Do you really need a travel agent? Short answer: Yes.

Travel agents are sometimes given a bad reputation. Many believe that their job is purely based upon half-heartedly booking airline travel and scheduling mediocre itineraries before sending over their travel agent fee for minimal work. The most common question surrounding travel agents is, ‘what can they do that I can’t’? Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, if you’re on a strict budget and rubbing pennies together just to get away, then booking on your own is definitely the way to go. However, if you want to travel like your favorite celebrity then you’re going to need some extra help and here is why.

1. Swipe right on this relationship
This is one relationship you’re going to want to invest in. Travel agents take the time to really get to know you and your travel preferences to go above and beyond to plan your trip. The more the travel agent knows about you, the more they will be able to customize the trip to your liking. Once you book a travel agent and explain your ideal vacation, they are able to zero in on what your priorities are for the trip, allowing them to create the most memorable experience imaginable. Travel agents are able to:
● Give recommendations on accommodations that will fit your style and desires
● Suggest specific tour guides that you will like
● Suggest restaurants for dietary suggestions (i.e.gluten free restaurants) if you have a dietary restriction, and
● Have special gifts awaiting you in your room.

Contrary to popular belief, agents are not just booking a seat on a plane and creating a list of activities. They are thinking of every little detail imaginable from the champagne waiting for you when you arrive, to your destination, and the private dinner on the hotel rooftop during night three of the ten-day trip. Once you establish a relationship with your agent, they will even be able to recommend trips to you before it even crossed your mind to plan one.

2. VIT: Very Important Travellers
Travel agents are experts in their field. They work with the best of the best and on a daily basis. They are able to book those sold out Hamilton tickets and the penthouse suite on top of Nobu, Las Vegas that wasn’t available anywhere. They have knowledge that even Siri and Google don’t know. Agents live and breathe travel, they know the best time to visit tourist attractions in the city and what the new up and coming boutique hotel will be. They also have access to upgraded amenities in your hotel and premium airline seats (hello, first class!). When you book through a travel agent, you are benefitting from their industry connections, and you’re able to get access to reservations and attractions you may have missed out on.

3. Nothing but smooth sailing
Google isn’t going to be there to lean on if your trip hits any major turbulence. We’re talking about canceled airline tickets, overbooked hotels, and faulty show tickets that were booked through a third party.

Do you know who will be there at all hours of the night? Your travel agent!

That travel agent fee is starting to sound very minimal right about now, huh? Your travel agent will be at your beck and call no matter what time zone you’re in. They’re able to get you back on the next flight, or in an upgraded room to make sure your trip is your best yet.

Long answer: yes, you need a travel agent!
At the end of the day, there is no way to successfully book a luxury trip without the help of an expert. If you wanted to cut your hair you wouldn’t cut it yourself without the proper training, would you? The same goes for traveling. Travel agents are able to take those 24 hours spent planning your next getaway and make them disappear. Think of all that stress evaporating! At the end of the day, travel agents have connections to the industry, experience with last-minute hiccups, and the ability to narrow down that neverending google search that you just wouldn’t otherwise have access to. So it’s time to close that computer and book the travel agent!

Binta is a Luxury Travel Concierge and owner of Elise Travel. She is very passionate about traveling and is on a mission to provide memorable lifetime experiences to her clients. You can meet Binta on Instagram & Facebook

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