Why Choose a Travel Agent

The amount of research necessary to plan all the details of a Disney vacation can be too time-consuming or even intimidating for some people. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the options, a great and generally complimentary solution is to use the services of a travel agent who specializes in Disney travel.

Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agencies have staff that have successfully completed the College of Disney Knowledge, an online course offered by Disney which covers Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and all other Disney Destinations. It’s beneficial to use an agency that specializes in Disney travel and requires its agents to have advanced experience with Disney destinations, including in-person, on-site visits and training.

Normally the client pays nothing extra for the service provided by a travel agency. Travel agents make their living from a small commission paid by the travel supplier (in this case, Disney) for the resort hotel rooms, theme park passes and vacation packages they book. The agent is compensated by this commission for the time, effort and attention she provides to the client after the client has returned from their travels.

Travel agencies generally charge a fee for making air reservations, because the airlines no longer pay commission.

An agent who specializes in Disney travel should be able to provide you with accurate information, including pricing, for Disney resorts, theme park passes and packages. He or she will book your trip and seek out the best deals for you — even rebooking your trip when better rates come up. Additionally, the best agents will help you with “extras” like booking advanced dining reservations or special events and services.

Once you book with a travel agent, he or she becomes your single point of contact for all changes in your travel plans. You cannot make changes or cancellations directly through Disney if you are working with a travel agent but you can augment your dining reservations and select components if desired. For most people this feature is convenient, but if you prefer to control everything yourself, booking with a travel agent is not for you.

Disney specialist agencies send your payments immediately and directly to Disney if you pay via a credit card so your official transaction is from you to Disney direct. If you choose to use another payment, your agent can work out the best plan for your individual needs.

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Travel agents are experts when it comes to providing tourism related services to the public, but how do they compare to a website? Angie’s List spoke to several experienced agents across the country to find out how consulting with a travel agency can be better than surfing the Internet to book a vacation.

First, using a travel agent usually costs the same or even slightly less than booking a trip on your own. Travel agents are typically paid on commission by hotel groups, tour operators, cruise lines and other travel suppliers for selling their products, which means there’s often little or any added cost for the consumer to book a trip.

Travel agents did note that although you can find the lowest fares via online travel websites for a simple point-A-to-point-B vacation, cheapest isn’t always best. If you have a complex itinerary or you’re traveling internationally, a travel agent can save you money, because they have several methods of finding the best fares. They can customize your itinerary to fit any budget, large or small. We also have contacts around the world and can often get you VIP amenities, upgrades and incentives.

Another downside to relying solely on the Internet when booking a trip: information overload. These days, with thousands, to even millions of search listings coming up for different destinations, it’s nearly impossible to sort through all of the information you need to properly plan a vacation online. The Internet cannot offer you the personal relationship and one-on-one advice from an expert that a travel advisor can. There is nothing worse than going through the cost and difficulty of travel, to only get to a destination and not be satisfied. This is time you won’t get back with your loved ones. Make it matter and create great memories, not headaches.

Most travel agents are experienced travelers themselves, and often times travel to the same destinations their clients will visit. They usually have been to the places and know the best places to stay and experience.

Once your trip is booked, travel agents or agencies may also offer better flexibility should you decide to change your plans. Canceling a transaction or altering your travel itinerary may be prohibitively expensive if you booked a trip on your own, but a travel agent may be able to exercise their established relationships with suppliers to adjust your itinerary or bookings at a reduced fee or at no cost.

That type of client representation can be especially important when dealing with missed flights or connections, or travel nightmares like losing a passport or having important belongings lost or stolen. Using a trusted travel agent means you will be represented at your destination, as well as having someone to call for additional needs. Wthout a travel agent, you are truly on your own.

From Angie’s List, www.angieslist.com/travel-agencies/

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