A Guide To Travel Agents
Many years ago, the use of Travel Agents was much more popular. When people wanted to book a trip or holiday, their first port of call was the local Travel Agent. Today, with the introduction of the Internet and Independent travel becoming much easier and more popular, the Local Travel Agent is not so much commonly used. However, there are still a large number of people who still prefer to use their local Travel Agent to booking their own travel arrangements.
Definition Of Travel Agent
There are many different definitions of the term ’Travel Agent’ but basically a Travel Agent is simply someone that organises and arranges different aspects of travel. The job of a Travel Agent is to plan, book and organise the itinerary of the customer who is wishing to travel. This can be a variety of things such as flights, accommodation, transfers, car hire, insurance, travel money and much more.
What Are Travel Agents Good For
Although many people now prefer to book and organise their own travel arrangements and travel extras independently, others would prefer to let someone else do all the work for them. Travel Agents still play an integral part in today’s travel industry and are certainly worth considering using for certain bookings.
Travel Agents are great if you simply do not have the time to spend looking for your travel and they are good for people who may not be confident in booking their own travel arrangements. Many people still do not feel confident booking their own flights, accommodation, car hire and transfers and therefore use the services of a Travel Agent to provide them with peace of mind that the bookings are correct.
An added bonus of booking your travel arrangements through a Travel Agent is that the majority of Travel Agents in the UK are ABTA bonded and this then provides more security for your booking!
What Do Travel Agents Do
Travel Agents will book everything for you whether you just want a flight or whether you want to book a full package holiday. Travel Agents offer a wide range of services and can generally book all your travel arrangements and extras. If you really do not want any hassle and simply want nothing to do with booking any part of your holiday or travel, you can simply ask the Travel Agent to do everything. They will then book all your travel requirements so that you only have to turn up on the day of departure and present your documentation.
Travel Agents Online
Due to the Internet, there have certainly become more Travel Agents online. More and more local Travel Agents now have their own websites online and this allows them to reach a much wider audience than they would have been able to reach several years ago. If you are wanting to book your holiday or travel arrangements through one of the online Travel Agents, it is recommended that you ensure they are an established and fully ABTA bonded Travel Agent. Using one of the online Travel Agents certainly makes it even easier to book your travel arrangements and even if you wish to book through your local Travel Agent, you can usually book online through their own website.
The very fact that there are now more Travel Agents online means that it is much easier to find better deals. This is simply due to the fact that there is now much more competition online with more Travel Agents fighting for your business.
Business Travel Agents
If you travel on business throughout the year on a regular basis, then it is sometimes best to find a good Travel Agent who specializes in the area of travel you use. Building a good relationship with a good Travel Agent can be a very useful contact to have and one that will save you a lot of time, stress and money throughout the year.
Local Travel Agents
As we mentioned earlier, more and more people are now turning to the Internet and choosing to book their own travel online or independently. This means that the good old local Travel Agent may not be used as much as it once was. However, there are still many people that would prefer to use them and it is always nice to see a local Travel Agent in towns and cities.
The face to face customer service that a local Travel Agent offers is a big attraction for many and knowing that you can just pop in and speak to someone is a huge advantage. Using a traditional local Travel Agent can be beneficial if you are a little uncertain as to where you want to go and have never been to a specific destination before.
When To Use A Travel Agent
Despite what most people think, using a Travel Agent can sometimes workout cheaper! Yes, you read that right! Sometimes, booking through a Travel Agent can work out cheaper than if you were to book your travel online. The reason for this is because regardless to what you might think, Travel Agents know more, have access to more benefits and are better connected than the average person in terms of travel. When I say this, I am talking about Travel Agents who are experts in their field and specialize in certain areas of travel.
Ok, if you are simply booking a flight to a specific destination and just want a basic hotel or if you want a weekend away, then yes, you can easily find a great deal online yourself. However, if your travel itinerary is pretty complicated, has multiple stops with complex air routes and changes, involves travelling in Business or First Class, requires private drivers or luxury hotels, then you may be better to try using the services of a Travel Agent. A Travel Agent will be able to arrange and organise your travel itinerary for you and hopefully will be able to do so at a cost much cheaper than you would have. If they cannot, then you should weigh up the difference in price of what it would cost if you were to arrange your own travel itinerary and then decide if the difference in price is worth all the hassle of you doing it yourself!
Association Of British Travel Agents
The Association Of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is the main governing body for Travel Agents in the UK and is the UK’s largest travel association. Most reputable Travel Agents in the UK will be members of ABTA and it is advisable to only book your travel through a Travel Agent that is fully ABTA bonded. If you would like to read more about ABTA and its benefits to you as a traveller, please visit the following page: ABTA
Using Travel Agents can have many advantages and if you require the services of one, try to find one that specializes in the area of travel you require.