Why book your holiday through a professional independent travel agent?
1st February 2021
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Why you ask? booking your holiday through a professional independent travel agent might be the best travel decision you have ever made…..
If you are thinking of booking a holiday soon and are weighing up the various options available to you, who should you trust to make your arrangements through? We strongly recommend that you spend a few minutes reading this article to find out just what makes a great travel agent “stand out from the crowd”? 
Here, you can discover more about why the whole experience of booking through your very own personal travel agent can be much less stressful, incredibly enjoyable, personal and ultimately more rewarding in many different ways.
Here’s an “insider’s” perspective on points to consider:
  • A great travel agent will have an in-depth knowledge of their travel industry. Whilst not everyone can be brilliant at everything an agent will should have access to resources which will enables them to research products or destinations where they don’t have first-hand knowledge but someone else in the business does! Attention to detail in travel is everything!
  • Delivering a value for money solution may offer significantly more benefits than the “cheapest quote” you can find. Great travel agents will shop around for you, they won’t just pick one random supplier and believe that’s the best deal – they will be skilled at comparing costs and the “total package”. From available flight options to differing room types, various board basis, the list of points to consider is lengthy. The agent will do the thinking for you and put forward their recommendations and suggestions so that you can make an informed choice about what you should include and indeed what might be worth purchasing locally.
  • The saying “if it looks too good to be true it probably is” is so apt in the travel industry. A great travel agent will be able to weigh up the pros and cons of an offer and explain why quotes are different and what those differences mean for you as a customer. Adverts will often feature “lead in prices” these should be approached with caution. Great travel agents should be able to give you the most cost effective option but they should also explain, in a clear and concise manner, what you are actually getting for your hard earned cash and what other options are available. Some travel companies don’t offer live systems on-line – when you make “your booking” this might mean you get a telephone call or an email soon after offering you an alternative holiday to what you initially wanted to book and all at an additional cost that you definitely were not expecting!
  • A great travel agent will know which of their suppliers have consistently stood out from the crowd during Covid for excellence in all things administrative and refunds. Why is this point so important? The colourful adverts on TV at present are memorable, but often for all the wrong reasons. Clever jingles and “come buy me” prices are often as much of a warning as an incentive! Buying from a big and well-known brand doesn’t mean you are buying quality! Some of the most frequent advertisers on TV at the moment have been the worst for administration and for refunding customer monies during the pandemic. Your travel agent should be able to articulate their experience, findings, and recommendations and steer you in the direction of suppliers who have really put their customers as a number one priority.  
  • A great travel agent will value their partnerships with suppliers who have proved their worth on both a historical and a Covid basis – it’s not all about numbers; it’s about quality over quantity every time. Relationships are all about support, compromise, going that extra mile and ultimately looking after our mutual #1 priority – you, the customer. A number of our key partners in our business have long term relationships with many of the properties they feature. This result in various in-resort benefits and often less issues with over bookings or last minute amendments. 
  • A great travel agent should be there when you need them. If that happens to be 7am in the morning or at 11pm at night, when a flight needs amending or support is needed on hotel check-in, so be it. They are there for you when you need them.
  • Expect a great travel agent to be able to tell fake from fiction. They will know which brands and holiday suppliers talk the talk but fail to walk the walk – even some big brands can be a major let down driven by following processes rather than a common sense, caring and rightful approach to resolving an issue. Whilst we are talking about “telling fake from fiction” ask the agent about their background. In various parts of the world becoming a “hobby” travel agent has become all the fashion – attracting interest from all walks of life. Travel is a profession and a few weeks on a conversion course with a franchise company who has a vested interest in its candidates graduating with speed (thanks to a healthy joining fee) might land you in deep water.
  • A wide product range shouldn’t be a luxury, it’s a must. An agent working with just a handful of suppliers can be detrimental to your holiday’s health – Ask your travel agent to be open and honest about their approach to choosing and working with suppliers, a great travel agent will be happy to discuss their supplier and product range.
So, having said all of the above, how do you actually set about finding a great travel agent? 
Trust recommendations from people you know. Check on-line reviews where they are available and make sure they are up to date and look like they are from real people – reviews all written in the same style or using similar language traits are a warning sign! Look at the accreditation that the agent has – ABTA and ATOL both offer a level of financial protection and the reassurance that you have some back up if things don’t go quite to plan. How much experience does the agent have? Are they well-travelled or perhaps part of a business where they are surrounded by well-travelled colleagues.
And last but not least trust your instincts if the relationship you are developing with your agent doesn’t feel right – walk away before you commit! 
I have been here at Designer Travel for over 10 years and have spent my time building an award winning, customer focused travel business, working from home, I pull out all the stops to help you with your travel plans at a time to suit you. If you think I might be your perfect match and able to help plan your next adventure then please get in touch, I look forward to speaking to you soon, When travel starts again and you are ready to Travel.
To contact Debbie Designer Travel please call 07913 304 716 or click here to send Debbie an email with your question.
About the Author

Debra Hammond

Member since: 27th February 2012

For many years through my work, I have been lucky enough to travel to many wonderful places. There are many more still to visit, my life is a book of memories from riding elephants on the beach in Sri...

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