Reason 1: We can usually get you the same price for what you find online, so it usually doesn't cost anymore than if you booked on your own. Now I say usually, because there are some prices we can't match. Group rates are an example of a rate we may not be able to match.
Now if you are reading and saying well reason 1 doesn't sell me. If you can't save me money I should just book online. Well just hold on, I will give you an example to think about for reason 3.
Reason 2: So to add to reason 1, Personalized service.
Now this is kind of general. Not only do we get to know you, when we book for you we know your booking. This is good for you because if you run into an issue or problem, we know where you are going, what you wanted to do, and can help a lot more than some of the online services. To compare, when you call the 800 number to speak to a rep for the online service, you will get a random person that you don't know and they don't know you or your plans. You will have to work with them on things that may take at least twice as long as if you went through an agent. The personalization is not there and some could care less about if you are happy or not. Then there is the problem of if you lose a connection. When you call back you will get someone completely different and now you are starting over. When you work with an agent, we care to make you and keep you happy. You are in a way our advertising. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and if we don't make you happy we will lose business. So, travel agents will work harder for you and give you that personlized service you will not receive from an online service.
Reason 3: Offers.
Again to add on to reason 1, we may know of an offer or deal available or coming out that you may not be aware of or the online service does not advertise. This could save you money over booking it yourself online. Also an agent should know some of the ins and outs that will help with the booking or quirks that may be there that if you book by yourself could cost you hundreds. Sometimes the prices in an ad for the online services don't show the full actual price. Some ads don't show resort fees, island or country fees that may be added later or taxes. We have seen examples of the ads where it will give a price and yes it beats our price, then a person will book it online and by the time they finish they are now priced over what an agent had quoted. So if you do decide to book yourself be careful and aware of that.
Reason 4: Knowledge.
Most agents should have some kind of training on the destination(s) they are selling. If they don't they should have access to rescources and/or other agents to get any and all information you would be looking for. These are rescources the general public may or may not be able to get but you definitely won't get it from an online service. That will become your time you will get to spend with Google.
Reason 5: We do the legwork so you don't have to.
Think about it. Your time is precious and with everyone working so much at work and home and on the go all the time your time becomes very valuable. For example, lets say you spend 20 mins with a travel agent, you tell them your needs, wants and thoughts. They then do all of the work for you. Looking at deals, offers, rooms, packages etc. They get back to you and another 10-20 mins your are booked and excited. In total you may be out an hour of your time.
Now lets flip it. You go to book it yourself. You look online, read reviews, price things out, and do some figuring and planning. Before you know it you have worked on this for possibly several nights after coming home from work. You are possibly stressed out and maybe overwhelmed.
Now for an example. Walt Disney World.
It seems like every offer Disney makes, it is getting worse. It, being the call wait times. The latest offer to come out was free dining for the fall/winter. I was lucky from the posts I was reading. My clients that are going to the world in the fall/winter had Disney Visa cards which allowed them to make reservation changes and add the free dining offer several days before the offer became available to the general public. My on hold wait was still over 4 hours. Yes I said 4 HOURS. No I am not exaggerating either. I have a screen capture from my phone to prove it.
Now like I said, this was for the release to Disney Visa cardholders only. When this came out to the general public this year I was hearing from other agents that they had waited for over 8 hours. Some were disconnected multiple times, some made it through in less time and some waited more only to get though to be told the system went down and to call back later. This is frustrating to us agents and Disney says they are working on it, but this is time away from your family and stress you don't have to worry about because your agent will do this for you. This is a good example of the legwork that I mentioned that we do so you don't have to.
Reason 6: Now this one pertains just to our agency but every time we make a booking a percentage of what we make we donate to the Make A Wish - Wisconsin foundation. So not only are you going on vacation but in a way you are helping a cause too. We donate to this foundation because they assisted my family when my sister had leukemia. Unfortunately my sister didn't make it but, they did help my family and help so many others. It is hard not to give back.
So we have personlized service, legwork, inside advantage or knowledge, donations, same or better prices than the online guys sometimes, and full cost up front in our quotes. Now some agencies do extra and others don't. I know there are some out there that will even do itineraries for you. This is an added bonus that an agent will do for you. Again it is to make things easier for you and to keep you happy. If you are not happy, we didn't do our job to our fullest.
Our phrase is Making Magic Now for Memories Later and that is more than a motto, it is our guideline and our goal. We want to get you what you want and and make the magic now. Then when you do go on your vacation you can enjoy it with your family and make memories together like you are supposed to. That way you are not be tied up doing things you don't need to do that take you away from the memory making.
So the next time you are looking into a vacation, look to a travel agent. We are here to help you make your vacation simple, magical and memorable.