The internet age has brought with it excellent benefits for roaming families who’ve caught the travel bug. Thousands of deals wait at your fingertips, online ‘sharing’ platforms abound and booking your passage overseas is as easy as the click of a mouse. The world really is now your oyster, but it’s getting harder than ever to crack that oyster open and reach the pearl. Working with a travel agent is a perfect, family-friendly solution that will save you hours of scrolling, cut through the confusion and trim considerable dollars off transport and accommodation.
Planning and Ideas
Acting as advisers, travel agents can accompany you through every step of planning, offering as little or as much input as you want. Providing ideas and inspiration, they can help you decide where you want to visit, what type of holiday you’re interested in and what activities you’d like on your itinerary.
The best part is that all this brainstorming is specifically tailored to your family. With an agent, you can create a holiday that caters to your budget, preferences and requirements. This means unique diversions from the beaten path, in the form of boutique hotels with Mum’s favourite spa treatments, secret eateries with loads of local delicacies and side-trips to museums, sporting grounds or whatever tickles your fancy. If you’re lucky, your agent may also have inside access to industry perks and upgrades allowing them to furnish your bespoke trip with customised add-ons that won’t pop up in a Google search. Many travel agents will specialise in a certain field, so you can trust that your cruise connoisseur or Europe expert knows all there is to know , and has probably tested it out for firsthand.
They can also advocate on your behalf when it comes to dealing and negotiating with providers. They will push for that family suite so you don’t have to book an extra hotel room, and will sometimes call hotel managers in advance to inform them if you have a special birthday or anniversary.
The time you will save by working with an agent is enough to make it worthwhile. The internet is a great planning tool but it can throw you an overwhelming number of options, making it difficult to see which is best for your family. Small print is particularly nasty to navigate alone, but luckily agents are old hands at understanding exactly what you are entitled to with different packages. With minutiae and logistics handled (think insurance, transfers and overnight stays), you and your kids can focus on the fun parts and get scheming about your daily agendas.
It is also very useful to have one person manage all bookings. A travel agent will troubleshoot for you before you go, but is also available if emergencies do occur on the road. A single point of contact comes in handy if flights are cancelled or tours fall through!
Saving on Cost
One of the biggest myths about travel agents is that they are too expensive for families sticking to a budget. In actual fact, many agents work from commissions earned from the deals they sell. Even if you are charged for the service, the savings you will rake up will far outweigh the expense of an agent. Agencies have access to industry rates and are well versed in price comparisons and hidden fees. They often won’t sell you a holiday for more than they’d be willing to pay themselves and are dedicated to finding you the best deals they can. Many travel agents can offer manageable payment plans, and are sometimes even able to hold bookings for you for a couple of days while you make up your mind. Many customers find themselves able to afford trips they had dismissed as beyond budget because their agent wrangled room combinations or upgrades from suppliers.
Not only is the planning significantly less stressful with an agent, but you can be assured you have security and optimum experiences ahead of you. Plan your next holiday with an agent so that when you crack open that oyster, you’ll be able to treasure the savings, personalised itineraries, convenience, security and other gems that come with professional advice.
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Sophie is a die-hard pasta lover, beach-goer and theatre fanatic hit hard with the travel bug. When exploring new places, Sophie loves straying from the beaten path and chatting with locals about the best places to grab a bite to eat.