There are lots of challenges I face as a travel agent working in a small village on the edge of Warwick and without a shop window! I hear lots of ‘myths’ from potential customers who are concerned about booking a holiday with a travel agent. I hope this article quashes just a few.
One reason people do not book with a travel agent is because they do not want to go on a package holiday like everyone else. Package holidays are often associated with a week in the sun surrounded by Brits abroad. This is so 90s and very much an outdated reality of what a package holiday actually is today!
The beauty of what I do is that I can book almost anything, even when it appears not to exist. All ‘packaging’ means is booking different elements of a trip together under one nice neat ATOL so you are financially protected and have someone to turn to if things didn’t go to plan. I can be far more flexible with what I can offer compared to a high street agent and also, far more reliable and much easier to contact than a large online booking agency’s call centre.
If you book a little hut in the middle of nowhere in Bali but your flight fails, your transfer fails to show up or when you get there your reservation which you made with a booking site appears not to exist, what would you do?
I am not being nosey. I am not judging you based on how much or little you perceive your budget to be. What you think may be a little I could think is a lot for instance; you are making an assumption about what I will think based on your thoughts alone. If I don’t have a budget, I am having to do a lot of guess work….it’s like playing eye spy without having the ‘something beginning with…..’ part!
I ask because it makes my job easier. It saves me a lot of time if I know what to search for and it stops you from thinking I am too expensive or too cheap. It means you get what you are searching for far more quickly 🙂
I love finding trips for all budgets. I once found a South African garden route and safari trip for just over £1,500 pp and another for £10,000 pp. Imagine you had £10,000 to spend and with it, high expectations, but because you didn’t give me a budget I came back with the £1,500 option; you may think I was incapable in finding a luxury option for you. Likewise, if I gave you the £10,000 option and you had £1,500, you would think I was incapable of finding a more figure friendly option.
I ask for a budget to help me filter the options for you and to get you a trip that you will be happy with. I am certainly not judging you on how much or little you think you have to spend. I will be realistic with you if I think the budget is too tight.
ALSO, people fear if I have a budget I am going to stretch it to the max. I may well go up to the budget, over this but also below it to give you some options. Tell me what hotels you have stayed in before and liked, what facilities are key to have and what you will not compromise on and I will find options within and around your budget. It’s then down to you to decide what is most important.
“I love planning my own holidays and so never use a travel agent”……….YOU ARE MY FAVOURITE CUSTOMER IN WAITING!!
If you love doing all the research, then it will not cost you a penny to come to me with everything you have found and ask me to price check this for you and pop it into a lovely protective package. I am happy because you have done the lion’s share of the work and you are happy because you have exactly what you want at a great price, will receive extra advice you may not have thought about and most importantly, you have peace of mind. YOU ARE NOT WASTING MY TIME if you did not go ahead and book…….this is my job 🙂