Why should you resort to the services of a travel agent? It is a question that, with the appearance of online reservation platforms, seems to not find its answer so easily. Most of the time, however, you realize the reasons why you should have resorted to a travel agent, when the hotel in which you stayed “is not like in the online pictures” or when you discover hidden costs when taking over the rented car.
An experienced travel agent will always give you more than a price and an offer according to your requests. She/he will point out the seemingly unimportant details of a trip: the proximity of the hotel compared to the objectives of interest, the services included in the accommodation rate, the type of insurance and credit card in order to take over the rented car, the ideal time to transfer to the airport in a certain day and to a certain destination, etc.
In order to be able to focus on the purpose of the trip or, as the case may be, to be able to enjoy the holiday, the travel agent will identify the ideal arrangement of all the pieces in this puzzle.
How Much Does a Travel Agent Cost?
The average cost of a travel agent, who will help you book a ticket for a train, cruise, or airline, would be anywhere between $35 and $60 per person. Depending on the number of people they are booking for and the complexity of the vacation, you will have to pay anywhere between $160 and $370 for a travel agent who will organize a personalized vacation package for your family. If you were to change anything in the future, you should be prepared to pay quite a few additional fees.
If you don’t know exactly where you want to go on vacation, expect to pay anywhere between $35 and $110 per hour to have the travel agent research a vacation.
Most travel agencies charge a commission that is a certain percentage of the vacation’s value, while others may charge flat rates for custom trip packages or per ticket, as you can see in the table below. Many travel agents may charge a second fee besides the fee already paid if there are cancellations or changes. Also, travel agents may charge car rental fees, hotel fees, booking fees, and others.
|Task||Average Price Range|
|Car or hotel reservations||$25 to $45 per reservation|
|Train/Rail ticket reservations||$10 to $25 per person/ticket|
|Issuing airline tickets||$25 to $40 per person/ticket|
|Customized itinerary||$50 to $75 per person|
|Cruises||$25 to $45 per person/ticket|
|Issue fee for paper ticket||$10 to $20 plus airline fee|
Note: The prices presented in the table above are estimative and may vary from one travel agent to another. Also, there may be other travel agent fees when you want to cancel or change your plans.
For example, the popular luxury travel advisor Virtuoso would charge around $160 per person.
According to an article on Finance.Yahoo.com, you would have to pay around $40 for the airline services offered by an average travel agent.
You can also read in an article from CNN.com, that it isn’t uncommon in the travel industry for a travel agent to charge a “plan to go” fee of around $260 to prepare a customized travel package or a flat fee of around $40 to buy an airline ticket.
Important things to consider
Whatever the problem you encounter on the business trip or during the summer vacation, the travel agent will always support your interests in front of service providers, whether they are airlines, hotels, or rent-a-car companies.
The travel agent will intervene every time for you to ensure that you have a pleasant travel experience, and, in case of emergency situations, they will help you return home.
At the moment, 7 hours are lost, on average, to make an online booking for a vacation. This time is considerably reduced if you use a travel agent. They will come up with the proposals that are best folded to both your needs and your budget.
Whether it is a clear destination, transport, accommodation, or activities, a good travel consultant will understand your personality from the questions you will ask, will take into account your preferences, and will be able to recommend the best places or best airlines based on your wishes.
Travel agents that book a large volume of vacations often have access to the advantages you probably couldn’t get on your own. Regardless of whether it is an upgrade of the room or the preparation of several welcome elements, travel consultants can often add benefits to your holiday plan.
Tips for saving money
Try to go on vacations in the off-season, so you can avoid high costs, both for accommodations, but also for restaurants and cafes.
Another option, just as practical, is to organize your vacations yourself, without resorting to the help of specialized travel agents. You’ll have to be looking for places where you would like to go, check out the reviews, and make your plans alone.
If you want to book truly cheap tickets for your holiday, start looking online and book your air tickets early (3-4 months before your flight). Low-fee tickets are sold long before the flight.
Subscribe to the newsletters of the airlines that fly in your region and follow them on social networks. This way you can be sure that you will not lose any important promotions.
If you found the desired travel solution by browsing the Internet, it is worth presenting it to a travel agent because there are high chances they can get a better price.
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