With all of the technology available today, many people wonder what benefit comes from using a travel agent when planning a trip. While it’s true that you can put the pieces together independently, making any changes to your journey can start to bog you down, even when things are going well. Adding a day here, changing a flight to fit a tour that you found last minute, trying to decide whether a hike is too challenging or just challenging enough. When you add in unexpected factors – a canceled flight, a strike, or even a pandemic, you can really see where it’s really beneficial to have some support before, during, and even after your journey. Here are just 5 reasons why working with a travel advisor can make your trip truly unforgettable.
We do the work for you
One of the biggest benefits of working with a travel agency to plan and execute your trip is that we do all of the busywork for you. Domestic flight reservations, hotel reservations, tours, logistics, etc. – we make sure all of the pieces fit together smoothly so you can just enjoy your trip. We also keep up with what is going on in each place you will be visiting, so we can adjust your route or itinerary if necessary. This includes strikes, mudslides or washed out roads during the rainy season, or interesting events like a unique artisan fair in a town that you might pass through. We also have your back when things don’t go as planned and you need to postpone or cancel your trip – we do all of the legwork with changing or canceling hotels, flights, tours, etc. so you can focus your attention on more important matters.
It’s even better to work with a local travel agency where you are traveling, as local agencies have local knowledge. In this way, we know which tours are worth checking out, which restaurants live up to the hype, and which hotels are best because we regularly visit them to make sure they meet our very high standards. We can also tell you how challenging different hikes are (because we have actually done them), which lookouts have the best views, where the best places to shop are, and much more. Furthermore, we can help when the unexpected happens – we have connections with medical facilities in case of illness or injury, for example.
Another advantage of working with a private travel agency is flexibility in planning and executing your trip. It may seem that planning independently would offer more flexibility, however once you have everything reserved directly, it’s actually more difficult to make changes on your own. While some things are more rigid and harder to change (permits for the classic Inca Trail, for example), it is less difficult to make these changes when working with an agency, especially a local agency with local connections. That way, if you do decide to add a day, or an extension to visit an extra site, or if a member of your group becomes ill and you need to modify your trip after it’s started, we can help make these changes as smooth and painless as possible.
After Hours Support
Sometimes the most crucial assistance isn’t something you planned for. This could be something as simple as needing ideas of where to have dinner or what to do with some free time, or as complicated as someone slipping and falling and needing a clinic at night. A huge benefit of working with the right travel agency is 24-hour support, whether you’re on a tour with your guide or wandering the city on your own. When you’re in an unfamiliar country where you may not speak the language, knowing there’s someone available to help if you need it is incredibly reassuring.
When traveling, often you remember the people you meet just as fondly as the places you visit. When you work with a private, local travel agency, you are connected from the time you contact them. You first connect with your travel designer, who will get to know you and work with you to put together the best itinerary possible for you and your travel group. Then about a week before you travel, your host will greet you and be sure you are ready for your journey. When you land in South America, you will be met at the airport to start your adventure. From here, you will encounter all sorts of wonderful people, including your knowledgeable local guides, careful and competent drivers, farmers, artisans, and more!
These are just a few reasons that working with a travel agency has many benefits, especially in today’s uncertain world. While we are still waiting for the world to open fully, we can keep your future travel dreams alive for now. Often the anticipation and planning of an adventure are as fun and exciting as the journey itself!