You can book your travel through apps and websites, but many people prefer to have a professional on their side as they plan a vacation. A travel agent is an expert on destination spots and can help you find the best possible deals — while sticking to your budget.
If your plans are impacted by weather or other events, an experienced travel agent can get in touch with the hotels and tour operators on your behalf to make alternative arrangements, Elliott says. They can also provide advice about where to eat, shop and see in your chosen destination and help you avoid tourist traps.
When interviewing a potential travel agent, consider how long they have been in the business and their credentials. Whether they have certification from The Travel Institute or are members of ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors), these indicate that the agency operates under a code of ethics and will be responsive should issues arise during your trip.
A trusted global travel agency can also cut your costs by booking hotel and flight packages. Plus, they can handle the additional paperwork required for international trips, including managing expenses and submitting detailed expense reports to accounting departments at work. In addition, an agency can provide emergency assistance if something goes wrong on your trip, such as a hotel overbooking or a natural disaster. “They’re going to do everything in their power to make it right,” Richter says.