Why Would I Use a Travel Agent?

I’m a very confident traveler. Even if something doesn’t work out, I tend to believe the idea of getting lost is part of the traveling experience. Then I went and married someone who had never left our home state before we started dating. He needs to know that every detail is taken care of and that he won’t end up stranded in some far off destination.

For our 5th wedding anniversary, we always said we wanted to go on a European cruise. Before we were married we had seen a show on The Travel Channel, Samantha Brown’s First Cruise, and knew we wanted to do that someday. I still have it on my digital recorder. Samantha Brown had visited Barcelona, Spain; Nice, France; Florence, Naples, Rome and Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Corfu, Greece during her cruise and as a couple my husband and I both agreed we wanted to experience a similar tour.

Brilliance of the Seas

But booking a cruise in another country sent us back to our roots, my husband seemed apprehensive to leave the boat and I’m all about exploring every city. Add in plenty of airlines, a ton of cruise choices, and all the excursions and I wasn’t sure I could get my husband to leave STL after all. Enter a travel agent. Even though I feel comfortable booking a cruise myself, I want my husband to be comfortable too. I won’t lie, I’m a little excited about having someone else do some of the dirty work. I’ve researched a lot of options for this cruise and I’m curious to see if the travel agent I have a meeting with tomorrow will be able to match my needs and wants with the vacation of my dreams.

10 Reasons I’m Using a Travel Agent

  1. Convenience. I can book everything from flights, excursions, the cruise, and transfers from one source.
  2. To have an advocate. If something goes wrong, I don’t want to lose a day arguing with whoever screwed it up and trying to get it fixed. Having a travel agent means they will be doing the dirty work for me.
  3. Expert advice. I’m looking to visit the Mediterranean in the fall. A travel agent might direct me to places that keep me away from crowds or a port with 5 cruise ships visiting at the same time.
  4. Stay updated. If prices fall or my flight times change, a travel agent’s software will alert them (and me) to the changes.
  5. Transportation help. St. Louis doesn’t offer many direct flights and I might not always be able to get the best codeshare information or even know the best way to get from a foreign airport to my hotel or ship.
  6. Excursion booking. We’ve been looking at cruises that have 5 different ports they enter. I want advice on what might be available in Bari, Italy on a Sunday or which of my 5 stops has the best beach to just relax in.
  7. Money. I won’t lie, I’m hoping a travel agent can get me better deals than I can get as an individual. My other hope is that a travel agent will work with my budget to get the best bang for my buck.
  8. Security. Like I said above, my husband is a worrier about vacations. If a travel agent makes him feel safe enough to head to Europe then I am on board with his plan.
  9. Simplifying. Sometimes I have a habit of researching too much. I’ve eyed up to 5 potential cruises for us and they all have different ports and cities to explore before the cruise. I want an agent who can tell me why one cruise might be better for me than another.
  10. Reducing stress. My last vacation was so stressful I spent the week before just researching every lose end and cleaning my house top to bottom for my housesitter. It would be nice just to email my questions out and have answers waiting for me after I dust every room for the second time.

I know when a compromise is in order and for me and my family, a travel agent provides a perfect compromise and balance. I’ll still research whatever destination I choose but I have no problem letting go of some of the responsibility of planning a trip.

Would you ever use a travel agent or are you confident DIYing it?

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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