Nowadays there are so many Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) – some genuine, some not, but one thing for certain is, they don’t care about you having a great time on holiday and are not interested in finding you something suitable – just getting you to part with your hard earned cash for whatever they can sell you.
There is however another way that doesn’t have to cost a whole lot more.
Here are some funny, but real examples of why travel agents really do add value to your trip. If this still doesn’t convince you, then I guess nothing will.
You want to fly from Glasgow to Las Vegas and use an online flight finder, get a great airfare and book it. Only later to find out you have booked a flight from Glasgow, MT not Glasgow, Scotland!! If it seems too good to be true, then it usually is. (this really is a true story too)
You turn up in Thailand in middle of wet season to a deserted town with nothing but some shorts, flip flops and sun-cream - you knew there had to be a reason why it seemed so cheap. Maybe a travel agent could have explained to you that it rains a lot in certain areas at certain times of the year and a lot of hotels and shops close.
You were really looking forward to spending your honeymoon at a gorgeous small, intimate boutique hotel but didn’t realise you’d be spending it with a bunch of partying kids cause it was spring break in USA.
You had no idea that the names on your airline tickets had to exactly match those on your passports, so ended up having to pay a premium to have the tickets reissued when you turned up at the airport, or lose the flights altogether.
You have booked a villa in Florida with an ocean view through an online company, but when you arrive, and find the villa is genuine (which often is not the case), the view is actually of a swamp and nowhere near the ocean. Who do you call to complain?
How difficult can it be to book a family reunion? Not only does it involve 20+ people but now none of them are speaking to you cause after volunteering to organise it, and taking a month to eventually make a decision on where to go that would suit 3 generations, you went and booked the first 9 flights (usually the most you can book at one time) but now there are not enough seats left on the aeroplane for the rest of the group and you’ve already all paid up front for the hotel rooms. Oh dear!
How should you know you needed to make a spa booking in advance so you could enjoy that facial and body treatment you had been so looking forward to? Or that an advance booking was needed so you could enjoy dinner in the Michelin-star restaurant at your 5* hotel? Now you are spending a very expensive holiday arguing with your partner because you can’t do the things you really wanted to.
The hotel you booked has a kids club, hallelujah, you can now spend some quality time with your other half without listening to your 4 year old twins fighting over whose turn it is to use the tablet. On arrival, you encounter a slight problem - the kids club only takes them aged 5 and over. That will be quality adult time out the window then!
Trying to save a few ££, and thinking you are smart, you book an all-inclusive resort for 2 adults – most rooms are big enough to sleep a third person anyway – right, who will ever notice the third person sneak in – oops epic fail, now hotel-less because you have all been asked to leave - who would have known that Caribbean hotels had such strict rules!
When checking into your hotel, the couple beside you seem to be pretty important. The manager has come to greet them and tells them they have been upgraded and have gifts waiting for them in their room. When your nose gets the better of you and you ask who they are, they just regular guests, but with a great travel agent!
Still not convinced? Travel agents can add much more value to your trip than you might imagine, so why not give one a try next time... they might save you a whole lot of trouble, maybe even save you a few ££.