Planning a trip today can be confusing and time consuming. A travel agent not only arranges the various modes of transportation, but a travel agent also may be able to save you money with early booking discounts, special fares, hotel deals and travel advisories. Don't take our word for it. See what the president of Crystal Cruises has to say about using a travel agent.
Benefits of Using a Travel Agent
Save Money! - Strong working relationships with travel suppliers and the latest in computer reservations technology enable travel agents to access the most up-to-date information on how to get you the best value.
Traveler Advocates - Your best interests are the priority. ASTA (The American Society of Travel Agents) has a long-standing record of fighting for consumer rights and ASTA member travel agents are required to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics.
Convenience - The ASTA membership includes travel agents across the country and throughout the world, most of which offer one-stop shopping for all travel arrangements.
Service - ASTA member travel agents are knowledgeable and active in the industry. The Society provides education, training and resource materials to its members to equip them with the tools to offer the highest quality of service.
Agents Will Go the Extra Mile - Agents work for you and will do everything they can to meet your travel needs. Some agents literally go that extra mile to help their clients. One ASTA-member agent even went to Ethiopia to escort two adopted orphans to the US.
How do you find a good travel agent? Choose one like you would a doctor or lawyer. Get advice from friends and relatives who use an agent they trust. Since travel choices are personal decisions that reflect individual desires and lifestyles, you will want to visit or call several travel agencies to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider everything from the appearance of the office to the travel agent's willingness to listen and answer questions. The best agents want to establish a long-term relationship with a client, not just make one sale.
Who uses travel agents? Travel agents are the leading distributors of travel products and services. Travel agents sell:
87% of cruises
81% of all tours and packages
51% of all airline tickets
47% of all hotel stays
45% of all car rentals
Source: 2004 Travel Industry Survey/Travel Weekly
Agents are the only unbiased professionals who can sort through nearly 100,000 daily changes in airfares alone.
Experience, constant industry interaction and computer reservations systems make travel agents the only source savvy enough to engineer a relaxing trip out of the fluctuating complexities of travel offerings. So, save yourself time, money and frustration