Thanks to the internet and booking engines, the travel industry has changed dramatically. Planning a trip all by yourself is relatively easy and has become a common practice. Unfortunately, these DIY dream holidays also carry a lot of risks.
While booking sites can be useful for cheap flights and hotel rooms, they are not always effective when planning something more elaborate.
Think about it, how do you really know that a luxury hotel is a luxury hotel? Can you really trust those online reviews? That cheap price may actually be too good to be true.
If you are looking for a unique adventure, a specific type of experience, or simply don’t want to get ripped off, a travel agent or travel agency can help you plan and book your trip so you get exactly what you were hoping for without any of the concern.
DIY travel has a time and place but if you want a custom-built vacation with no stress or guesswork, a travel agency is the best option.
So, why use a travel agency? Here are just a few more reasons:
Sure, not all travel agencies are created equal but most will go above and beyond to give you exactly what you are looking for.
The best agencies will be totally upfront and transparent with the price of their vacation packages, allowing you to see exactly what is included. Booking a trip on your own can lead to unexpected fees, fares, or costs. And what’s worse, if you book a trip yourself, you will be unable to recoup your money should something go wrong.
People often think that making travel plans through an agency is going to be overly expensive and sometimes, it will cost a little more. But, travel arrangements made through an agency often include extras that you wouldn’t get on your own and they often include guarantees that are not available outside of their travel services.
Many agencies are licensed and are members of travel bonding organizations like ABTOT. This means these agencies have a level of accountability that is absent from online booking sites.
Before booking, check a travel company’s website to see if they are associated with any of these types of organizations. If they are, you know you have some level of financial protection and can entrust your money to them.
Remember, unlike a nameless, faceless travel site, a travel agency cannot succeed without customer trust and support. It is in their best interest to look after you, your needs, and your money.
Time is at a premium these days. Between work, family, and social obligations, do you really have time to properly research your destination?
Some people may enjoy booking a flight and a hotel and winging it from there, while others will prefer to have a more concrete itinerary.
No matter your travel style, free-wheeling or structured, a travel advisor can help.
Many online travel agencies work in specific niche markets or locations. Iberian Escapes, for example, offers luxury travel packages in the Iberian peninsula. So, if you are looking to book a vacation in Portugal or Spain, you can reasonably expect them to be experts in the region.
These travel professionals know what is worth seeing, what the latest trends are, they can offer tips to improve your experience and even point you to hidden gems that will push your experience over the top!
Instead of researching each city or town you’d like to visit, a travel agency does all of the heavy lifting. They can help you put together a custom package with relative ease. By listening to what you want out of your holiday, they can narrow the options and create the perfect package for YOU.
Travel agents work to make your travel easier and if something does not go according to play, they can work on your behalf to set things right.
A reputable travel agent will take care of the details. They can arrange to have you picked up at the airport and transported to your hotel, they will handle all reservations, secure any tickets you need, and help save you money.
Travel agents build their business around your happiness. They are lovers of travel too and they often have first-hand experience of the places you’d like to go. Iberian Escapes is located in Vilamoura and can give you recommendations on where to stay in the Algarve region (or Portugal in general!) that comes from actual knowledge and experience. This level of trustworthiness is hard to come by when booking a vacation on your own.
If you have questions or concerns about your trip, a reputable travel agency will be able to find you the answer.
In a survey conducted by Vamoos, 54% of DIY travelers consider making sure that they’ve packed what they need as the biggest stress they experience when traveling. 30% think there is a benefit in having someone available to help if a problem arises.
Travel agencies will often supply a detailed travel itinerary that includes a checklist of things to pack as well as contact information for your travel advisor should need support, removing that worry and stress.
People automatically assume they will spend more if booking through an agency. Sometimes this is true, but not always.
Travel agencies have connections in the travel industry that get you a better price. Perhaps they have a relationship with a hotel or have access to a promotional price on rental cars.
These connections and the discounts they offer are the backbone of travel agencies. While access to these deals may not necessarily lower your overall costs, they can get you more value for your money.
Instead of staying in the smallest room at a luxury hotel, maybe a travel agency can get you an entire rental flat for the same price.
Want to get into that hot restaurant that everyone is talking about? A travel agent may have the right connections to get you a table.
Why leave a dream experience to chance? Travel agencies can save you time and money with their insider knowledge and connections. Trust them, it will be worth your while!
When you have never been to a country or city before, it is hard to know what to expect.
Sure, you can read reviews of specific locations and get out a map to determine distance, but those references do not always paint a complete picture.
You might book a hotel because it is a block from the beach. But you may not know that that block is in an unsafe neighborhood or that you can’t actually walk to the beach from that hotel and you need, for whatever reason, to take public transit or detour a greater distance. A travel agent may know all of this and get you a hotel in a better spot.
Travel agencies are also well aware of peak travel seasons and can offer advice on when to book. If your trip is during a busy time, they may be able to offer recommendations that will help you avoid long queues or hints that will improve the experience.
Thoroughly examine a travel agency’s website. The most reliable and trustworthy companies will share some of their knowledge in the form of blog posts or ebooks. They want you to get excited about the destinations and understand the true value in what they can offer in their packages.
By showcasing their general or region-specific knowledge, the travel agency is proving to you that they know what they are talking about. It shows you that they are a safe option for managing your plans.
You may know your way around the kitchen and fancy yourself a good cook, but that doesn’t mean you will cook a perfect beef wellington on the first go. In fact, people are often willing to pay a top price at a restaurant for professionals to prepare it for them.
Similarly, just because you know how to get online and conduct a Google search, it doesn’t mean you can put together a perfect vacation. A travel agency may not be able to match rock bottom discount prices, but they can help you get the vacation you really want and truly deserve.
If you are ready to book a holiday in Portugal or Spain, you can check out our tour packages or give us a call and we’ll work with you together to create your next dream escape!
At our office