It’s been some time since I got married and it’s about time we started planning for our honeymoon! We’ve been batting around honeymoon ideas for more than a year and we finally decided to go on a cruise in the Mediterranean and then stay a few nights somewhere afterwards. My in-laws are experts at cruising and go once a year so when they heard that we wanted a honeymoon cruise they recommended that we use their travel agent. It seems pretty old fashioned at first to us because now you can find your own vacations online easily. Most people our own age of course just book everything online themselves and travel agents are generally used by older people. I actually thought that it was more for people who couldn’t really find their own bookings online. Not quite so. It turns out that going through a travel agent can still be useful!
We had a nice email exchange with our travel agent and she’s been helpful in many ways. Eventually we booked a cruise with her but did our online booking for tickets and hotel. Hopefully it’ll save us more money in the end to use a travel agent than not! We almost canceled our booking when we found that Travelocity was offering a $200 extra shipboard credit. In the end though we decided to not cancel with her and take our chances. We already have $175 shipboard credit and having more might mean that we wouldn’t use it all.
In what ways can a travel agent be better than doing your own online booking?
I’m not sure if airfare and hotels are better to be booked by a travel agent but cruises seem to be a good thing. Most travel agents will keep track of the best cruise deals that are out there and they will know about all the cruise companies. Some also have inside deals with the cruise companies if you have a large group. It’s only the two of us for this so we were only able to get a deal that is being advertised online though.
Once you book a cruise online usually there’s only a small window of time to get a price adjustment if the cost drops. We’re booking our cruise far in advance so the likelihood of it dropping anytime soon is pretty slim. Booking through a travel agent though will allow you to make price adjustments for much longer. The time period is basically up to the time of our cruise I believe. We could’ve gotten a $200 shipboard credit instead, but through Travelocity we couldn’t get any price adjustments. We’d certainly be kicking ourselves if the price dropped and we couldn’t save some money!
Experts in travel
Obviously travel agents work in the industry and they have to know their stuff to earn money. They can tell you what a good deal is and if a trip is worth it. They have tons of knowledge that we just don’t have. Many of them also travel a good amount and can tell you from personal experience the good and bad. Since we’re traveling to Europe and we don’t know much about traveling there a travel agent can help give us some tips and knowledge.
Someone to bat for you
When things go wrong then you have someone on your side trying to make things right. Travel agents do get commission from your booking so they have more interest in helping you. Anybody would certainly drop a bad travel agent that doesn’t help them when trouble surfaces. This can of course save you time, worry, and possibly money when it comes to cancellations.
I feels a bit odd to be using a travel agent because it seems so old school! I remember being pretty young and going to the local travel agent so that my mother could book airfare to California. Now she books her own airfare online herself actually. We’re spending a good amount of money on our honeymoon though so I think having a travel agent in this case might help us in the end and give us more peace of mind.
Do you use a travel agent for any of your vacations?