First of all, you may be wondering what an ‘independent travel agent’ actually is? Well, an ‘ITA’ is a self-sufficient and licensed travel agent that is not held by the boundaries of just one provider. They are able to source prices from a vast number of providers which helps to get the customer a much more competitive rate. That combined with minimum overheads is another reason why they are able to offer such great rates.
In this article, I will outline 10 reasons why everyone should have their own Independent Travel Agent! And how would I know so much about ITA’s? Well, I am one! Not only do I love to inspire others to travel the world, but I am also now able to actually get you on the road too!
There is a common misconception that using a travel agent will cost you more money. In actual fact, using a travel agent will actually cost you no more than if you were to book independently. Plus, with a database of suppliers far larger than anything you could find solo, an ITA can actually SAVE you money as well as getting you the best value for money.
2. More For Your Money
Travel agents have access to databases and systems of booking not accessible to anyone else. Independent travel agents have access to a huge array of suppliers and chains. This offers you more choice than just searching options through one supplier or holiday company. It will actually work in your favour as it will allow for a much more competitive price.
Forbes said it best…
3. A Travel Agent Means Stress- Free
The above quote from Forbes Magazine really emphasizes this whole point. Booking a holiday shouldn’t be time-consuming, nor should it be stressful. How many times have you looked for a certain type of resort or hotel, spent hours on end looking through website after website; at hotel after hotel? Then by the time you have found something you like, it turns out it’s way out of your budget and so you get fed up and leave it for another day. The whole purpose of a holiday is to get away from it all and is a break from the stress of everyday life. So why create unnecessary stress just to be able to get away from stress. It’s just a catch 22.
Using a travel agent alleviates the stress of searching for hours on end for a destination you have very little knowledge about. Life is stressful enough…so leave it to the experts.
4. Knowledge Is Power
When you use a travel agent, you are not only getting access to the best rates, but you are gaining a world of knowledge. Agents are experts in their field and are a wealth of information in regards to travel. A travel agent will ‘qualify’ their potential client first. This is where they gain the vital information from you that you are looking for in a trip. They can then use this along with their own expertise to find the absolute perfect match for you. As an independent travel agent, it is my duty to find my clients the absolute perfect match for their dream destination and experience. By using the same agent, you will gain an expert who knows you as an individual and knows exactly what you’re looking for in a destination and experience.
5. An ITA Is A One-Stop-Shop
Agents really are your one-stop shop for travel. What if you decided to upgrade your room, flight, or even book an excursion? What if you wanted to do all three? This would mean calling the hotel, getting in touch with the airline (this is MUCH easier said than done at times), research and find an excursion that suits your budget, and then book it? Sounds like a lot of hard work and a lot of your valuable time. One call to your own personal agent and the job is as good as done. Once again, your gaining your precious time back and a stress-free holiday once again!
6. Your Personal Package
Picking a holiday package ‘off a shelf’ is very impersonal. Booking a holiday is you parting with your hard-earned money, so why settle for something off the shelf? Yes, it may be easy to go online and pick a ready-made package that anyone and everyone could book themselves. Using a travel agent allows you to make the trip YOURS. Let your agent create a bespoke trip that ticks all your boxes, a holiday that is personal to you! Stand out from the crowd and have your own stories to tell, rather than one that everyone can tell. At the end of the day, travel turns us all into storytellers. So make yours the best of the bunch!
7. A Travel Agent Adds Security
In this day and age, I cannot emphasize how important holiday security is. How many people do you know who have had holidays cancelled and have had to wait for an age for refunds, are still waiting for a refund or got told they would not get any kind of money back? Covid-19 has been devastating to the travel industry and so many people who had booked holidays and had them cancelled have received nothing back. To have a trip cancelled is bad enough, let alone paying for the privilege of not going at all!
Booking with an agent won’t stop your trip from being cancelled. But by doing so it will allow you to book with confidence, especially when you are ABTA and ATOL protected. What’s more, should anything get cancelled, you have a go-to professional to sort out all the run-around work. Again, saving you the hassle.
8. The Human Touch
In today’s age, it is so easy for the internet to be our first port of call. No matter what we need, ‘google it’ is usually the response. When you click that online deal who has actually confirmed this booking for you? Have you spoken to someone? Unlike buying something online, when you book your holiday there is no physical prize until you actually leave for your trip. So it can feel pretty flat ‘ordering’ something online and not getting anything back immediately.
Using an ITA, you get that personal touch back… and let’s be honest, we are all desperate to interact and socialise after such a devastating year or so. Speaking to a human can help you with any doubts you may have and their knowledge and expertise allow you to rest easy as you are in safe hands. Create a relationship with your own personal independent travel agent and they will even be able to come to you with incredible deals they have tailor-made, just for you!
9. Your Best Deal Is My Best Interest
Some may argue that as a travel agent’s paycheque is based on commission, why wouldn’t they want you to pay top end so they can earn more? Well, for one, travel agents rely on referrals and repeat custom. So it is just good business to do a good job. Simple as that. It is in their interest to find you the best possible deal and experiences so that they can work with you time and again.
10. Just Good Sense
An ITA will not just confirm your booking and leave you as another sales figure. They are with you every step of the way. From guaranteeing your hotel is available to knowing if the excursion company is legitimate. Booking through an independent travel agent ensures travellers will not get duped. Most importantly…they’re there 24/7. Your Independent Travel Agent will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You don’t get that from an automated search engine.
Booking with a licensed travel agent such as myself allows you to book with confidence. You don’t get do-overs with holidays… so why take the risk of it being anything less than perfect? So whether it’s tickets to a West End Show or sipping cocktails in the West Indies; staycation’s in Bournemouth to beach bumming it in Bali. Airport parking to hot air balloon excursions. I really can offer you a one-stop shop for travel. Get in touch today and let me help you get away.
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