It's easy to understand why some think that travel agents are on the decline - after all, who needs a travel agent when there are so many online tools available to booking travel? The truth is, you need a travel agent now more than ever.
One of the reasons that travel agents are needed now more than ever isn't because there's a lack of information available - the fact is that there's just too much! There's so many resorts, packages, booking options, tips, reviews, and on and on, that it's just too much to sift through - unless you'd like to make planning your vacation your full-time job.
As an example, a quick Google search for "Caribbean vacation" brought back 370 million search results. Okay, so let's narrow it down to "all-inclusive Caribbean vacation." That brought it down to 20.6 million results. What about narrowing it down to a single island? "All-inclusive Jamaica vacation" still brought back 5.6 million search results. I mean, it's better than 370 million, but still not easy to sift through.
What a travel agent can do is listen to what you're looking for in a vacation, do any necessary research, and make recommendations for you! Rather than spending your time browsing endless online options, an experienced travel agent already knows the options and can navigate the maze for you.
More than Just a Booking Agent
In most cases, online booking services do exactly that - they allow you to book the vacation, and that's it. But, there's so much more to planning a trip than just booking the hotel. Do you have the right documentation for your trip? What is there to do at your resort? Do you need to make dinner reservations, or get show tickets? Is there a dress code? Do you need transportation from the airport? Is there transportation to get around, or do you need to rent a car? What should you pack? What's the weather like when you're visiting?
These are a lot of extra planning questions that require even more Google searches. But, with a travel agent, you'll receive assistance with all of this information, from any required documentation to assistance with additional reservations to tips on what to pack. Plus, if you think of any other questions, your agent, who already knows you and your vacation, will be there to answer them for you. Your agent is also there to assist with giving important reminders and making suggestions for all the questions and details that you haven't even thought of yet!
Value Over Price
One important point that experienced agents know well is that there's a big difference between value and price. We know that you're spending your hard-earned dollars and want to make your vacation count, and we know that you want to get the best possible price. But, one of the things we always stress to our guests is that the cheapest option is not necessarily the best value. This doesn't mean breaking the bank - instead, what we help our guests do is find the best combination of amenities and price that offer the best value for your vacation dollar.
Another thing we do is help our guests find the best value for them. There are lots of great vacation options out there (and we mean that - there are so many destinations out there that offer great service, great food, great views, and so on), but not every vacation option is right for YOU. There are lots of destinations, resorts, and hotels online that offer great experiences, but a vacation isn't a great value if it's not what you want out of your vacation. We want to get to know you and what you want from your trip, so that we can truly get you the best value for your vacation dollars.
Experienced and Specialized
The best travel agents don't book every destination - they book destinations that they personally know and have experienced, so that they can pass on up-to-date, first-hand knowledge to their guests. Here at Modern Travel Professionals, we do the same! By only booking destinations we know intimately, we can guarantee that the resort or cruise you choose doesn't just look great - it actually IS great! Our agents are continually visiting, training on, and re-visiting our specialty destinations so that we can provide the most current knowledge and best insider tips to our guests.
While there are certainly a lot of reviews, blogs, and videos out there from people who have also visited destinations, one of the things to keep in mind when reading reviews online is that they don't necessarily have the same vacation goals as you do. One person's idea of the perfect hotel, cruise, restaurant, activity, and so on, won't necessarily be the same for someone else. That's where we come in - since we know the destination, and since we get to know our guests and what they want, we can make recommendations that can truly provide our guests with what they're looking for in their vacation.
We Care about You and Your Vacation
Last but not least, one big thing that an online booking site still can't match is personal care and attention. We truly care about our guests and their vacation experience, and we're here to assist and support you and your vacation goals. We're here for you throughout the planning process, all the way until you return from your trip, and whenever you have questions or concerns we're here for you - plus, you get to talk to the same agent every time who's already familiar with your trip and your needs. We're also here to put that extra special touch on your vacation, from creative ways to celebrate a special occasion to making personalized recommendations and arrangements for your adventure. We're passionate about travel, and even more so, we're passionate about you having a great travel experience.
Want to learn more? Meet our Travel Pros!