After years of the online travel agencies (OTA’s) bombarding you with commercials, emails and ads about how they can find you a “deal” on your next vacation, it seems like travel agents are busier and more relevant than ever. That is certainly the case in the offices of My Vacation Lady, where we are having our busiest year ever.
Why are travelers turning to travel advisers more and more in 2016?
- It’s a crazy and scary world out there. Between terror threats, the Zika virus and so much more, even some of the more seasoned travelers have concerns about where and when they should travel. While we don’t have crystal balls or magic wands, experienced travel advisers are able to give you tips, advice and more that you won’t get from an OTA
- Travel advisers have access to specials and extra values that you won’t get on line. My Vacation Lady is part of an exclusive network that may offer hotel upgrades, extra amenities like breakfast, spa credits or other values that you won’t get booking through an OTA.
- Travelers are getting frustrated with all of the choices, as well as restrictions and hidden fees and charges from the OTA’s and booking online. There is just too much information out there and many of our clients are too stressed out trying to narrow down options.
- Customer Service is always top priority with the team at My Vacation Lady. Our clients have access to us or our trusted travel suppliers 24/7. We have personal cell phone #’s for some of our suppliers so that if a problem does come up, we can get it resolved. While the OTA’s have call centers, they offer little support. We can help with tips on restaurants, packing and so much more that will add extra value that you certainly won’t get from the big guys.
- Knowledge, experience and expertise! We spend lots of time getting to know our clients so that we can customize a vacation or honeymoon package that meets their dreams and budget. During our consultation we will ask questions that you never thought about so that we can plan the right trip for our clients.
- More millennials are coming back to travel advisers! About 1/2 of our clients are in their 20’s and 30’s and many are so busy with work, school, wedding planning and family obligations that they just don’t have the time to sort through all of the zillions of options and packages available. For honeymooners, they want this trip to be extra special and they only have 1 chance at their first honeymoon. The same way, they will pay to get their nails done instead of doing it themselves, buy specialty coffees on their way to work instead of making it at home, they are turning to experienced vacation and honeymoon specialists to help them make the important decisions planning their dream honeymoon or vacation.
We just heard about a colleague who planned a customized multi-stop vacation for clients. The client’s friends also decided to go but rather than booking with the travel adviser, they took her itinerary and booked online, thinking that they were saving a few hundred $$. When both couples got to the first hotel, Client’s room was ready at 10 am and in it was a nice welcome amenity. Friend’s room was smaller and not ready until 4 pm. The Friends bought their rail passes online but the passes didn’t come in on time and they ended up buying new ones on the spot.
If you are just buying an airline ticket to Miami, by all means use an OTA. If you want a seamless and stress free vacation or honeymoon, turn to a professional. My Vacation Lady has over 20 years of experience turning vacation and honeymoon dreams into reality.