Travel advice from a professional can save you from a believe it or not.
From time to time I like to check travel blogs to see what travel advise is being given to the public about my industry. Statements of fact, are not always true. Take for instance:
- “Travel agents don’t charge fees.” True or false? For many years this was true. But when the airlines chopped off our commissions, those travel agencies who were still in business, began to charge fees to run airline tickets. Now the cruise lines are beginning to chop off our commissions. In order to stay in business, most of us are now charging fees for booking cruises. The majority of hotels in other countries do not pay commissions, so now we are charging fees to do those bookings. Researching these hotels takes many hours and many emails, faxes and phone calls. We can no longer work for “the fun of it”.
- “If you wait till the last minute, prices will go down.” Fact or fiction? This used to be true but no longer. Start with the airlines, If you can even get a seat waiting till the last minute, you will pay way more than if you booked at least 21 days in advance. With the cruise lines, you may not even get on the ship. The fewer cabins, the higher the price. Depending on the season, resorts may not have space. Waiting till the last minute, does NOT mean lower prices
“If you pay with a credit card you will get a refund“. Not always. Better check your company. Sometimes there is a time limit for requesting a refund. Check your credit card statement and make sure the charge if from the supplier, not a travel agency. If the agency is using your card, they may not be sending in the payment for your travel.
- “Travel agents only sell what they get bigger commissions on“. Fact or fiction? I can only speak for myself and my collegues that I know personally – FICTION. We qualify our clients and sell them the travel plan that fits them. This requires us to know about all kinds of ways to see the world. We are experienced travelers and have proper certifications. I am sure that there are agents out there who put commissions above what is best for their clients. Talk to me for the best service.
These travel bloggers have never sold one trip and wouldn’t have a clue how. It takes many years to become truly professional selling travel the right way. A true professional lies awake nights praying the hurricane away, figuring how to get clients out of a dangerous city when fighting has broken out, gets up at 5 AM to call about a client’s travel problems and on and on. Don’t think this is easy. Call me, a professional, and don’t believe most of what you read.