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Poor old travel agents. Anybody would think, from the way a lot of business writers and general social commentators talk about them, that they had already gone the same way as the dodo and the woolly mammoth, as a result of the ease with which we can all book flights, trains, hotels, and our other travel need online. However, travel agents haven’t gone away at all, and travel is still an area where seeking help from a professional consultant can offer a lot of benefits in terms of convenience, experience, and insider knowledge.
Here are some of the reasons you might still want to think about calling your travel guy instead of hunting all over the web next time you are planning a trip:
A travel agent who specializes in the area you are traveling to or who focuses on the kind of trip you want, whether it is a ski trip, a safari, or a cruise, will know far more about what you should be looking for and where to get the best deals. You can certainly spend hours and hours reading up about the place where you are going on the web and taking in other travelers’ stories, reviews, and recommendations, and some people enjoy this part of planning a vacation, but if you don’t have time for that, speaking to someone in the know, telling them exactly what you want and trusting them to take care of it can make the whole process much easier.
Planning a vacation is often something you don’t mind investing some time in because it is fun, but when it is a boring old work trip across the country where you don’t really care about anything except being there on time and having a decent place to stay, a travel agent can take all of the hassles off of your hands. If you are planning trips for multiple team members, they can even handle all of your logistics for you, which would probably otherwise require a lot of one of your staff’s time. A corporate travel agency will also often have relationships with hotels in major business destinations and can help you arrange company discounts if you are going to be using them a lot for a major project. It can really pay to have a company like this who you use regularly and know are always at the end of a phone line to help you when you suddenly discover you need three of your sales guys in Chicago on Tuesday morning because that’s when the big client you are trying to win can see them!
Travel agencies do continue to provide a very valuable service in all kinds of ways, so next time you are wondering what became of all those travel shops, remember that those services are still available, they just come in a slightly different format these days! Find a trusted agent for your business, and see just how much time they save!