If you’re a travel agent, you know what specialized knowledge and skills you offer your clients. However, do you know what they hope to get from you when it comes to planning their trip?
Travelers may be turning back to travel agents instead of budget booking websites, but their expectations are still high for the service they’ll receive from travel professionals. Below are some of the most common expectations for travelers who work with travel agents:
This is the most obvious expectation of travelers working with travel agents, but also one of the most important. Individuals who book with a travel agent do so because they want someone who has accurate, up-to-date information on their destination. Travel agents’ clients don’t have the time to sort through thousands of search results about their trip and guess what information is correct.
Planning an overseas vacation or business trip can be a complex process for which many travelers don’t have time. Travelers want travel agents to do the legwork of their trip planning while they share their ideas of how the trip will go. Large group trips and vacations to new destinations require complex planning and hours of communicating with airlines, cruise lines and hotels. One of the main perks of working with a travel agent is the ability to hand over the reigns when travel planning gets difficult.
Travel emergencies are unpredictable and can wreak havoc on a vacation or business trip. Travelers who book their trip with a travel agent expect their agent to be available to help in the event an emergency does occur. This may mean locating lost luggage, scheduling a late night flight at the last minute or finding a doctor’s office in a foreign country. Travel agents are a lifeline to travelers when the unexpected strikes.
It’s widely expected that travel agents have unique connections and resources that can get their clients extra perks during their trip. This may mean an upgraded room, a reservation at that hard to book restaurant overseas, last-minute deal on their trip that isn’t available to the public or simply extra attention to the smallest of details during the trip such as free wifi on their flight.
While travelers know that there are costs that come along with booking travel through a travel agent, most still expect to save money. Travelers who work with travel agents assume their agent will find them the best group deals, monitor for price drops and get them specialty hotel or airline rates only available to travel professionals.
Those who travel without the aid of a travel agent sometimes fall victim to unpleasant surprises during their trips in the form of stand-by only tickets, canceled hotel reservations and more. However, one of the major draws of booking with a travel agent is avoiding these inconvenient and unexpected issues. Granted, some travel issues are unavoidable, but it’s assumed that a travel agent will have the foresight to prevent any problems that are preventable.
In many cases, people who come to a travel agent to get help planning their next trip don’t just need airline tickets and a hotel reservation. Travel agents have the valuable knowledge and experience required to plan a detailed schedule for a trip somewhere new. Clients may have a general idea of what they’d like to do during their trip, but they’ll leave it up to their travel agent to work out the details and timing.