- Where should I go?
- How much will it cost?
- Will my entire family enjoy it?
- Is it safe for a single traveler?
- What if something bad happens?
Obviously, the list could go on forever, but there comes a time where you have to make a decision, and you want to be assured you are making the best decision possible; especially if it's going to cost you a month or two of your salary!
Part of a travel professionals job and responsibility is to answer all of these questions a traveler may have, as well as ask the questions the traveler may not have even thought about. I was having dinner with a friend the other night and he told me a story about a travel professional he worked with several years ago. While he thought she was nice and for the larger part she did assist him in his travels; she didn't ask enough questions, and from his viewpoint, she tended to only focus on the costs, and not the total experience. In his own words, he gladly would have paid more to get an even better experience. One example - instead of him being centrally located to the action, he was far, far away. Now again, had she asked the right questions, she would have known that while the cost to stay farther away was less, he would have paid more to be closer in the city.
In this day and age, most people have budgets for their trips, but for every individual there are certain things that are "must haves" for them, and they are willing to pay for them. It is my job as a travel professional to figure out what those "must haves" are to ensure my client(s) have the optimal travel experience!
- Crime Rates - Travel experts are great at helping you to be in the know of the questionable parts of town that you may be heading to and give you tips on what to look out for.
- Someone to Call if Having a Problem During Your Trip - An online travel agency internet site is not going to answer the phone when you call with any complications during your trip. A travel agent continues to give you that personal support even while you are away.
- When You Shouldn’t Drink the Water - We are always told when you travel be careful of the water. Travel agents can advise you on when it is safe and when it’s not safe to drink the water.
- Small Intercontinental Flights Delayed – What to do? –Travel agents can help you find somewhere to stay when you are left helpless at an airport overnight due to flight delays.
- Saves You Precious Time on Your Trip - To avoid 36 hours in the airport, your travel expert can help plan your trip so your time spent getting to where you want to go is the shortest it can be.
*Source: American Society of Travel Agents