Do Travel Agents Travel For Free?
So, Its real travel agents travel for free? That depends on what kind of travel agent you ask. Most of them work for a fee, and that is where the money comes from. Travel agents get paid by the people who want to travel, not by the airlines, hotels, or rental car companies. So are they really free?
It depends on what type of travel agents would be considered “free”. If you were flying to New York City and wanted to book your flight, you might call the local travel office and pay the $10 charge for a one-way fare. Or if you called an airline, you might be able to get a coupon for an entire trip at a discounted price.
But what about all those other trips that you make in a group? What is the deal with all those vacation packages? Are these all included with your membership? Are you actually getting a deal? Are you just paying for the convenience of a working agent? Well, let us look into this more closely…
First of all, we need to define our terms here: “free” and “cheap.” As far as travel goes, cheap is a relative term. You can save a lot of money by booking your trip on your own, using a travel agent, or by cruising on your own (see my post on planning a cruise in 3 weeks or less). However, there are still some travel agencies that will give out “cheap” tickets to specific destinations in order to make sure that their clients are loyal and will come back to the agency next time.
Now, when it comes to cruises, you pay for the whole trip, not a part of it. If you are on a 3-day cruise and suddenly need to cancel, you have to pay for the entire trip up-front – no matter where you are going. Cruise companies do not give discounted or free tickets to their clients. So how is it possible for travel agents to help save you money on your next cruise?
The answer lies in the fact that travel agents usually work on a commission basis. The travel agency makes money off the clients they send on cruises, so it would only make sense for them to give you good deals if you are also going to book your trip on their own. In other words, you are like another client that the travel advisor has to work off of. If you are happy with the agency and feel that you will trust them to get you to your destination on time, then your clients are likely to be so too.
This is why it is so important to find a good travel agents – to not only find a discount but to help you plan your trip the right way. You have probably heard the adage “a little planning never hurt anyone,” right? Well, travel agencies are no exception to that rule. If you are traveling to New York from another state or country, say for a business trip, then you might have to get some help getting from point A to point B. However, it is very likely that you would not be able to plan your trip without assistance, especially if you have never been on a cruise before.
Another thing that you can do to ensure that you will have a smooth experience while traveling is to ask your travel advisor agency about potential itineraries for your trip. Sometimes, planning a trip means hitting the major cities first, and then visiting smaller ones on your way out. These smaller destinations may offer more discounts than your bigger city counterparts. Ask your travel agent about trips that include places like Las Vegas, which can save you money even if you are traveling from a smaller city to a larger city such as New York.