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Volume XXXII
Winter 2018

Travel

Why Use a Travel Agent?

Viking Cruises
Vaughn Hollingsworth
Vaughn Hollingsworth

Booking a vacation can be extremely stressful if you approach it the DIY way. Many of us attempt to book vacations this way. With so much information available on the internet, you can literally spend dozens of hours in front of a computer jumping from one site to another searching for the best vacation to only end up frustrated with more unanswered questions.

Travelers can save time, money and a whole lot of headaches by using a travel agent. A travel agent can provide everything you need to book a perfect vacation: suggestions on packing necessities, what modes of transportation may be best to use, taking advantage of early booking discounts, special fares, hotel deals and most importantly they are someone who will be your personal advocate.

A good travel agent is passionate about travel and will share their passion with you as well as their knowledge and expertise. Let your travel agent do the work for you. They will ask you key questions to put together your trip itinerary. From completely packaged vacations, to cruises and resorts, an experienced travel agent can specialize in all types of travel and will create an unforgettable vacation just for you.

What are some of the benefits to using a travel agent?

Personalized Services

They offer expert advice and personal service that you can’t get from a dot.com. A good travel agent will work hard at building a long-lasting relationship with you. They will want to learn your interests and lifestyles, as well as your dispositions.

Dealing with Travel Complexities

Travel planning can be complex especially if you are not sure of where you want to go, or if this is your first time traveling abroad, maybe you are traveling with the grandkids or with a group of friends. There are literally hundreds of details that go into every trip. A travel agent will guide you through the entire travel planning process.

Peace of Mind

A good travel agent will stay abreast of the most current and timely promotions. No two travelers are alike. Through their knowledge and research, they make sure you get the best value at the best price for the trip that is right for you. They should be destination specialists and experienced travelers who can give you insider tips based on their own experiences and connections.

Your Personal Advocate

An experienced travel agent will have a pulse on the industry and have up-to-date information on what’s hot and happening in travel. They are there to help if something should go wrong before or during your trip such as canceled flights or revised itineraries. Your well-earned vacation time is precious.

One-Stop Shop

Like a personal shopper, they can provide one-stop travel shopping for you.

They can put together a self drive package in Europe or any country, book rental cars, coordinate a private guide when needed, book shore excursions, cruise accommodations and hotel stays, group tours (either small or larger groups), offer travel insurance, answer passport and visa questions and so much more with suggestions that are in the best interest of you, not the supplier.

Experience, Education, Certification and Specialization

Through an ongoing and time-consuming process of familiarization, continuing education and customer feedback, travel agents are travel experts. They are constantly researching destinations and they have built key relationships with travel industry partners that benefit their clients.

Travel Agent Myths

Myth: Travel agents are expensive.

Truth: What's great about travel agents is that consumers don't pay them – the cruise line or tour provider does – so it doesn't cost any extra money for travelers. Travel agents offer tremendous value to travelers, because they have insider access to deals and upgraded amenities, and will be your advocate if any issues arise. Travel agents have a large buying power since they are searching and purchasing travel year-round, and they have strong relationships with each travel brand, which is a benefit to travelers.

Myth: I have the Internet, so I don’t need a travel agent.

Truth: The Internet is a great tool for online searching and researching a destination or cruise line. However, a trusted travel agent will be able to offer you much more personalized service than online retailers. Travel experts can help break through the overwhelming clutter of so many options to help narrow down choices to create a customized vacation experience based on your desires.

Myth: A travel agent will cut me out of the research and planning process.

Truth: Working with a travel agent allows you to be as involved as you would like to be in the travel planning process. Vacations are investments – just like you would want to hire a professional to manage a cash investment, you should consider using a professional travel agent to help with your vacation investment. Travel professionals help put the fun back into planning your vacation by relieving any stress. Traveling means different things to different people. Most of us travel to experience new and different cultures, meet interesting people, explore different cuisines, and see amazing sights. Whatever your reason for exploring, take advantage of professional help and guidance to plan your next adventure.

Vaughn Hollingsworth, Owner Hollingsworth Holidays/Cruise Planners www.HollingsworthHolidays.com