Theresa Boehl, Myght Contributor
5 Reasons to Book Your Trip with a Responsible Travel Agent
With so many digital resources at their fingertips, today’s travelers feel more empowered than ever to build their own trips from the ground up.
But there are many reasons travel advisors, also called travel agents, are still going strong even with the availability of DIY travel booking.
As we’ll explore in more detail below, these professionals help make sure your trip meets all your goals, not just in terms of the experience you have, but also when it comes to ensuring your vacation positively impacts communities and the environment.
Read on to learn why it’s always a good idea to have an expert in your corner when you’re booking travel.
They Can Help You Travel the Ethical Way
Though interest in sustainable and responsible travel has grown in the last few years, there’s still a lot of confusion among travelers about how to make sure every aspect of their trips falls under the “responsible” or “sustainable” heading.
For example, what are the standards you should be looking for when trying to book an eco-friendly hotel? How can you be sure a tour company makes good on its commitment to ethical tourism? When you work with a vetted responsible travel advisor, all of those questions and concerns will be handled, because your advisor will do all of that research for you.
They Have Proven Expertise
Just like a lawyer or an accountant, travel advisors are seasoned professionals who specialize in one thing: planning and booking trips. They know the industry lingo and have advanced tools and resources. They get help from organizations like TourismCares.org to stay up-to-date on trends and developments in responsible tourism.
“We are experts in our field — we rely on our relationships and our experience, not on Google searches,” says Cathleen Richards, an advisor with Curated by Cath. “We listen to your wishlist and your needs and then make a recommendation that is personal to you and the people with whom you’re traveling. When we work with clients over a period of time, there is a mutual trust that is built and often leads us to recommend incredible new trips or destinations that they hadn’t previously considered.”
This is the work they do day in and day out, and you can imagine how that expertise builds up over time. Plus, many of them have traveled extensively and have the kind of in-depth knowledge of various destinations that can translate to better advice, tips, and planning for your trip.
They’ll Save You a Lot of Time
Booking your own trip sounds so easy until you actually start doing it. If you added up the hours you spent finding hotels, reading reviews, comparing flight prices, researching activities, trying to vet responsible travel providers, etc., you’d be shocked.
Why put in all that time and effort when you can hand it all over to someone with the right training and expertise, who will work with you to make sure your trip is customized to meet your expectations?
They Can Save You Money
This may come as a surprise to travelers who have never used a travel advisor before, but part of an advisor’s job is to look for ways to get you the most value for your money.
Since advisors likely know your destination intimately, they can suggest ways to save money that you might not have imagined. For example, you may think a flight transfer is the best way to get from point A to point B, but your advisor might know of a transportation company that can get you where you need to go for less. Or maybe you have your eye on a hotel, when your advisor can suggest a little-known bed and breakfast for a much better rate.
Believe it or not, not every travel provider or tour operator has a strong TripAdvisor or social media presence. There are still plenty of hidden gems out there that only travel professionals know about.
You Can Count on Their Support and Advice While You’re on Your Trip
Wouldn’t it be nice if every trip we took went as planned? But as experienced travelers know, things don’t always turn out that way.
When you’re halfway across the globe in a place where you haven’t mastered the language, it can be frustrating and intimidating when unexpected problems creep up. If you booked using a travel advisor, you’ll have someone to help you get out of a sticky situation, or simply rectify any unforeseen challenges.
Richards recalls a time when one of her clients needed last-minute help.
“When a client had an issue that required her to see a doctor as soon as the flight landed, her husband called me immediately and as she was receiving treatment, I worked with my colleagues to cancel and rebook elements of their trip so that they wouldn’t miss out on anything,” she says.
“This may sound simple until you understand that this was the first day of a three-week trip through Australia and New Zealand with connecting flights, nightly accommodation, and daily activities! By the time my clients were finished at the doctor’s office and headed in a taxi to downtown Sydney, the hotel staff was awaiting their arrival - despite the fact that they were not originally scheduled to check in for another ten days.”
Your advisor is invested in making sure you have the best trip possible, so you can rest assured you’ll get excellent customer service every step of the way, from the moment you first reach out until the wheels hit the tarmac on your return flight.
Ready to talk to a responsible travel advisor about a vacation you’d like to take? Get matched with an advisor through Travel with Myght.