June 11th 2012
Why call a Travel Consultant instead of going direct? Good Question! Lately I have been talking to a lot of people about owning a travel agency, and have been getting the same question, “why use a travel agent when I can do the research myself and book a trip on the internet?” Well, you are about to find out that there are several reasons to use a Travel Consultant (the new title), one of them being it is TOTALLY FREE to you, the client.
And about 5 years ago, it was predicted that being a Travel Agent was a dying profession, and in the age of technology, travel agents would become extinct. Well, here it is 5 years later and the agent community is alive and thriving. Yes, it is true that booking an airline ticket is a commodity, so they’re not quite the order takers they once were. Today’s Travel Consultant will help you figure out not only where your next vacation will be; they will help you weed through the piles of information on the internet and let you know what’s real and what’s not.
Why you SHOULD use a Travel Consultant
- The biggest myth surrounding Travel Consultants is that they “charge” for their services. For the most part, their service is complimentary. Perhaps not for an airline ticket (because airlines have cut out paying any commission), but for travel – such as cruises, tours and land packages, their commission is paid by the vendor. Which means – Travel Consultant’s Services are FREE to you!
- You get the BEST DEAL by calling on a Cruise Planners/American Express Travel Consultant. We don’t work for any one Cruise Line or Tour Operator – we search all cruise lines to find you the best deal for the best available cabin at the time of booking. And the best part is a travel consultant will continue to work for you even after the deposit. So, if a cruise line has a rate change, we call and lower your price. If you book directly with the supplier, does the cruise line call you to let you know there has been a price reduction? I doubt it!
- A good consultant will also provide advice – once you pull into a port of call, now what? Try to Google the words “Mediterranean cruise” and you will see 1.5 million results. Yikes! Where do you start to look? Who is legitimate and who isn’t? A good Travel consultant will guide you and let you know which is the most popular site to see or even some hidden secrets they’ve uncovered while traveling. When calling a cruise line directly, do you think the hourly person who answers the phone can offer the same advice?
- If you run into trouble on a weekend while traveling, will the cruise line agent help? Most consultants check their e-mail or voice mail during the weekend just in case of any emergency.
- Your time is valuable. Give an consultant a call and let them know what trip you are interested in and let them do all the work. Why spend hours and hours searching the internet or calling each cruise line? Call a Cruise Planners/American Express Specialist and they will save you time and money.
- Who has the best deals? If I call direct, will I get the best possible deal? Yet another myth is that many online sites run exclusive promotions or hold space months in advance. This supposedly gives them an advantage on certain ships and sailing dates. Travel Consultant’s have access to all the best promotions as well. You might receive extra shipboard credit to spend onboard or pre-paid gratuities so all tipping is included. And on some itineraries a unique shore excursion is available. They aren’t available on all sailings, but if you book in advance you are more likely to enjoy a special extra perk.
- A travel consultant can help you customize your vacation! So you want to have a family reunion, get married or renew your vows onboard? Call an consultant today! Don’t try and book this through the cruise lines or on your own as it will likely become a nightmare. By booking through a reputable consultant, they will take the burden off of you and become the “party planner”. They can set up cocktail parties, beach parties, special shore excursions, wedding receptions, meeting rooms, dining arrangements. Leave it to the pros!
If after reading this you are still not convinced and want to continute booking online I leave you with a thought and a challenge. First the challenge: call me and we can each look up and price the same trip and compare our findings and see who can come up with the better value. Now here's the thought: if you really think that a consultant is not for you, I encourage you to check out www.mydreamcruise.com when you are looking to book your next cruise. From here you will be able to search all of the cruise lines sailings, and compare then side by side before you are able to book right there and then. If you should have any questions or if you get lost along the way feel free to shoot me an email or call me and I will be happy to help!