Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Truth About Travel Agents

Lately, in my new endeavor as a travel agent, I get that familiar (and frustrating) question, "Why would I need to book with a travel agent?"

I'm hoping after reading this, your question will be, "Why HAVEN'T I worked with a travel agent?" I think it will be.

Here's my attempt to clear up any confusion regarding the benefits of working with a travel agent.  To think that you save through those online agents is a HUGE misconception and can make all the difference in what your vacation experience looks like. 

Best price to value guarantee- BECAUSE the online booking agencies like Expedia and Cheap Caribbean are taking a cut out of traditional travel suppliers, many of the suppliers now OWN those sites, (Mark Travel and Apple own Cheap Caribbean, for example) meaning we can price match pretty much everything.  

And, what you get in added value by going through an agent versus a global website for the same price makes all the difference in your trip. For example, veteran suppliers usually include nice perks like free transfers with their on island Destination Management companies, meaning you save more $ and the hassle of figuring out how to get to your resort. Also, there's a recognizable representative on site at the resort to help you with everything from excursions to issues.  Not the case with Cheapotravel.com. Have an issue? You're on your own.
Why we insist you give us a budget and an anticipated booking date right away

And, with the exception of custom services like daily tour itineraries or flights only searches, working with a travel agent is FREE, because the resorts and tour operators pay the agent.  We work on straight commission so knowing our stuff, retaining our clients and managing our time is crucial to staying in business. That's also a big part of WHY continuous learning and fostering industry relationships are a must for an agent. 

Katy Kennedy of the Aruba Tourism Association and Ewald Beamans, owner of Bucuti & Tara Resorts and award winning conservationist 

Property and destination expertise - we are always taking live and online courses, webinars, certifications and site visits from the tourism board, tour operators and properties to be able to sell these va
cations. We KNOW the faces at the resorts because we visit so when we send you, and call the management, we aren't just a name, we are a familiar face. 

One of nearly 40 travel specialist certifications I have completed this year

First hand knowledge - we VISIT properties, ships and tours annually to know what's new (and what needs a little refresh), where the best beaches are and which look better in photos than real life and what tour operators make your excursion exceed expectations. It goes a long way in ensuring the beach in the brochure is actually the beach your are dreaming of or that your discount "garden view room" isn't overlooking a parking lot.

Site Visit at Hard Rock Punta Cana

Industry connections - from onsite tour operators at your resort to direct lines to resort management, we have connections that make your vacation seamless. Also, having a direct connection AT a resort may spare you getting entangled in a timeshare pitch from someone you thought was connected to your trip.

Business Cards for Sales Managers and Resort Management from around the world

Tools - from building your custom itinerary for independent travel in Europe to programs that arrange car service to those off the beaten path locations to engines that help us to compare and price match your online deal, getting you the greatest value, the most seamless experience and the best price is what we do all day every day.

Hidden gem of a deal offered by Apple Vacations

Professional advice and support - we engage in agent forums so if we don't know a thing or two, we know a TON of experienced agents who can help us find the answer.
One of many online closed groups where I connect with other agents for advice

Advice - from getting the best deal, to choosing the best trip for everyone in your group to when you should go to get the best weather and the least crowds to how to get the best coverage on trip insurance, to handy apps to use abroad, we can help.

Remember: Our service is free, your memories are priceless.
Adventures by Jennifer at Cape Ann Travel
85 Eastern Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930
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