The New Age of Travel Agents
Let’s take a walk through history, shall we? Stroll down any old vibrant street, of just about any city or town, and you’ll find a travel agency. A true, brick and mortar business that was, at one point in time, completely required for booking travel. Inside these four walls sat people with headsets on, ready to hand out brochures and fact sheets about popular travel destinations. Believe it or not, all of this was necessary 25-30+ years ago (read: before Instagram, Google, and booking engines were a thing).
Travelers needed old-school Travel Agents to get information from and make arrangements with. The day before a trip, travelers came back to the agency to pick up their physical paper airline tickets and necessary documentation needed for travel. So yes, the travel industry was an entirely different business in its origins — but yes, it’s still a thing. We’re the new age of travel agents, and studies show we’re not going anywhere.
We’re out exploring the world.
The new age of travel agents have thrown out the headsets, and are out exploring the world. We embody the meaning of digital nomads living the laptop lifestyle. We’re networking with the ground-operators and destination management coordinators who take care of you when you’re traveling abroad. We’re inspecting hotels and testing out travel apps, diving head first into new cultures and tasting foods that make our taste buds jump. We’re experiencing what makes travelers’ stomachs and jaws drop, and discovering what brings goosebumps to every inch of your body. Most importantly:
We’re giving our honest feedback along the way.
Sure, with the introduction of online travel agencies like Expedia or Travelocity, anyone can DIY, or BIY, their own vacation — but why? And more importantly, some people are starting to wonder how.
The internet is daunting and completely over-concentrated with travel reviews and recommendations. Frankly, agents who have spent time and money to go explore hotels and resorts can help you decipher between the “BEST HOTEL EVER, 10/10 RECOMMEND” and the “BUG BEDS!!!! Beware!!! Never coming back!!!” Trip Advisor reviews.
Today’s travel advisor knows why the #5 rated hotel is better for you than the #2, because she knows her client, or he’s been there — and if they haven’t been there, someone in their network has.
Aside from sifting through the saturated internet water, there’s the whole “time is money” idea. You already work a full time job, or you’re a parent with kids to take care of, or simply put you actually have a life, so do you really want to spend hours and hours researching and booking your own vacation? When a professional would do the work for you, at little or no cost to you? One who has unmatched connections worldwide, inside access to unbeatable packages and prices, and personable insight that an OTA cannot offer?
Oh and yes, I do know that for some of you reading this, you’re honestly answering in your head: yes, I do want to do it myself.
I’m talking to you, BIY’ers.
You’re the type-As, the need-to-know-and-plan-every-detail-yourself kind of people. I know you, because I am one of you. And to you I say this: you cannot, I repeat, you cannot VIP yourself.
Ah, yes. The VIP aspect of this industry is perhaps my very favorite. Let me paint the picture for you: you’re booking a 4 night romantic getaway for you and your spouse. You need out of the house, and away from your kids. You find a Groupon package that’s a total steal and secure your hotel and rental car in one.
While the hotel certainly values your business, you’re just one of many bookings for the long weekend.
Okay, how’s this for a deal? The same 4 night romantic getaway, but this time you book with a travel advisor (who has connections to and relationships with the hotel staff), and suddenly the possibility for VIP treatment is optimized. You’ll definitely get a nicer room than that Groupon client, since they paid for the bottom of the barrel pricing. And past that, you might be upgraded to an even nicer suite-with-a-view, be given a complimentary food and beverage credit, or have fresh flowers waiting for you in your room. Among many other perks and amenities, you just might get a knock on your door for a surprise bottle of wine — one with a note that says, “Enjoy your trip!”
Cheers to that!
So that image in your head — the one that’s in black and white of a lady with a headset on top of her perfectly hair-sprayed hair-do with thousands of brochures in her hand? Yeah, forget that! Instead, start imagining the enhancement of your next vacation all thanks to The New Age of Travel Agents: the ones with hands-on experience, planning expertise, firsthand knowledge, attention to detail, trouble-shooting skills and capabilities of all the special treatments you know you deserve.
We’re The New Age of Travel Agents, and yes we’re still a thing.