In this fast-paced world of online instant purchases, where information is available at your fingertips, it’s easy for people to think that booking your own travel online is easier. We often hear people say ‘Travel agents charge extra’ or ‘they don’t pass on savings to clients’ – and whilst we do agree that sometimes it is good to leave some of the planning for you to do while you are travelling, we wanted to debunk some of the common myths we hear and highlight why we think booking with an ATAS accredited travel agent is a more convenient and beneficial way to go.
So, we have answered some of the most common myths about booking with a travel agent.
Myth #1 – Travel agents charge more!
As travel agents we have access to all the prices tour operators, hotels or airlines advertise themselves online and we don’t add on any extra for booking with us – in fact, sometimes we have access to special industry rates that the public may not see online! When it comes to flights, most people may not know the benefit and cost savings you will get by booking all the legs of your trip on the one ticket, this is not always possible to do your own through an online site. For example, if you were to try and book flights from Adelaide > Sydney > LA > Mexico City and then after your time in Mexico head to Atlanta and then have to go home again from Atlanta > LA > Sydney > Adelaide you would have to use a range of airlines, separate tickets and sometimes have different luggage restrictions between international and domestic flights. By having a travel agent book all these flights, they can put it all on the one booking, which means your domestic flights could work our cheaper, you’ll be allowed the same luggage weight on each flight and your baggage will go all the way through! Also, if a flight is delayed, your next flight will know you’re meant to be on there and they’ll make sure you are taken care of if you miss your flight.
Myth #2 – I have all the information I need online!
It’s true, there is so much you can find out by researching yourself online, however our team of experienced consultants live and breathe travel, and we are experts when it comes to travelling the world. Between us we have been to all 7 continents (numerous times) and we’ve not only experienced most destinations and travel styles, but we’ve sent thousands of clients all over the world. We use this knowledge and experience to help our clients put together the perfect tailor-made itinerary. If you’ve got a destination in mind you can come in and talk with someone who has been there, ask them questions, let them know what you’re after and along with your own research we will work with you to plan your dream holiday. Sometimes we may give you ideas and options you may have never thought of and help you make the most of your time in specific destinations.
You may also be surprised by some of the terms and conditions regarding items like travel insurance, but with a travel agent you won’t be surprised as we’ll tell you everything you need to know beforehand and make sure you have the right insurance to suit your requirements and protect you while travelling.
Myth #3 – It’s easier to do it online
Some things may seem easier to book online, but when you sit down and realise you need to look at flights, accommodation, transfers, insurance, tours, sightseeing experiences and more it can become a little overwhelming and it’s easy to forget things. Travel agencies are a one stop shop for all things travel! We can help you with all of your travel needs and make sure you have everything ticked off before you depart. It can get confusing comparing the thousands of prices and products online and it can take up a lot of your time, we encourage our clients to do research and come to us with their own ideas and options and we are happy to help and do a lot of the hard ground work for you.
Plus, if you’re time poor and don’t want to come in for a chat, we are happy to help you over the phone or via email – whatever contact method you prefer!
Myth #4 – Travel agents can only book certain products
We can book almost everything through our systems. We can book through websites such as Expedia, which means as well as our own industry only platforms, we have access to even more options and prices! We don’t push certain products more than others, we have some we prefer because we’ve experienced them and have loved it, but we also have all of the feedback from our clients which means we can suggest options specifically to meet the needs and travel styles of all travellers. We also are happy to work with clients who may want help booking their flights, tour and insurance but would like to book their accommodation themselves – we are happy to assist wherever we can!
Myth #5 – There’s nothing extra a travel agent can offer me
Some travel experiences are straight forward, however did you know that getting a visa to visit a country like Oman requires an application to be lodged through their police association? If you have no idea of the entry requirements of a country or no idea how to lodge a visa application, then travel agents can help you with this! When you book with a travel agent all the documentation is taken care of, we can help you to submit visa applications and offer you help and advice with any other necessary documentation you require! Taking the stress out of your planning – and ensuring you aren’t stuck on a border somewhere with the incorrect documentation and unable to continue your journey! Another example of how our knowledge and experience can help travellers is knowing how much time is necessary between connections for you to make the next flight, in some larger airports it’s important to allow extra time as you may be required to catch a train or shuttle to another terminal. We also know which airlines offer free accommodation or city tours for travellers when they have a long or unscheduled stopover between flights, helping you make the most of your time and money.
Myth #6 – They can’t help me while I’m travelling
If something goes wrong while you are overseas it’s reassuring to know you have someone back home who can help you through it. Whether you have an unfortunate accident and need to make a claim through your insurance, or a flight is delayed, and you have to move another two flights as a result, you can contact us and we will help you sort out your issues!
As you can see there is a lot that we as a travel agency can offer you! So, do your research, have some ideas and then book an appointment with one of our experienced consultants, to get some advice on how you can make the most of your time and money.