Although I have been a Book-It-Yourselfer (BIY) since 1992, I have often saved money, time, and stress by using a travel advisor (aka travel agent) to book travel.
Here are the 3 main reasons to use a travel advisor:
SAVE MONEY WHEN USING A TRAVEL AGENT
Professional travel advisors often have access to lower rates than consumers—and even BIYs—will find. For instance, I used a travel advisor to book Disney cruises because, as a preferred supplier, she offered discounted rates and special amenities.
As a long-time BIY, I have always been confident that I could find the best travel deals.
SAVE TIME BY USING TRAVEL AGENTS
Travel advisors know the best ways to find ideal travel solutions. Travel advisors simply are faster at planning and booking trips than most consumer and BIYs. After all, time is money!
For a family trip to Ireland, I used a destination specialist to plan our trip, including lodging and rental car. It would have taken me many more hours to research and arrange the bookings—and frankly I am not sure I would have done better.
TRAVEL AGENTS WILL SAVE STRESS
In my 22 years as an independent travel consumer advocate, I estimate that over 50% of travel problems I hear about (articles, blogs, tweets, in person) can be prevented by using a travel advisor.
Issues such as missing visas, expired passports, and too tight airport connections are (or should be) on every travel advisor checklist.
Great travel advisors anticipate issues such as missed flight connections, overbooked hotels and flights, and strikes; and adjust itineraries to minimize impact.
Also see our article about Reasons NOT to Use a Travel Agent