A travel agency is a great resource for travelers because of their expertise and industry knowledge. In addition, they can often find deals that online booking websites may not have. Plus, they are typically available 24/7 in case something goes wrong on a trip. And best of all, it’s usually free to use a travel agent.
When choosing a travel agency, make sure they are accredited with the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). This ensures that they adhere to a code of ethics and will communicate with you should a problem arise on your trip. Also, check if they are members of IATA and have a TIDS number, which allows them to sell airline tickets.
While online reviews and top 10 lists are a great starting point, nothing beats talking to someone who knows your specific travel desires and can tailor an itinerary that is perfect for you. For example, if you’re traveling to New York City and hoping to avoid tourist traps, a local trip planner can help you craft an itinerary that is less Times Square and more hidden gems.
Travel agents can also save you money by finding deals on hotels, airfare, and activities. In some cases, they can even arrange a group vacation for a much lower cost than you could book yourself. This is especially true if you are planning a large trip with multiple people. Moreover, travel agents can offer insider tips on dining and attractions that are not well-known or published in guidebooks.