A travel agent's job is to market a consumer's vacation package, cruise or tour. We usually do not charge a service fee for our expertise and product knowledge. Most often the price will be the same, if not lower, when booking through a travel agency. We have numerous tour operators at our disposal and some of the best do not sell directly to the public but only through a travel agent. Complimentary upgrades, amenities and special rates can be determined by the volume of sales by the agency. Most agencies have the capability to price match, and often beat, any online agency's price.
Services of a local travel agency is on the rise and the percentage of leisure travelers' use of online sites has dropped significantly over the past three years. Personal service is offered through a local travel agency. Consumers are going back to the eye to eye contact with the person that is planning their trip of a lifetime, family vacation or honeymoon.
Although the economy is making it more difficult to take time off, Americans realize the importance of vacation time.
Do not hesitate to ask for credential when working with a travel agent. Ask for certifications from IATAN (International Airline Travel Agent Network) or a business license. Also ask for a copy of your reservation before any money is paid to be certain of what your are purchasing to check for costly errors. Know where your money is going and who is handling it.
Two way communications with a knowledgeable person can often make the difference between a good trip and a great trip!