Shocking to some, I know. Before I became a travel agent myself I wasn’t sure they still existed. Like, somehow the internet came up like a wave and washed them all away. Nope. I’m living, breathing proof that they (we) are not only still around, but we’re THRIVING.
If you’re like me, pre-TA status, then chances are you’re not totally sure how we work. So lets fix that, shall we? 🙂
Most importantly: there isn’t any cost to take full advantage of our professional service. Yes, you read that correctly.
Travel Agents are F R E E. (Gasp!)
Cue the big question: “how do you get paid?”
Well, we work 100% on commission paid directly by the resorts, tour companies, cruise lines, hotels, etc. to send clients to them. They pay us so you don’t have to. Um, awesome…I know.
“Okay, great. So your services are free…but why should I use a travel agent for my next vacation?”
My first reaction is typically “why would you not?!” But that isn’t helpful. So instead I explain it this way:
Aside from our services being totally at ZERO cost to you, we take care of ALL of your travel needs. Big, small, even a lot of details that you may not even be aware of. You’ll even have my personal contact number while you’re traveling in case any issues should arise. Does Expedia offer that? LOL. No! I do this because when you become my personal client I am there for you every.single.step.of.the.way. to ensure that all you have to worry about is how many shoes to pack. And hey, if you need advice for that too, I’m here.
“Right. So…you’re free to use and you take care of all the details, but can you get me a deal?”
Listen, I love a good deal as much as the next person. The sale rack at retail stores is my JAM. But when it comes to a vacation, I’m not just selling you a price. I’m selling you a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying I can’t find you an amazing package price, because I can. Sometimes even BETTER than what you can find online…all thanks to the relationships we have with our suppliers and the promos they give us access to.
“I think I get it. But what’s the “catch?””
This is the fun part. There isn’t one! Seriously. Well…at least not for you, the client. Remember how I mentioned we get paid directly through the tour companies, resorts, cruise lines etc.? The catch for us TA’s is that we don’t get paid a dime until our client actually travels. So here’s what that means: if a TA works up options and spends hours researching for you to create your dream vacay, and you go and book on your own online- that agent just worked for free. I can’t speak for everyone here, but I’m personally not a big fan of the whole working for free thing. So be courteous. If you’re a total type A personality and you know for a fact that you’d rather book on your own- go for it! We get it. But for the rest of you who can trust and appreciate our professional advice and services, we’re waiting and ready for you!
“Anything else I should know?”
Yes! One really awesome detail that makes booking through a travel agent extra “worth it” is the fact that we have personal experience with most of the places/options we recommend. Meaning: we’ve eaten the food, met the staff, drank the drinks, seen the sights, etc. And if we haven’t personally been there, we know someone close to us that has.
So…hopefully now you’re all caught up on how us travel agents work and know the following:
>We are not dinosaurs.
>We aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
>We’re pretty stinkin’ awesome.
Thoughts? Feelings? Thoughts on your feelings?