“A travel agent? Pfft, you don’t need one anymore. Just go online and do it yourself”.
DISCLAIMER: By virtue of strong feelings of dislike towards the term ‘Millenials’, they will henceforth be referred to as ‘The Lads’ for the rest of this feature.
It was a pretty bold prediction and one widely shared amongst global travellers as comparison sites exploded into life throughout the noughties and beyond. However, unlike Xtravision (I still have my loyalty card, for sentimental value) the internet hasn’t claimed another industry. In fact, according to a new US study, ‘The Lads’ are the fastest growing segment of users of travel agents!
Research undertaken across three independent studies show that 33% of ‘The Lads’ intend to use a travel agent within the next year (v 18% for Baby Boomers). A further 44% believe using an agent is ‘worth it’, whilst rolling their eyes at the other 56%.
As these figures continue to outgrow older generations, the question of why becomes pretty obvious, pretty quickly…
1. DIY Isn’t Worth The Stress
“What do you mean I need a visitor visa? This doesn’t look like the pics online? How the hell do I get from Hanoi to Hoi An?!”.
Sure, for young adults the feeling of total independence is strongly sought after in any given situation but do you really want to the stress of being totally accountable for every detail of the trip? Wouldn’t it be nicer to get picked up from the airport, checked in at a beautiful hotel (or cheap and fun one!) and focus on the sights and sounds of your big adventure?
Being unsure of where to go and what to do during your limited time some foreign is stressful in itself so why wouldn’t you get the advice of agents who have been there and done it? You might learn of a hidden gem or two not swamped with tourists.
2. You Get Way Better Deals!
Do you really think a comparison website is giving you the best deal possible? All of your activity is tracked and it’s very unusual a quoted price for a flight or a hotel is the cheapest out there. Travel agencies have built up relationships with literally thousands of companies over many years and this is where you save!
3. Travel Agents are a Massive Time Save
Even if the best deals are available online, you’d need to watch them like a hawk for days and weeks on end to guarantee yourself the best value. Life is hectic and it’s unlikely you’re going to have that kind of time to spare, no matter how could the tea is.
Let your agent do the dirty work for you. Not to mention if anything gets messy – missed connections, cancelled flights etc they’ll clean it up for you and get you where you need to be.
4. Agents Tend To Get Around…
Let’s say you’ve just got back from an unforgettable safari in Botswana. Your best pics are added to your Facebook or Instagram and what always happens? A bunch of friends and family will invariably get in touch asking you about the trip and any advice you can give them for their trip.
Name practically any location on the planet and even your smaller agencies (unlike ourselves cough, cough!) will have someone who’s been there, done it and ready to share with you all their best travel advice. You’d rather hear it first hand and face-to-face than some obscure online forum right?
5. Flexible Payment Terms
When you book flights, tours and most accommodation online you’ll be asked to pay for everything, for everyone up front. Depending on where you’re going it makes it highly likely that this will be a financial strain on you.
When you use a travel agent, it opens up a world of flexible and staggered payments which makes life a hell of a lot easier. Secure a place on a tour or seat on a plane with a deposit from as little as €99! The rest of the expense can be spread out over the time between your initial booking and the big day you head for the airport.
6. Trust Us, It’s Our Job
Finally, it’s not in any travel agents interest not to get you the best deal, with the best connections, the best itinerary and the perfect place to stay. These guys do this for a living, so park your ego and let them do their thing for you.
Exploring exotic and very different parts of the world can be a minefield and they will know all the pitfalls and safely guide you around them effortlessly.
An agent who doesn’t love travel is like a surgeon who is squeamish about blood. They earn your trust on a daily basis and deserve the plaudits when an adventure is better than your wildest dreams.
Looking for some advice, some great deals and the comfort of knowing you’re in the hands of the experts? Drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org, get us on Whatsapp, call us on (01) 602 1906 or pop into any of our stores nationwide and let’s plan that trip!