10 Ways Travel Agents Actually Save You Money

By Michael Schottey, TravelPulse

Get More for Less

Vacation money savings in a glass jar with compass, passport and aircraft toy on world map
One of the big misconceptions keeping people from using a travel agent is the cost. Yet, people don't realize that travel agents make their money in lots of different ways and can actually provide travelers a better vacation for less—yes, even less than booking it yourself online!


They Don't Cost As Much As You Think

Travel planning on the computer.
Travel agents and their commissions and fees can vary, but the takeaway is this: The best agents make their money from hotels, resorts, cruise lines, etc through commissions—not from you. Chances are, any fees you end up paying an agent will come back to you as value in myriad ways.


Time is Money

Man stressing about running out of time.
The biggest way travel agents save you money is by saving you time. You may be a pro at booking online, but we've all been there—spending hours trying to save a little by trying various sites, times, airlines, etc. The more complex the trip, the more time you'll spend...and the more you'll wonder if you're getting it right!


Saving You from Mistakes

A frustrated traveler at the airport.
How much do you know about different travel insurance coverage plans? How's your knowledge of various visa requirements, immunization regulations or customs procedures? Do you need a power converter? Where's the best place to exchange your currency? Life already comes with a bunch of unknowns. Having a travel pro in your corner keeps that from costing you money when you should be relaxing on vacation.


Knowledge is Power (And Savings)

Family with a travel agent.
The world is a big place, and there's always going to be things we don't know. Travel agents often specialize in different types of travel or locations. So, that beach you want to go to? There might be a cheaper alternative that's actually nicer. The city in Europe you've been dying to see? There's probably a fantastic hotel on the outskirts that will save you a bucket of cash.


Timing Is Everything

Passenger watches plane from airport window.
Travel agents are trained to know not only where to travel, but when. If your dates are flexible in any way, agents can craft your itinerary not only to your every specification, but also can book it for the time of the year that fits your budget. Now, the vacation that was "out of reach" is now on your calendar.


Perks on Perks on Perks!

Poolside champagne.
Travel agents have connections travelers simply don't. Sometimes, it's a personal connection because agents travel too and make relationships to ensure service is up to par. Other times, agents belong to host agencies or consortia which have access to special amenities—free Wi-Fi, upgrades, complementary food and drink and more. Want to be treated like a movie star without shelling out an extra penny? That's what a travel agent can do.


Cruise and Resort Credit

The view from a Seabourn cruise.
One of the most frequent perks a travel agent can provide is extra spending money at your resort or (especially) on your cruise ship. It might be just a deal that the agent knows about. So, they're able to steer you in the right direction. Other times (and often), it's a deal only available to a travel agent.


Making Everyone Happy...For Less

Group happy people beach sea sunset concept.
Vacation creep is a real thing, and it can be expensive! The bigger the group, the more everyone has a say about what the group does. Travel agents plan everything in advance and leave no stone unturned. So, the itinerary will include everyone and stick within your budget. You don't have to look back and wonder how your "cheap" vacation got to be so expensive ever again!


Packaging and Buying Power

Make money and travel
Travel agents often deal with companies that package entire vacations (transportation, lodging, tours, etc) and can do so at a rate lower than any online site. Their relationships with those companies—who don't often make their deals available directly to the consumer—provide incredible value and offer vacation options you probably didn't know existed.


Flexible Payment Plans

Travel Agent on the phone.
Does saving for your dream vacation still seem so far away? Travel agents help there too! Many agents will take a deposit on your itinerary and even work on payment plans. You don't need to come up with the amount in one lump sum.

See more at: TravelPulse

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Travel Magazine: 10 Ways Travel Agents Actually Save You Money
10 Ways Travel Agents Actually Save You Money
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