given resort is poorly maintained or might not have a lot of food options for your children, who are picky eaters. If you work with a travel agent who recently spent several days at that resort, they'll be able to tell you whether your concerns are valid.

2. You might get tips on activities that cater to your interests

Because travel agents know a lot about the destinations they send clients to, using one could result in a more enjoyable travel experience. Imagine you're an outdoor sports enthusiast. If you use a travel agent to book a trip, that agent might not only be able to recommend specific activities, but actually book them for you so you don't have to worry about using reputable companies or not.

3. You might save a lot of money

You might assume that using a travel agent will mean spending more money on your upcoming vacation and getting stuck with a higher credit card balance in the process. But you may find that the opposite is true -- that your travel agent is able to save you money because they have access to deals and rates that regular consumers don't have.

Also, it's a big myth that travel agents charge for their services. Travel agents often earn commissions via their bookings, but those commissions aren't fees you're responsible for. A resort, for example, might give an agent a certain percentage back for each booking they arrange.

4. You'll get help if you run into an issue on your trip

Imagine you're vacationing on an island and a storm hits, forcing you to miss your flight home while you wait things out. If that's a trip you've booked solo, you'll need to call your airline and figure out a backup plan. But if you used a travel agent to book that itinerary, they'll be the one to get on the phone with the airline and make alternate travel arrangements so you can get home.

Clearly, there's much to be gained by working with a travel agent. It pays to give one a try the next time you're heading out of town.

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