By Mindful Travel Solutions (03/07/2020)
Pssssst! Let me tell you a secret: We know you CAN book your travel, by yourself online. Phew! What a relief right. I mean imagine a whole industry of travel agents unaware that the internet exists.
Here’s the thing though: Why would you?
There are millions of websites, booking pages, airlines, third party sites, review sites, blogs… the list goes on. How do you know which one is right? Which one is giving you the “best” price or which one is truly right for you?
A good travel agent is like a best friend, when you find them. Hang on tight and don’t let go, they will change your life! They consider your needs, your unique personality, travel style before creating travel memories that will last a lifetime
Here are 5 reasons why you NEED a travel agent in your life, now more than ever.
Because Shit Goes Wrong
Here’s the thing: The world is not perfect. Things do very often go wrong on holidays. Do you guys remember that time in 2020 when the whole world shut down due to a global pandemic and countries went into lockdown, flights stopped, and you had to race home before it was too late?
Yeah, see, we would never have seen this happening either. But it did. As if the global pandemic wasn’t scary enough, do you know how to navigate your way through border restrictions, stopover visas, compassionate appeals, airline waivers, cancellations, and credits?
Likely not, but why should you? When you have the right travel agent, all you need to do is pick up the phone. They literally do everything for you!
You won’t get that online, which has been proven lately when thousands of people have been left stranded by closed call centers and offices.
You spend thousands of dollars on travel, its an investment. Protect it—book with a trusted agent.
Flights are not that simple
You can book a flight online with a few simple clicks. Easy enough? Why would you need an agent?
Because flights are not that simple. Yes, a basic Melbourne to Sydney or Melbourne to Bali flight is pretty basic, and yes, you could click your mouse a few times and you’re away!
But what about the more difficult flights? The ones where you don’t really want to land in Rome when your final destination is Barcelona… But, the flights are cheap, so you will just work it out, right? Or when Sydney to Los Angeles is on sale, but you’re actually going to New York. That’s okay too right? just add on another flight yourself. You got this! But, United States domestic flights don’t include baggage, so STING! there’s another cost. Plus 2 hours should be enough to transit at LAX yeah? Think again!
If you have a good travel agent in your life they will be able to include a multitude of additional flights to create your perfect itinerary, sometimes at a fraction of the cost. Why? Because they know flights. They deal with flights all day every day. They sleep and dream about flights (trust me on this one, they are called flightmares and they are real). No amount of surfing Sky Scanner and being a mouse jockey will replace years and years of experience.
By ticketing flights all on one ticket, you are protected if one flight is delayed. By including partner airlines in an itinerary, your luggage is included across the whole itinerary. In fact, by booking with an agent you can create experiences you may not have been able to yourself. Often, Lounge passes and additional stopover tours are thrown in as a part of the service.
When it comes to flights, online is for looking…. your agent is for booking!
A holiday is by definition ” a period of time during which you relax and enjoy yourself away from home “. Relax. Enjoy yourself. You deserve it!
The holiday relaxation doesn’t have to just kick the moment you board your flight. Why can’t it start the second you start to plan your dream escape? Truth is: it can! By working with an agent you still have all the exciting stages of choosing a destination, dreaming of the activities, picking the right flights, and that dream hotel. Except, you remove yourself from the worry of payments, deadlines, rules, and restrictions, fake companies, false websites, currency conversion, visa applications, the list goes on.
Imagine simply dreaming up your holiday and having someone else do the hard work for you? If your flight is delayed while on the journey, no worries you sit back and enjoy an airport pina colada: Because you deserve it! and your agent is working hard to make sure your transfer will still be waiting for you at the revised time to take you to the hotel who has been informed of your delayed arrival.
You deserve a holiday. You deserve to relax. You deserve a good agent to make sure you get the most from your holiday, from the second you start dreaming.
I want to confess: I thought I was an expert back in the day! I had traveled extensively. Knew my way around the Internet and was thrifty. I would often brag about being a so-called “expert”. That was before I became a Travel Agent.
The intense training travel agents have to take before they are even allowed to sit at a computer in a store, was enough to put me back in my box. See you can be incredibly knowledgable about travel and have successfully booked your own trips previously, but trust me when I say: that does NOT make you an expert.
A travel agent will have to sit many assessments before they can be accredited with the title. They usually partake in formal on the job training, internal training, flight-specific assesments, Insurance courses, the list is endless. This is completely separate from the intense supplier training they undertake weekly. Add to this the collective experience of the travel agent community which is readily shared between one another and honestly, they deserve the title of expert.
They often know things about a destination, that you could never dream of. They can recommend specific tried and tested activities that may not have been on your radar. They often know the off the beaten track properties and can ensure your trip is tailored to you! If they don’t know the answer to something they have a direct line with suppliers, destination experts, and airlines to get you the expertise you need.
You have a passion for travel and a drive to see the world, pair that with an expert travel agent and the possibilities are endless.
You Support Aussie Jobs
Now this one is super close to my heart, so don’t mind me grabbing the tissues.
Covid-19 has been hard. In fact, 2020 has been hard for everyone, I know. But for those of us in the travel industry. This has been absolutely soul-destroying. As an industry, we were the first hit when the borders started to close. The first group of people to almost immediately lose their jobs and let’s be honest, we will be the last to return to normal.
Over 70% of our industry has either been stood down, or let go entirely. That’s thousands and thousands of Aussie Mum’s, Dad’s, and families now without an income, overnight. Now I know, you as a consumer can not control what has happened, and if you’re reading this, your obviously passionate about travel and may have personally been affected by a lost or canceled trip, for that I am sorry.
There is one thing you can control coming out of this though, you can support Australian travel agents. You can choose to pick up the phone and call, text, or email your agent instead of scrolling through the countless webpages.
Expedia, Booking.com, Trivago, Hotels.com: they are all owned by the USA. Sky Scanner is owned by China.
Please if you can do one thing for me: Promise me you will consider booking with an Australian travel agent. Because trust me when I say, we are hurting and we will continue to hurt for many years to come. Your support now, more than ever truly does make a difference to the lives of Australians.