Travel agents offer expertise and services that you cannot get from a website. However, this comes at a cost.

Travel agents can save you money and offer advice on everything from what to pack to when to visit your destination. However, some people are wary of using them because of their fee structure.

1. They charge a fee

Travel agents are great for helping you book trips that align with your personal travel style, and can help you save time by planning your whole itinerary for you. However, many people are wary of travel agent fees and prefer to book their trip online instead.

This is why it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before hiring a travel agent. Most travel agents will charge a fee to plan your trip, but they also get paid from hotel and tour companies for bookings that go through them. Often, this doesn’t cost you more than booking through a travel website, and it may be worth paying the extra fee to have an expert take care of everything for you.

However, some travel agents may have a limited selection of tours and hotels, which can be more expensive than booking online. Additionally, some travel agencies only operate during certain office hours, while online booking sites offer 24/7 customer support.

Another disadvantage is that some travel agents might be biased, especially if they receive commission from specific airlines and hotels. This can cause them to push you towards booking a certain flight or hotel, which isn’t always in your best interest. However, a good travel agent will always be on your side and fight for you when there’s an issue with a tour or hotel.

2. They don’t always have the best deals

Travel agents often have great deals on airfare, hotels, and even activities. They use their industry contacts and experience to offer travelers lower rates than the general public, especially when booking packages. They also stay up to date on new offers and discounts that may not be advertised online.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case all the time. Travelers who use online booking engines and discounted package vacations are forcing travel agents into a position where they must find new ways to attract customers. Since they’re paid on commission, fewer sales equals a smaller paycheck.

As a result, many travel agents are rethinking their business models and finding unique niche markets to help them thrive. Some are even turning to social media to boost their brand and connect with potential clients.

This shift in how travel agents conduct business can be good or bad for travelers. On the plus side, it can mean that you won’t be subjected to an endless stream of spammy emails from travel agencies trying to sell you something. On the downside, it can be difficult to know which travel agency is right for you. The bottom line is that it all comes down to what you value in a travel agent. For some, the convenience and savings they can provide is worth the extra cost.

3. They don’t have the same knowledge as you

In some cases, a travel agent may not have the same knowledge about a particular destination as you do. This can be a problem if you’re planning a trip and have specific things in mind, such as hiking, biking or scuba diving. In this case, you’ll want to do some research on your own and have a general idea of what you’re looking for so that the travel agent can snag the best deal possible.

On the other hand, a travel agent that specializes in your type of vacation will have plenty of expertise on that subject and can offer advice that’s specific to your needs. This is why many people feel that travel agents are worth the price, especially if they’re booking a unique, once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Another advantage to using a travel agent is that they often have special deals and discounts that aren’t available to the public. And they can be a big help when it comes to problems that arise, such as a cancelled flight or a hotel room issue. They also have direct access to airline GDS systems, which can make the process of getting rebooked much smoother and quicker than trying to get through long phone holds at an airlines help desk. This is one of the reasons that Dallas-based social media strategist Sa’tori Ananda loves working with a travel agent to plan her trips.

4. They can’t be trusted

There are a lot of do-it-yourselfers who have paid to become “instant travel agents” and give traditional agents a bad name. They’re amateurs who don’t know what they’re doing and can actually give you bad advice.

It’s also important to remember that travel agents aren’t inside your head and don’t know how you like to travel. So, they may try to plan a trip that’s too luxurious or not adventurous enough. That’s okay if they’re meeting your needs, but if you want something more unique or off the beaten path, it might be best to book online and do some research first.

Lastly, it’s important to always check the prices that your agent offers you against those that you find online. This will ensure that they aren’t trying to take advantage of you and don’t charge too much for their services.

Overall, a travel agent can be a great asset when planning a vacation. They can help you save time by researching and comparing prices, they can make sure that everything is booked properly, and they can minimize the amount of unpleasant surprises that you might get on your trip. So, it’s definitely worth considering using a travel agent if you’re planning a complicated trip! Just be sure to choose a reputable one and check out their reputation online.

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