24 October 2011
The Benefits of Booking With a Travel Agent
Written by Michelle
The internet has given us the ability to take care of a wide range of consumer transactions online. We can bank, shop, and even make dinner reservations all from the comfort of our own home. So If I wanted to book a vacation, why would I get out of my pajamas and over to a travel agency when I can book online with the click of a mouse? Well it turns out that there are a number of great reasons for using the services of a travel agent.
You Get Advice
Planning a trip can get complicated, especially if you are travelling to a foreign country. You have to think about flights, accommodation, and methods of transportation in addition to ensuring you have all the proper documentation required for your trip. Although much research can be done on the internet, nothing beats the knowledge an experienced travel agent can provide. Often websites can be misleading by using amazing pictures or reviews to draw travelers in. There is nothing worse than arriving at a destination only to be disappointed that the beautiful sights are not what you expected. Travel agents can give you ideas about where to go, what to do, where to eat, and how to get around. They can tailor your trip according to your needs and wants while keeping your budget in mind. And if they have been to that location themselves, they can share their experiences with you.
It Saves You Time
Let’s face it, planning a trip takes time. This is especially true if you are planning a longer trip with multiple destinations or are travelling with companions. Everyone has different ideas of what a holiday should be and catering to everyone’s needs is a job all on its own! Having a travel agent do all the research that suits everyone’s requests makes things much easier. The only thing you’ll have to focus on is whether you want to relax on the beach, or by the pool.
You Get the Scoop on Great Deals
One of the main reasons people purchase travel online is because they believe it’s cheaper. This isn’t necessarily so. Travel agents are always looking for seat sales or deals for last minute cruises. Many agents also work with specific airlines or travel wholesalers to make sure their prices are competitive within the industry. You also don’t need to worry about the possibility of having hidden taxes or fees sprung up on you.
Someone to Call in an Emergency & Added Consumer Protection
If something happens during your trip (maybe the hotel doesn’t have your room?), it’s great to have someone you can call to help you out around your travel arrangements. Ask your travel agent if you can call them in an emergency. You may be surprised at how much they can assist you. Also, booking with a BC licensed travel agency means you have added protection of the Travel Assurance Fund (TAF). If you don’t get the travel services you paid for, you may be eligible to claim against the TAF. All travel agencies in British Columbia must be licensed with Consumer Protection BC. You can find a licensed BC travel agent on our website. There is a lot to know about the TAF, read our blog post about the TAF to find out more!
Do you have any success stories you would like to share about using a licensed travel agency? Let us know all about it on Facebook!
Published in Travel.
Michelle works in the Consumer Protection BC Inquiry Centre. She answers calls and emails from consumers and businesses on a wide variety of topics which makes her the perfect person to share her knowledge and experiences with you.