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Are Travel Agents Necessary?

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Before hiring a freelance travel agent, you might wonder if you need one in the first place. After all, you can score great deals on your own by using Google, Expedia, Kayak, or other travel platforms to plan and book travel. So, what’s the point?

Despite these do-it-yourself tools, travel agents are not a thing of the past, and it’s important to know how to pick a travel agent to get the most bang for your buck!

They Know the Destination In and Out

Most travel agents specialize in specific destinations or a type of travel (like cruises). This means they’ve likely lived in or visited the area many times and know plenty about it–more than what you can find after spending hours on the Internet. Sure, you can read articles about the best things to do in Rome, but wouldn’t it be better to hear it from someone who’s actually done those activities? Let the experts tell you what’s best to do and see at your chosen destination.

If you’re working with a travel agent who’s part of a host agency, they may even have taken ‘familiarity trips’ to get to know the destinations they’d like to sell. This is beneficial for both you and the agent–they’ll be more knowledgeable with first-hand information about a location, and you’ll have more confidence that the travel planner knows what they’re talking about.

They Have Access to Tools You Don’t

When freelance travel planners work with host agencies, they usually have access to tools that are only available to those working in the industry in order to put together superior travel packages. For example, an agent specializing in cruises may be able to view deck plans for the ship they’re going to book you on. 

They also have training at their disposal, making them pros at booking travel. This training covers more than you can learn by poking around Expedia, so it’s beneficial to work with someone who has been through their host agency’s courses.

They Take the Stress Out of Planning

Planning a trip can be stressful, even if you’re looking forward to it. You need to book flights, tours, hotels, and activities. If you are working with a reputable travel agent, they can create an itinerary for you. This gives you more time to focus on other things you need to take care of before your trip!

How to Choose a Travel Agent

On Guru, hiring a freelance travel agent is easy. Here are the steps to finding the right one:

  1. Create a Job

When using Guru, you want to create a job for freelancers to apply to. Be specific about what you’re looking for. For example, do you just want a standard itinerary, or are you looking for someone to book custom travel arrangements? Be sure to include any questions you want the freelancer to answer so you can get a better understanding of their professional experience.

  1. Check Out the Applications

After you create a listing, travel agents and planners will flock to it. You’ll have a chance to learn about their credentials, affiliations with host agencies, and expertise by reading their portfolio and reviews.

  1. Enter Into an Agreement

Lastly, select the agent you’d like to work with. Payments will be made through Guru, so there’s no need to exchange personal payment information. On the platform, you can also collaborate with your freelancer within a WorkRoom dedicated to your project. 

You can expect to pay around $100 for a travel agent to help you with a trip, depending on its complexity. Agents are typically paid by travel vendors (hotels, airlines, etc.) for booking with them. If they aren’t booking your travel for you, you’ll be paying them for their time, research, recommendations, and expertise. In general, travel agents are more affordable than most people think–especially on Guru!

Take Advantage of What Travel Agents Have to Offer

Before you write off travel agents entirely, consider that they can help alleviate stress, find experiences you wouldn’t find on your own, and get some great deals for you. 

If you’re struggling to find a travel planner to work with, hop on Guru and create a job listing for them. You’ll be surprised at how many people are eager to plan your next trip!

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