According to a recent AAA survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans see value in using a travel agent. Eighty-five percent of Americans find travel agents provide cost-effective, trouble-free, personalized vacation planning. The Automobile Club of Southern California is the largest provider of travel services in the Southland, with travel agents helping to plan vacations in more than 70 local branches.
“Travelers see great value in working with an agent,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president of travel products and services. “They enjoy working with travel agents, who can save them time, money and the frustration of navigating the many complex travel offerings that are available today.”
The top benefits travelers cited in the survey of using the services of an agent were:
- Travel agents are a knowledgeable resource, providing a great vacation experience
Planning a vacation that is fun for all can be daunting. An experienced and knowledgeable travel agent can provide recommendations to clients based on budget, interests and expectations, whether that’s a family-friendly vacation, a stay at an all-inclusive resort, a memorable honeymoon, or a first-time cruise. Travelers who work with the same agent repeatedly also enjoy a familiarity that makes it even easier to select a destination or cruise to match their travel tastes.
- Travel agents know the best deals, saving their clients money
Travel agents work with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators every day and often have access to special rates and added benefits that are not available elsewhere. They can provide clients information on values and savings during certain times of the year—for example when a cruise line is offering extra incentives to sail to a destination, special offers for residents or military personnel, or special promotions for kids to travel, eat or stay free.
- Travel agents make reservations and bookings, saving time
Selecting the right destination, hotel, cruise line or theme park is a time-consuming task. A qualified travel agent can take care of all the arrangements and stay on top of every detail, saving travelers time to focus on other priorities.
- Travel agents can help if something goes wrong, providing peace of mind
Perhaps one of the greatest values in working with a travel agent is the peace of mind they offer when something goes wrong on a vacation. If flights are suddenly cancelled, a hotel doesn’t meet travelers’ standards, or a hurricane hits a key tourist destination, travelers who booked their trip through a travel agent can make a call to their agent, who can make alternate arrangements immediately.