With all that is out there on the web, why has research on your PC ( personal computer), your tablet, or your smart phone not replaced your travel agent professional?
This is not to say never do your own research, as it helps you focus on what you might want, creates a level of excitement and anticipation for you, and validates what your travel professional will tell you. But watch out for on line pricing enticements ! Price alone can be an alluring but deceiving decision factor; value never deceives.
Please do as much research as you like but please consider this following list of benefits of using a travel professional versus on line booking before you reserve your cruise on line.
As your travel professional, he or she :
~ knows in his or her head or has vast resources concerning all the current lines, their ships, and itineraries ;
~ knows all about the new ships not yet launched, or just brand new to the ocean or river – your travel professional may even have sailed or toured them by special invitation;
~ knows all the upcoming new itineraries on the horizon. All vendors are continually searching for new ports and destinations to please you;
~ knows all the current special promotions that vendors have, and how a simple tweak to your vacation plans could save you money;
~ knows all the inclusions of each vendor and can compare price vs. the value-added price;
~ knows of group spacing either they or an associate may have contracted months ago when demand and pricing was lower than current pricing, and may have additional, extra special amenities for you attached;
~ knows the minor – and major – pitfalls that can happen on your travels to spoil your vacation and how to guard against them;
~ and most of all, knows you, your likes and dislikes.
Mix all of these factors together in the travel professional’s brain – just like a Personal Computer ! – and out comes the best cruise: price, value, destination, amenities, inclusions, atmosphere, comfort-factor, – for you, with that little added intuition thing that computers cannot do.
*In the author’s world, a PC stands for – a professional consultant – just like your travel agent !
This article first appeared in Real Travel Experts ( formerly The Travel Bucket) in praise of all travel professionals everywhere!
Images courtesy of Bigstock and Canstock.