The Surprising Differences Between Using a Travel Agent Versus Booking Online for Your Next Trip

So, you’ve decided that it’s finally time to use those vacation days. And like most people, you hop on to your favorite travel booking site like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, or Trivago. But did you know you might be missing out on some great perks when you choose a travel site over an agent? Here are several differences between using a travel agent versus a travel booking web site.

1. If something goes wrong on your trip, a travel agent will go to bat for you. From helping you find a different carrier to helping you navigate through the red tape, travel agents are savvy and can help you figure out how to make things better fast. Each travel booking web site has different rules on how they handle situations like this but the difference is that with a travel agent you get an advocate who is there for you before, during and after your trip.

2. Travel agents can throw in upgrades that the booking sites can’t (or won’t). Wouldn’t it be great to get one-way upgrade to premium economy at no extra charge? Of course. Not all travel agents can do this all of the time, but when it’s possible, agents like to surprise their clients with special add-ins and upgrades at no cost.

3. You might not be getting the true price when you book online. Why? Because there are taxes and fees that can get added during checkout, you might not have the real price you’ll be paying when you first search online. With travel agents, the total and actual cost to clients is transparent when they get their price quote.

4. The price you see today might not be the price you’ll get tomorrow (or even later on the same day) with online booking sites. Because of the impact of supply and demand, the prices on travel sites can change drastically from day to day ad even hour to hour. In fact, you might see one price when you conduct your search and see a different one by the time you reach check out in the same session. On the other hand, travel agents can put a hold on the price they quote you for 24 hours.

5. Agents are especially committed to making you happy (and for good reason). One thing you’ll notice about using a travel agent is that they care deeply about making sure you have a great experience with them from the booking process to going on your trip to the return home. Travel agents rely on excellent reviews and they need to make sure clients are satisfied with everything. This also means that though they are paid a commission from their travel partners (such as hotels), they focus first on making sure the client is getting exactly what they are looking for and need. This balances everything out: When the client is happy, they provide a good review and tell their friends which boosts business. A total win-win But if an agent only recommends places that will boost their own bottom line (but not be the best fit for the client), they can expect to quickly lose business. As you can see, travel agents have a lot of skin in the game since their reputation matters so much.

When it’s time to travel, let Complete Getaways make your next trip your most unforgettable one yet. Contact us today and you’ll see why choosing us as your travel agent is one of the best decisions you’ll make.