Doctors fix patients. Plumbers unclog drains. Carpenters build houses. What exactly is it, though, that travel agents do and why do you need one? I mean, anyone can sit down at a computer and book a vacation. Why bother paying (the first misconception) a travel agent? My goal is to clear some of that information up for you, and explain why you should use a travel agent.
Let’s jump right into the payment part of things.
Did you know that most of the time it doesn’t cost you anything extra to use a travel agent? Travel agents work on commission. They get paid when you book travel with them. If you call or email a travel agent and ask for quotes, and then book it by yourself, you did a major disservice to that agent. They worked for free for you. No one wants to work for free – no matter how much they love their job.
I say most of the time it doesn’t cost any extra because there are times when it is necessary to charge a fee. For instance, when you are asking that agent to do something they won’t get paid to do. Different suppliers pay commission on different aspects of a vacation. It is important to note, you might find travel agents that charge a planning fee. That fee is a personal preference and how that agency is choosing to run their business. For the record – Visit the Magic Travel does NOT charge services fees in most situations. (Special itinerary planning when you’ve not booked a package, or are purchasing one or two-day Disney tickets are two exceptions.) I believe that the money paid by a supplier is sufficient in most cases. My biggest struggle might be to make people understand that booking with a travel agent is going to cost the same as booking it direct.
My next big challenge is to make people realize that I can’t get you something cheaper than the supplier, but I can find the best value.
We’re going to use Disney World as an example because that is my of my specialties. If you go to Disney’s site and look up a price and then come to me thinking I can get it cheaper, you will be disappointed. It’s going to be the same price. Where there is a VALUE in booking with a travel agent is that I can help you find the best option for your money. Just like a carpenter works with you to build the best house to fit your needs, I work with you to plan a vacation that fits your needs. I don’t want to send you to a value resort if you like the idea of sitting on your balcony and watching fireworks. Finding an agent who specializes in your destination is priceless.
Let’s talk Disney and knowledge and titles and all that good stuff for a minute.
I don’t work for Disney. I own my own business and I partner with Disney to sell their product from which I make money. Travel agencies are not Disney Travel Agencies. My agency, Visit the Magic Travel, is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. This still doesn’t mean I’m a Disney travel agent. It just means I have sold enough Disney Destinations to be an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. It still does not make me an employee of Disney. I know Disney products. I’ve traveled to Disney World over 50 times. I still am not a Disney Travel Agent.
One of the biggest blessings of using a travel agent can be when there is trouble.
We never want to have bad vacations or bad things happen. Sometimes they just do. It’s like with our plumber. Sometimes, the plunger does the job and sometimes it’s time to call a plumber to deal with that, um, stuff. On vacation, mistakes or mishaps happen. A quick little call to the front desk and problem solved. Then there are times you get to your room with a view of a garbage can, and you know that you paid for a view of the lake. You also know that it’s not an upgrade like the front desk is telling you. That’s when it’s time to notify your travel agent so they can take care of it. Sometimes it’s more serious and vacations have to get canceled. Having your travel agent to help you out gives you time to take care of whatever it is that is causing the vacation to get canceled. My goal is for you to have a lovely vacation – even when things happen.
I am honored today that I have built a business mainly on referrals and word of mouth. (Check out some awesome reviews here if you want) People have appreciated what I have done to plan their vacation so much that they tell their friends and family about me. While the Internet is big and full of information, we still trust our family doctor to diagnose our ailments. Let your favorite travel agent help you wade through information overload and make your next vacation unforgettable.