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Going on a vacation or holiday is what many people look forward to every year. Whether it is a family retreat, couple's get away, or a single excursion, a travel agent can help to map out every single detail without the travelller so much as lifting a finger. There are many reasons to use a travel agent, and many services that they provide.
A travel agent can work alone or out of a travel agency. Working in an agency provides the convenience of a brand and company that represents customer service, reliability and professionalism. These agencies often have the resources to provide added discounts and incentives to the trip that other agencies and booking websites cannot. However, travel agents that work from home or in a single office are often more personable and friendly. Customers may not seem rushed or pressured by an agent that works alone. Prices may also be cheaper, as there is less overhead for the travel agent to pay for.
A travel agent works to mitigate a good deal on the behalf of the customer. This means that they will search for the best available deals, work with the hotels and airlines to secure specials and book the entire trip themselves. Travel agents will go the extra mile to make sure that their customers are not running to catch a connecting flight, crammed into a small hotel room or sitting in the worst seats at a dinner show. Some agents will even arrange for travel insurance.
Travel agents are capable of booking travel for hotels, airlines, cruises, car rental and even railroad tickets. Some customers are surprised to find out that services can extend to creating a travel itinerary, purchasing entertainment tickets, and booking dinner reservations in advance. Often, travel agents have special deals worked out with specific hotel brands and airlines that will pass on a discount to the traveller if booked through the agent.
The convenience of a travel agent is not free. Customers should expect to pay in the form of a commission or service fee, depending upon the form of travel and the cost of the sale. A typical commission is around ten percent. Be sure to ask about the fees and costs before booking a trip.