Whether it’s booking flights, hotels or an entire trip package, travel agents have the connections and knowledge to get you great deals. They can also save you time by researching and booking everything for your trip, and their insider discounts may make it less expensive than self-booking online. Plus, they’re there for you if something goes wrong during your trip.
If you’re thinking of using a travel agent, ask friends and family for recommendations and interview potential agents before selecting one. Look for certifications, such as a certified travel associate (CTA) or a certified travel counselor (CTC). These credentials show that the agent has the skills and knowledge to help you. You should also look for agents who specialize in the destinations you’re considering and have experience in those areas.
A reputable travel agent will take the time to understand your needs and travel style, Richter says. If you find an agent who’s too busy or seems disinterested in your trip, it’s best to move on to another agent.
Using an agent can be especially helpful for complex trips involving multiple destinations, hotels and flights. If you’re planning a group trip, a travel agent can manage all the bookings and reservations for everyone in your party. They can also provide destination advice and vetted suppliers in remote locales. They can even handle complicated issues that arise during your trip, such as a hotel overbooking or a natural disaster. This can give you peace of mind knowing that an expert is on your side and working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.