Americans often mistakenly believe that hiring a travel agent will mean paying more for their trip. Consumers then book things themselves online and usually wind up missing chances to save money. Besides providing expert travel advice, here are three things that an agent can do to help travelers watch the bottom line.
1. Provide Adequate Travel Insurance
Sure, consumers can click that little box below their online reservation to purchase trip insurance, but how many people really know if the coverage is adequate?
A travel agent can sell an insurance policy that covers most types of problems. It is their business to handle the variable issues that come up regularly for clients. This means agents know what to expect.
A travel agency can help customers choose the most relevant insurance policies. In most cases, the trip insurance bought along with online tickets provides nothing but the basics. It is common for people to pay for insurance that does nothing but restate what the travel suppliers must do in the case of an emergency anyway.
An agent will help the traveler spend their money more wisely. Then, if a problem arises, the insurance may prove well worth the cost, saving the client money. The same may not be true when the policy is bought online without professional advice.
2. Recommend FAM Trips
Familiarization trips, or FAMs, are packages provided by travel suppliers, such as hotels, airlines, resorts and tour companies. The purpose of these free or low-cost vacations is to introduce the services and products of the company. Travel agents are the primary recipients of FAM offers.
At times, FAMs become open to specific demographics and professional groups outside the travel industry. Agents have access to databases of FAM trips and can point their clients in the right direction when something is available. The price will beat anything the average traveler can book themselves online.
3. Book All-Inclusive Packages
Travel suppliers want the customer on the ship, in the hotel room, at the resort, etc. An empty seat or room does nobody in the business any good. So, companies give significant discounts to vacationers who book all-inclusive deals.
These packages have everything included in the one price. Oftentimes the costs of the airfare, hotel room, food, drinks and sightseeing tours come bundled together. The price is usually much lower than if these things were booked separately. A travel agent, especially one that specializes in a specific geographical area, has the inside information on the most economical all-inclusive packages.
Contacting a Travel Agent
The best thing for the budget conscious vacationer to do is contact a travel agency such as Lake City Travel & Cruises before planning a trip. Agents can save clients much in the way of time and money. Since the travel companies, airlines and hotels, not the traveler, pay the commission to the agency, there is nothing for consumers to lose.