Travelling is one of the greatest things someone can choose to do throughout their lives, but that doesn't change the fact that it can be incredibly stressful to set up. This is why some people choose to move away from planning the trip themselves and instead put it in the hands of somebody who knows what they're doing, meeting with a travel agent that can tell them the best way to go and sell them a deal!
However, this is still their job. We're not saying they won't try to do the best for their clients, but can we really be sure that all travel agents out there are going to do the best for every single one of their clients? What we're saying is, there are certain things that travel agents will never tell their clients, as it makes their job a lot easier, and we don't think that's right!
This is why we've put together this list, so that travellers can take a look and see what they have to keep in mind when they go to meet their travel agent, as they might not be telling the whole truth!
25 Online Travel Sites Offer Refunds
One of the many reasons that people will choose to go to an agent over using an online travel site is the fact that they know if anything goes wrong then they will be properly refunded or at the very least compensated for their troubles.
That being said, many people don't realize that a lot of online travel sites will also offer refunds and cancellation policies if the unforeseeable should happen.
Agents would like clients to believe that it's a mess, that dealing with anybody but them would be a mistake, but this often isn't that true...
24 Are They Really Trying To Find You The Best Price?
There are some agents out there that say the best people to travel through are those who care, and clients are more likely to get a single agent who cares than one through a travel site.
However, this assumes that all travel agents are good people trying to do the best for their clients, which obviously isn't true.
Many of them will funnel their clients through a process and into a deal that costs them more as it means that they will get a much better commission once the package has been sold!
23 They Can Be A Real Pain...
And we don't mean for the clients either! An agent will put on a happy face with their clients, but anybody who has to work with agents in a professional capacity knows that they can be a real pain.
A good agent will do anything for their client, even if it means sitting on hold with somebody so that they can get them the best holiday out there!
This can even include having the client get in touch with the agent while they're on holiday to get them to sort something out for them, so they can continue to enjoy their holiday instead.
22 They Have Feelings Too!
If an agent spends a lot of time with a client, they can get a little annoyed and upset if somebody chooses to go with someone else because it can save them some money.
These people attempt to dedicate as much time as possible to a client so that they can get them the best holiday possible. However, does this mean that they deserve our money?
Whether or not a client cares about this is up to them, as it really is just the agent's job at the end of day. This is what they choose to do, so they're not owed anything.
21 These People Are Making Huge Commissions
Sure, they're lovely people, but let's not forget that these travel agents are making huge commissions on the people that they manage to get to buy from them. We're not saying this removes anything from how nice they are to people, but it's just always good to remember that these people are not helping out of the kindness of their heart.
They will be trying to guide their customers to the packages that cost more so that they can make more for selling it!
20 They Aren't Connected To All Airline Carriers
One of the main reasons a lot of people will approach an agent is because they believe them to be at the centre of it all, able to find just the right package for a client because they have their fingers in all the pies. Sadly, this isn't always true.
There are some airline carriers that will not be connected to a clients agent, meaning that there might be a cheaper flight or deal out there for those willing to look.
Half the reason to go to an agent is to take all of the hard work out of the client's hands, but someone who is willing to scour the internet and be their own travel agent, there may be much cheaper flights out there that the agent just can't get.
19 What People See And What They Get Are Different
Nobody is surprised that what is advertised to them isn't what they're likely to get, as people will obviously try to pull customers in with photoshopped images and outright lies. This means that tourists probably aren't going to get exactly what they want.
Agents aren't likely to say this to anyone, especially not first-time clients, as they'll go to another agent, a liar, who will say they can get the client exactly what they want.
Just bear in mind that these packages are designed to make money, so you shouldn't be surprised if you're lied to by anyone in the business.
18 They've Never Been To Where They've Recommended
Obviously it would be ridiculous to expect every travel agent out there to try out the holidays they're offering to their clients, as they would never have any chance to do their work, but it is something worth thinking about.
Some agents will likely tell people that some packages are better than others, but it's smarter to read reviews online or speak directly with someone who has been.
Let's not forget that these are busy people! They have a lot to be doing and they're never off the phone!
17 Flexibility Isn't Their Friend When It Comes To Their Commission
A good agent will know that there is a fine line to be walked between them getting the most money they can and ensuring their client is happy to continue on with the deal, so this one will be tricky to spot.
An agent would rather they got a bigger commission out of someone than ensure they're given proper flexibility.
This means that anyone travelling through a travel agent should be aware that their needs may not be properly met if it benefits the agent to do this.
16 Is Travel Insurance Needed?
A lot of people believe that travel agents will attempt to force health insurance upon them, but this one actually isn't true. We have to give it to the agents on this one. They may not want to remind anyone, but it is important that many if not all of their clients are travelling with insurance.
Many insurance plans do not cover people overseas, which is why travel insurance can be so important, especially for those with pre-existing conditions.
In fact, some agents will not allow people to book unless they have insurance set up ahead of time or with them.
15 Great For Milestone Trips
While a travel agent would probably argue that clients are better off using them for any travel that they plan on doing, we all know how easy it is to book a simple flight, say from one area of the US to the other.
However, it is true that a travel agent can help sort out the bigger trips, the trips that matter.
An agent is not always needed when considered going overseas, but we think to attempt a major journey without their help, especially a once in a lifetime journey, is foolish at best. People are asking for trouble.
14 Fly On Tuesdays!
All agents and some clients will know that it is much cheaper to fly on a Tuesday than any other day, so if an agent tries to push someone away from this day then the client can be fairly sure that the agent is not looking out for the best of the client.
It shows that they're willing to push their client into a situation where they're paying more so that they get a higher commission, which would suggest that they've done the same in different areas of the clients package!
13 Use A Travels Reward Card
While some agents definitely will mention a Travels Reward Card with their clients, many will not as they know it could lose them some money, both now and in the future.
These cards can build up a significant number of points and while they're not for everyone, the people who are travelling on a consistent basis should definitely read up on them and see if they would suit them.
As we've said, some agents will tell their clients about these, but if it means losing money, some of them would rather make sure they're the ones coming out on top over their clients!
12 They Love Creating A Perfect Holiday Trip
A good agent will really enjoy pulling together a perfect trip for their client, seeing it as more of a chance to improve someone's life than a chance to make a lot of money.
Sometimes this energy comes from the client themselves, filled with excitement for the trip they're taking, this energy then influences the agent into creating the best package trip possible!
It's not unheard of for people to come back off holiday and visit their agent to personally to thank them for specific changes made that wouldn't have been in place if it wasn't for them.
11 They're Members Of A Secret Network
The best agents out there will be part of a large network, one filled with hotels and airlines, along with various other holiday destinations that will be crucial to a positive travelling experience.
This is because they have spent their time not only getting to know other agents, but building relationships across the world with various companies.
Those agents that got out of their way to travel to conferences may have even visited the hotels and restaurants they're suggesting to people. Throw in the fact that they will know tour companies as well, and that's a good agent!
10 Agents Can Access Your Data
We know it sounds sinister, but it's true to say that an agent will be able to take a look at their client's travel data without their client even knowing.
This is due to the fact that agents want to make sure that the right information goes to the right people, to ensure that their client has a smooth travel experience with them.
For example, nobody wants to get to a hotel and find that they're not able to check in because their information didn't properly get to them, so an agent will often check this for their client.
9 Every Client Becomes A VIP
A good travel agent knows that the best way to keep clients coming back is to treat them just like they've been working together for years, even if they've only met once before. This will make the client settle in better and get the best out of their partnership.
It's no surprise that a client treated well will end up coming back to the same travel agents to work out their next package.
If this isn't the experience someone has had with a travel agent, then we can only assume that this person doesn't take their job seriously enough to want more commission. Stay away from these bad travel agents.
8 People Don't Know As Much As Agents
Okay, so most travel agents are going to be too polite to point this out, or maybe worry that they'll scare a client off it they do say it, but they know more than you.
It's their job to be aware of the best holiday packages out there, so if they're trying to sort out the best holiday and their client is getting in the way of that, they're going to get very frustrated. Hopefully, they will have enough restraint not to snap at their clients, otherwise they'll end up missing out on money!
7 Agents Like To Stick To The Rules
This is actually a very positive thing for most clients, who don't want to mess about with the small things when they're heading overseas. This means that they can be sure that agents will pick up anything they need to do.
It's always good to have someone looking out for the smaller things when your mind is on the bigger things, so here's hoping that you get an agent who is willing to do the hard work.
If they're not, make sure that it's being looked at by someone else, and stay away from that agent for any future holidays that are being planned.
6 They Actually Enjoy Their Job
The concept of having to plan a holiday for someone else, to take a look at all of the beautiful places across the world and that you won't be the one visiting them, is probably the least pleasant job imaginable for most people, and yet agents love the concept of making sure that someone else is enjoying themselves.
We think this says a lot for them as people, as it highlights that they can get a lot of joy out of others experiencing joy, which is something most of us don't have!
5 It's Who People Know
If someone goes back to use a travel agent on a regular basis, they can be sure that they will end up getting better deals than other people will. For example, if a good package deal comes in, the agent will then try to sell that to one of their VIP clients.
A client can become one of those valued customers by making sure that they always return to the same person whenever they need a new holiday package.
It's no surprise that if someone is giving an agent a lot of commission, they'll end up getting any deals that come through well before anyone else does.
4 Airlines Can be Flexible
We're led to believe that a lot of this stuff is set in stone, which is exactly why a lot of us go to agents in the first place, in the hope of them being able to get us exactly what we need.
Well, believe it or not, but airlines can be incredibly flexible when it comes to what clients need, and agents know this.
If they say there's nothing they can do for you, there's a chance that they're just trying to get you to take on something more expensive. Take a look for yourself before you start to believe an agent, no matter what it is. If it seems too expensive, it probably is.
3 They Know More About People Than You Think
Yes, if they're looking to create a proper relationship with someone, an agent will look into a lot about someone. They will get to a point where they know someone's address and how to get directly in contact with them as well.
This might not seem very pleasant to a lot of people, but if you're the kind of person who goes on a lot of holidays or needs to do a lot of travelling for whatever reason, this is probably the best situation to be in. It means that they will look after you!
2 Things May Go Wrong...
Things might go wrong, and most of the time this isn't the agent's fault, but they won't be telling you this as it will make them seem like a worse agent than they actually are.
Nobody wants to have to go through anything stressful when they're heading abroad, but it's a sad fact of life that things can go wrong and mistakes might be made!
This doesn't even go into what can happen if somebody gets ill or something unforeseeable comes about. We don't want to mess with anybody's holiday, but just bear in mind that things may go wrong, and if they do then be ready for them!
1 Cheap Deals Are Not Value For Money!
Okay, sometimes cheap deals are value for money, but a lot of the time they aren't. What may seem like a needlessly expensive deal from a travel agent might actually be saving people little costs that they don't know about.
Remember, this is the agents job, and while they want to be paid as well, they also want to get the best for their client so that they will be coming back in the future.
Going all inclusive isn't always the way either, as people will be expected to rigidly stick to what is set out for them if they want to reap the financial benefits.
Sources: Escape.com.au ; TravelWeekly.com ; TravelMarketReport.com