Family Vacation Tips

What Everybody Ought to know about Family Travel Agents

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 11, 2013 3:55:00 PM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

family travel agentOnce upon a time, travel agents were the only people in town who had access to a computer reservation system to book airline tickets and hotel rooms. Travel agents went to school just to learn how to use hieroglyphic codes to talk to their computers. Folks marveled at the talents and knowledge that travel agents possessed. Travel agents made it look easy.

Suddenly a world wide web of travel choices rested at everyone's fingertips. Happy, hopeful vacationers now had this "do it yourself" mentality when it came to travel. The internet gave Joe Public the convenience to book travel his way, for less, conveniently from the comfort of his own home.

...So the big question is - Who needs a Travel Agent?
The answer is simple...Anyone planning a family vacation!

The last thing parents need are problems and headaches when they are away from home with their kids in tow. Having a personal, human connection to a vacation advocate is something you simply will not have if you take the do it yourself approach to travel planning. If you think travel agents are obsolete, think again. Travel agents still sell 81% of vacation packages, 47% of hotel rooms, 45% of car rentals 87% of cruises and 51% of airline tickets according to the American Society of Travel agents. The goal of any good family travel agent is to build a long-lasting professional relationship with their clients.

Family travel agents save time and that is a very valuable commodity for busy parents. All the travel choices on the internet create information overload, confusion and frustration. A good travel agent will be able to speak to you from first hand experience. They will help you to focus and select the best vacation options for your family.

Family Travel Agents save money because know better than anyone how to find the best travel values. It's important to realize, A cheap price isn't the same as a great value. They are not out to rip you off. A family travel agent knows that cheap flight you booked online doesn't allow enough time to make your connection. Chances are your family is going to end up stuck sleeping over night in the airport. If you calculate the cost of missing at least one day of the vacation, you'll quickly realize the slightly higher flights your agent quoted was a real bargain. A good travel agent knows which companies always undercut prices and over sell hotel rooms. Your agent want to ensure you and your kids will be guaranteed a hotel room when you arrive. In addition, licensed Travel agents have access to industry wholesaler rates that offer cheaper prices and discounts. These wholesalers do not sell directly to the public, you need a travel agent to get these rates. In addition, many offer excursions and travel experiences that can't be found online. 

Family Travel Agents Have Leverage through important industry contacts. Good agents invest a great deal of time building relationships with hoteliers, concierges, captains and travel industry decision makers. These personal contacts go far when it comes to special favors and requests. As per the statistics mentioned earlier, travel agents carry more clout with hotels and cruise lines than individual travelers. They often have access to amenities that individual travelers will never see.

Family Travel Agents have insider information. Thanks to our network of contacts we know insider information and tips from the back of the house. This is important information that you will never find on tripadvisor. That incredibly cheap deal on that brand new hotel you booked yourself, we know the guy who was suppose to be there to train staff never showed up. This means none of the 800 staff know what they are doing. We also know they just hired a notorious chef from another resort where travelers always complained of stomach issues. That buzz you've been hearing about that new hotel, our staff already visited the construction zone in hard hats. We can tell you where the locals go because we're friends with the locals We chat with them daily online.

Family Travel Agents are NOT expensive. Most travel agents earn their living from commissions paid by hotels and cruise lines. Vacationkids does NOT charge any service fees to our clients and our industry knowledge and network of contacts....priceless. Surprisingly, many of the do it yourself websites charge service fees bundled up in all their fine print. This means you're actually paying for doing all of the work yourself - It just doesn't make any sense.

Family Travel Agents offer expert guidance. Agents know all the industry lingo and how the terms and conditions fine print will effect you. We can help you avoid common pitfalls and road blocks the could effect your vacation. Your agent will work to prevent problems and hassles while you are away from home. If anything does go wrong, they know the right ways to fix problems and find solutions on your behalf.

Family Travel Agents Give Personalized Service. Imagine you can simply pick up the phone and speak to a human being who knows you and is there to help you. You can get your questions answered by somebody with experience. Questions always arise, even for the most seasoned traveler. This is especially true when you're traveling with kids. A good travel agent is always there to help make your journey easier.

Hmmm...an advocate who is there to save you time, money, hassles and worry. Someone who is willing to do the work for you and keep your family out of harm's way. An insider who has friends all over the globe. A person who's help is always there for you...Now that's somebody you ought to get to know.

Topics: family vacations

Sally Black

Written by Sally Black

Sally is the Founder of Vacationkids.com Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.

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