International travel is very complex and requires a knowledgeable professional travel agent. Their value can’t be overlooked.
“Apples and Oranges, how much does it really cost?”
When you are making your travel plans frequently you forget to include all of the extra expenses such as taxis, transfers, meals, sightseeing and entry fees and your time. You think you are saving money but you may not.
Some internet sites are priced in Euros and require a credit card payment. You should be aware of the difference in currency exchanges and hidden bank and credit card fees. Don’t be surprised when you receive your credit card statement.
A good specialized travel agent will be a sounding board for your ideas and help screen the destination to fit your interest. The internet can’t interact with you the way a person can.
One cannot gauge the amount of time it takes to get from one place to another as well as to know the transportation needed to get there without the right information. You can lose a lot of time and it can be very frustrating. What is your vacation worth?
Don’t expect the hotel front desk to be your local travel agent. Pre-plan and pre-book flights, tours, cruises and hotel rooms through a professional travel agent before you leave home. Otherwise you end up waiting for confirmations, schedules and tickets when you could be out having a good time.
No matter how much information you can get on a destination from the internet, it will never replace the knowledge and expertise of a travel agent who specialized in the destination you are going to.
“Cheapest is rarely the best or location, location, location…”
The cheaper hotel located outside the city limits may look like a good deal until you factor in the cost in time and money needed to get into town where all of the sightseeing and attractions are located. The hotel you might book on your own via the internet may be in a bad location or away from where you intended to be.
How much time should I allow for…? How long should I spend on this island or in that city? Is three days too much? Is one day not enough? The internet won’t give you this information. Your professional travel agent will know to schedule your flights with adequate time to allow for unforeseen delays. You won’t find common sense on the internet.
“Don’t forget the value of a knowledgeable tour guide”
The value of a knowledgeable and good tour guide is immeasurable. They can make your whole vacation worthwhile by enhancing the historical or significance of the site or museum you are visiting. A good tour guide can greatly enhance your experience and give you lifelong memories.
The internet won’t advise against renting a car in places where mass transit excels and driving and parking are a nightmare.
Language and cultural barriers abound. Expect surprises and keep an open mind.
What if I fall and break my foot or have a medical emergency? Is travel insurance a good idea?
The internet sells rooms and a seat on the bus or airplane, travel agents sell rooms, a seat, knowledge and service for about the same price.