In an age of countless travel sites, a trusted travel guide can lead you through a forest of hidden fees, gimmicks, and tourist traps. Here are the top 5 reasons to use a Travel Guide over trying to go it alone on the web. Travel Agents/Guides have a lot more to offer than you think.
1. Knowledgeable & Experienced Staff
This is where an agent really proves their worth. Knowledge of your destination and the experience to let you know what to do, where to go, and when to be there. A good agent/guide will help you plan the vacation that suits your tastes and make sure you maximize your travel time.
2. Better Rates
Contrary to what you might think, travel guides can find you the best rates in the business. They can also tell you: When to find the best deals; What time of year is the best time to travel; and They can give you tips on how to save money and when to splurge a little to get the best bang for your buck. Many of the best deals available are not the ones you find online. They are the deals negotiated on your behalf by an advocate who knows the business.
3. Time/Energy Saver
This is often the best part of using a travel guide. You don’t have to do the leg-work yourself. Of course, it always pays off to do your own due diligence but having some present you with options versus having to research everything on your own is an incredible timesaver. It also takes a lot of the guesswork out of the equation.
There are often times when you’re on vacation and something goes wrong—you miss a transfer, you loose travel documents, or your rental car brakes down. Think of your guide as your traveling “On-Star” button. They are there for you. They can organize backup plans, negotiate for better accommodations, and even send you a copy of your passport. It’s always nice to know that someone has got your back.
5. Trusted Advisors
Building a good relationship with your travel guide means getting to know them and making sure you’re both on the same page. Deluxe accommodations often mean different things to different people. Unlike online services, you have a person you can talk to and get a real sense of what you’re getting yourself into. A good agent/guide will have first-hand travel experience or will have access to someone who does. You will always get a better and more accurate account from them versus the generic content you find on most travel sites. Even if you’re the type to pour over TripAdvisor reviews, you’ll at least have someone to bounce questions off of. Like—what do you think they mean by “authentic charm”?
Before you start planning your next trip, give a travel guide a call. It’s a great launching pad to get the ball rolling and you just might save yourself a lot of time and money in the end.