Should I use a Travel Agent?
You know, one of the most asked questions we get from folks that are considering using our travel services is “why should I use your travel agency instead of booking online myself?”
In our opinion, that is a fair question and one that bears a little examination.
When Carol and I owned our business in Michigan, we used the services of a travel agency to book a holiday getaway to the Bahamas. The fancy brochure our travel agent sent us looked beautiful, so we booked the trip. When we got to the Bahamas, this so called resort more resembled a private residence with a small pool in their backyard. We were mortified. We immediately called our travel agent as we wanted to get out of there. Response? No answer. So I was forced to re-book our trip from a pay phone on some small island in the Bahamas.
From that day forward (this was the early 1990s), we vowed to never again use the services of a travel agent. We immediately subscribed to Condé Nast, picked resorts from their Gold List, and made bookings on our own.
Fast forward a few years and travel agencies began to drop like flies as folks were beginning to learn that they didn’t need a travel agent, and that they could book travel on their own.
Now, fast forward again to 2010. Carol and I had decided to start a travel blog called The Roaming Boomers®, and we began traveling the world and leaving behind a trail of articles sharing our experiences with articles, photos, and video. Remarkably, in less than a year, we had 100s of thousands of followers and folks began asking us: “can we come with you?“, or “can you help me plan our trip?“.
Essentially, folks were asking us to be their travel agents. Right? Carol and I were shocked by this. We thought travel agents were dead! As a result, we decided to explore the idea of opening our own travel agency to meet the demands of the 100s of folks that were asking us these questions.
To make a long story short, and after a lot of homework, Carol and I decided to open Roaming Boomers Travel Services in January of 2014. And remarkably, it looks like there is a huge demand for travel agencies as we’ve been riding a remarkable wave of folks happy to learn that we’re here to help them plan their travel.
So, why has our young travel agency zoomed to nearly $2 million of bookings this year? Folks have become overwhelmed with the information on the Internet. Further, they’ve learned that that there are a lot of moving pieces in planning travel, and if something goes amuck, they desire to have someone looking over them while they’re traveling. And lastly, travelers don’t know what they don’t know. Trying to become an expert on Italy, for example, requires hours, and hours, and hours of study.
So, they figure, if I can find a trusted travel advisor, and I can see value for my money and time, then I’d rather have the help.
OK. That’s the background behind our travel agency. Now, let’s explore the question: why should you use Roaming Boomers Travel Services to help you plan your journeys, cruises, multi-generational getaways, special occasion getaways, and bucket list trips-of-a-lifetime?
6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Using Roaming Boomers Travel Services
- Ocean and River Cruises – according to a 2015 report from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 70% of all ocean and river cruise bookings are made through travel agencies. You can learn more about why this is at this link. Synopsis: you won’t get a better price booking on your own, travel agencies have access to unadvertised private sales, we bring you consortium clout through our affiliation with the $15 billion/year Virtuoso Travel Network, you’re not alone, and we’ll save you a lot of time, worry, and hassle.
- Land Journeys – whether you’re looking to join a small group tour, or prefer to explore the world on your own, we have access to the very best on-site travel suppliers in the world. Think of it as having access to our little black book. For example, if you’re looking for a private journey to Italy, we will start our relationship with you with a three-way conference call with our on-site Italian travel partners. Carol and I have traveled all over Italy, we know the country well, but keeping up on all of the ever-changing hotels, resorts, and guides in Italy is nearly impossible. Therefore, our on-site travel partners are a very important benefit we bring to the planning process. This is a huge benefit that you simply can’t get on your own.
- Our Affiliations – it would be impossible for Carol and I to bring scale and compete with the “big boys” in the travel industry on our own. Therefore, we have affiliated our travel agency with Cadence Travel and the Virtuoso Travel Network. Cadence is a consortium of roughly 150 independent travel advisors like ourselves, and through Cadence, we are able to bring our clients the clout of the $15 billion/year Virtuoso Travel network, the world’s leading international luxury travel agency network. These affiliations are invaluable to us, and more importantly, to our clients. It assures that we’ll have the best available offers, and access to a fabulous travel network that would take us decades to create on our own. In short, we bring our clients access to the best of the best travel options and providers in the world. You can’t do that booking on your own.
- Hotels and Resorts – through our affiliations, we can bring our clients the best offers and packages available at the world’s finest hotels and resorts. There are over 1,000 luxury hotels in our Virtuoso Network all bringing our clients complimentary perks like complimentary upgrades, complimentary breakfast each day, resort credits, and more. PLUS, our affiliation with Cadence brings us “Preferred Partner” perks for our clients from the world’s finest hotels and resorts like Four Seasons, Belmond, Dorchester, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, The Peninsula, Marriott, Rosewood, and more. Like we say, you can’t VIP yourself. Through our connections, we’ll bring you great offers bearing loads of complimentary VIP perks.
- Trusted Advisors – while our clients generally approach us looking for help on a particular travel idea, our company’s goals are relationship oriented. Our chief aim is to bring our clients access to our remarkable travel networks, earn their trust through our advice, and take care of all of their travel needs into the future. Think about it. If you had a trusted friend helping you with your travel plans, and you also received financial benefits from the relationship, wouldn’t you want that? I mean, really, do you want to figure this all out by yourself? Millions and millions are saying no and flocking to a newly revived travel agency industry.
- We’re Active Travelers – Carol and I are very active travelers ourselves. Frankly, if you call one of the major travel brands on your own, you’re going to likely talk to a 20-something sitting in a cubical who has never traveled outside of the U.S. Sure, they know their company’s products, but they can’t bring you the invaluable experience of being in a destination themselves. Once you’ve made a booking, you’re going to have a LOT of questions. You’re going to wonder about passports, currency exchange, using your electrical devices in foreign countries, and much more. We’ve been there done that, in a lot of places around the world, and we can bring you a lot of expertise with these important questions.
When it comes to travel, we know the world (or through our on-sites, have access to folks that do), we’ll take your trip from ordinary to extraordinary, we’ll learn your travel style, we’ll expand your horizons, and we will hold your hand every step of the way.
So, I’d be a horrible entrepreneur if I didn’t ask you a closing questions after all of that. How ’bout it, can we become your trusted travel advisor? We’d be honored, and we look forward to having you as one of your clients.
To learn more about our services, please call Roaming Boomers Travel Services at (480) 550-1235, or use our convenient online request form (click here) and we’ll reach out to you.
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