With so many options for booking holidays and trips online these days, should families still consider using a travel agent? Family Travel Pro gives you the lowdown on why using a travel agent may still be a great decision for your next trip.
Great training, knowledge and experience
Travel Agents are generally extremely well-educated on the products that they’re selling and will often be able to give you much more information than you might get online. Agents will have undertaken extensive training on all of the products they sell, including likely having visited properties, attractions and flown on the airlines they sell, through what the trade calls ‘familiarisation (or ‘fam’) trips.’ They may very well have stayed in the resort that you’re considering, or even the hotel itself!
Knowledge of the best family-friendly resorts
When we start our families, we may never have looked for family-friendly resorts before and the places you’ve previously looked at for holidays might not be quite what you’re looking for now. Agents will be able to provide great suggestions of places that may suit you in this new phase of life and be perfect for kids!
Access to special rates, fares and deals
Agents may also have access to fares and rates that might not be available online to the public. Do not assume that your holiday will be more expensive if booked through a travel agency! Remember to always as them if they are giving you their best possible price too – never hurts to ask if there is any discount available!
They can book it all!
If you want to be able to book all elements of your trip – flights, transfers, hotel accommodation, lounge access, excursions, attraction tickets, insurance etc – all in one place, a travel agency is the place for you. Some even have their own foreign exchange bureaux and travel money cards.
If things go wrong….
In the event of disruption to your travel plans, having booked through a travel agent gives you the ability to speak to them directly for help. Simple things like overbooked hotels, flight disruption etc can all be dealt with directly through your travel agent.
When booking a holiday through a travel agent, look out for ATOL protection. ATOL – the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence – is a government-run financial protection scheme, run by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). ATOL cover protects you should the company you are booking through fail, and your holiday can no longer go ahead. You will get a refund if you haven’t yet travelled, and if you’re abroad when the company fails, your hotel costs and flights home will be paid for.
When you book an ATOL protected package, the company you book through will issue you an ATOL certificate, which you should keep safe. ATOL coverage is not a substitute for travel insurance or any other protection and doesn’t cover flights booked directly through airlines. For more information on ATOL protection, visit ABTA.
Enjoy the experience!
Finally, booking a trip should be fun! There’s still nothing quite like sitting with an agent, with all of their knowledge, making sure that you’re booking the perfect trip. Agents love travel and everything connected to it, so there should be no better start to your holiday experience.
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