With so many “2013 trends” articles and white papers coming out, it’s a bit overwhelming. I did notice one trend that seems to be peppering the travel news all over: the resurgence of travel agents. They didn’t go anywhere (well, maybe on an extended vacation somewhere nice – goes with the job, right?), but what I can relate to is the need for someone to help you with the overwhelming demand of information available online.
Some research done by Sunshine in 2011 showed that 63% of consumers don’t use travel agents, as 82% of them used online tools to make their holiday decisions. I suspect the 63% has gone down, and that online number is surely closer to 99%!
These holiday brochures are now more like museum pieces than planning tools.
When does it make sense to use a travel agent? I get asked that a lot, and my advice is pretty straightforward. Most of the time you can do it on your own; a travel agent can always save you time, and in some cases, money.
Travel agents are especially useful in the following three circumstances:
You can handle all of these situations on your own without an agent – with enough time and money, nothing is a problem. But these are times when the extra support can be very handy. And there are plenty of one-off scenarios where you might find a travel agent handy; when in doubt, and when Google and the Internet gets you beyond frustrated, give one a call. You might be surprised.
Photo by Ed Bierman
Posted : Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.