10 Things They Can Do Better Than You
1. Find cheaper airfares
Many online ads promise cheap airfares. But there’s an excellent chance you won’t find these airfares without the help of a travel agent. Enter your two new favourite words – wholesale airfares. Airlines issue these industry-only deals to retailers such as travel agents. In most cases, they’re cheaper than the everyday retail fares you’ll find online. They’re usually issued on the basis that a retailer will package them with a hotel stay, a cruise or a minimum spend in other land arrangements. So what you save on the airfare can be put towards a better hotel than you thought you could afford.
2. Connect the dots
Unless your hotel’s located in the airport precinct, there’s a good chance you’ll need transport to reach it after landing. Take Fiji as an example. If you’re staying at an island resort, you need to travel to Port Denarau to transfer to a ferry. An agent can help with these ground transport arrangements.
3. Minimise waiting times
Travel agents can help you start your holiday sooner. They can help ease waiting times by offering solutions that might not have thought about. For instance, perhaps it’s totally worth it to hop a helicopter or sea plane from Nadi straight to your Fiji island resort so that you can arrive in time for a sundowner (or two) and already be in holiday mode by the time dinner is served.
4. Lower dining costs
Depending on location, your resort might be the only property for miles around. That can send the restaurant bill at your paradise getaway skyrocketing as there are no alternatives. Some resorts offer prepaid meal plans that can be added to your booking. In some cases, these plans are exclusive to travel agents and not available direct.
5. Discount travel insurance
There are hundreds of travel insurance options out there and, just like airfares, travel agents can access insurance deals that are affordable and wide-ranging.This saves you spending hours trawling through the fine print to read the inclusions and exclusions.
6. Find value-add surprises
Perhaps a resort offers a significant discount if you stay outside of holiday periods or throws in an extra night for free with a minimum stay. Travel agents know where to find these deals – and can perhaps even organise a free bottle of champagne, a bouquet or a fruit platter for that special touch.
7. Keep you connected to friends and family
Modern-day travellers are data-hungry and wi-fi isn’t everywhere. Travel agents can arm your group with overseas-ready SIM cards that provide plenty of prepaid and bonus calls, texts and data. In some cases, you can obtain a SIM card designed for social media – which means you can continue to access your favourite platforms without coming home to a huge phone bill.
8. Find deals for larger groups
If you’re travelling with a large family or a big group of friends, booking in bulk can result in major discounts. For example, eight individual room bookings are standard business to a hotel but making one booking for eight rooms can change everything. Your agent can arrange to have all eight rooms near each other, interconnecting if you need them to be, and often with a bunch of flowers or another surprise waiting for you on arrival.
9. Discover cool activities
Travel agents can access a wide range of tours and vehicle rental deals not available elsewhere. And if you’re travelling with kids, they can tell you about the best kids’ clubs around.
10. Advise on jabs
Are you venturing into Africa on safari or cruising the Amazon River? The last thing you want is to fall ill. A travel agent can advise if vaccinations are required for your trip.