Whenever I tell someone about our work as travel agents, I am often met with strange looks. Some people do not understand what a travel agent is and others see travel agents as a dying breed, confused about what value they bring to the table.
We hope you do not miss out on what it comes to using a travel agent, especially a Certified Sandals Travel Agent when planning your next trip to the Caribbean.
Why a Certified Sandals Travel Agent?
Sandals Resorts are adults-only, all-inclusive resorts scattered throughout the Caribbean on a variety of islands, all featuring gorgeous beaches and similar activities.
You might think that booking a trip to a Sandals resort would be so easy, you wouldn’t need a travel agent—much less one that is certified by Sandals. However, they can be very helpful.
A Preferred Sandals Specialist is a travel advisor who specializes in booking travel to Sandals locations and is recognized as an expert. They go through an extensive education program about Sandals Resorts and keep up to date on the latest information.
Often, they’ve been to all the resorts personally so they can give you a ton of details that you won’t find just by looking at the website (like whether there are renovations happening at the property).
Sandals travel agents can save you money, above and beyond the usual discounts you find online. They’re able to get the lowest price, and they know which upgrades are worth your money and which aren’t. Also, they have access to extra options.
Plus, they can help during your trip if any problems come up. They usually monitor the area for weather issues or other factors that can impact you on your Sandals Vacation, and can easily reschedule flights or make itinerary changes if you need it.
Using a preferred Sandals travel agent can be extremely helpful if you’re not sure which resort you want to go to, or if you’re planning a special occasion trip, such as an anniversary or family reunion. Since they book so much travel with Sandals Resorts, they can make sure that special requests are taken care of.
If you’re planning a destination wedding or your honeymoon, you can even work with a travel consultant who is a Sandals Weddings specialist. They know everything about the various wedding and honeymoon packages available and can match you with the best options and resorts for what you want.
Why Book with a Travel Agent at All?
Travel agents can help travelers of all budget levels—they aren’t just for wealthy people or luxury trips (although they come in very handy when planning those). Many travel agents charge a small fee and make their money by receiving commissions on the travel they book.
Many people feel you need a travel agent now more than ever, given all the shifting airline policies and requirements in other countries. When you’re planning a trip, it can be very helpful to have the guidance of someone whose job it is to stay up to date on this information.
The travel industry has changed a lot since everything became available online, and travel agents have changed as well. They now consider themselves to be travel advisors or travel consultants because the services they offer are so much more than just ticketing and reservations. They keep up on the latest trends and destination info, and also help clients during their trips.
Benefits of Using Travel Agents
Most people believe the best reason to use a travel agent is to save money. Is it cheaper to book through a travel agent? Yes, it usually is.
One benefit of using a travel agent is that they can often find deals you can’t. A travel agent can save you money because they have access to all sorts of insider information. Also, because of the volume of business they do, they can negotiate better rates—as well as extras that you could never get on your own.
Travel agents can save you time as well as money, by handling all the arrangements including details like rental cars, dinner reservations, and tickets to attractions. (They can also sometimes get discounts on these types of items as well—another bonus.)
Also, if you were to plan your own trip, you would spend hours researching to find the best hotel, restaurants, and activities. Here is where having so much information online can actually be a problem; it takes forever to sift through it all.
And how are you supposed to know what is the best choice? We’ve all had the experience of showing up somewhere that looks nothing like it did online. Travel consultants know these things like it’s their job—because it is!
Travel advisors have the benefit of experience and can help you get the most out of your destination as well as book the most efficient travel. Choose a consultant who specializes in where you’re going and they can give you insight into the best places to stay and eat, plus sights to see. They can also give you invaluable information about where NOT to stay and eat, or areas to avoid! This is one of the top advantages of a good travel advisor.
Travel agents are also a valuable source of help during your trip. If something unexpected happens, like you’re stuck at your destination because of illness or your flight home is canceled, you can call them for assistance.
Imagine you are stranded in the airport without notice, either because of a storm, mechanical malfunction, or the airline suddenly shutting down (which happens!). Without a travel agent, you’re just one of many in that long, long line, frantically searching for alternatives on your phone.
But if you booked through a travel agent, all you have to do is call them and they will take care of everything, much more quickly and efficiently than you could. A good travel agent will monitor their clients’ flights and be aware of issues, possibly even before you are. Plus, they have access to the airlines’ systems so they don’t have to call to get ticket changes made.
Have you ever used a travel agent? Let us know how it went!