is there a good travel agent story?

faena buenos airesI once vowed never to use a travel agent. End of story.

airbnb in cartagenaHow could they possibly do what is right for me when they are being paid by the hotel, the airline, the tour company. They’ve got to make a living, they’re human, they are going to steer me to whomever pays them the most. Makes sense, right?

And then I had to. I was desperate. It was get help or never speak to friends and family again.

A last-minute Christmas trip to South America with stops in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay and Chile. My kids and friends were on completely different schedules. Coming from 4 countries and 2 continents, carrying a variety of passports; joining and departing from various places along the way. AHHHHHH!!!! A coordination nightmare.

Planning trips is my thing. I enjoy the research. I like to wing it. I want it my way.

yoo apartments in punta del esteThe very rare time I have used a travel agent I have been more than disappointed. I’ve been angry. My experiences were expensive and worst of all, I didn’t get what I wanted.

Until…. super-agent to the rescue. He booked everyone’s flights and got me a better deal with Air Canada than I could get on line. He helped with hotels where needed at shockingly fair rates. He got us free cocktails, breakfasts and a tango show. None of these made our trip, but they were nice perks.

Best of all, when we missed our plane on Christmas Eve (completely my fault) he somehow managed to find us seats on other flights… not direct, but we all made it to our black tie celebratory dinner in time.

charlee hotel , medellinAll of this was included in his flat fee. Turns out the right travel agent can be your best travel secret.

Will I always use a travel agent now? No. But sometimes they can really be a life saver. Here’s where they really can add value.

  1. They can do the grunt work for you. Especially useful when you are part of a group. They can organize everyone’s separate details and charge everyone’s separate credit cards.
  2. They can get you perks and upgrades. Sometimes.
  3. They have tons of information and access.
  4. They can save you time, lots and lots of time. I love spending hours surfing the web, but it’s not always practical.
  5. In an emergency they are your best advocate. A good travel agent can aid you in getting another flight. Help with hotel problems. And use their clout and insurance to facilitate getting you your money back when things go sideways.

I have joined forces with the incredible team at North South Travel. Don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help!

www.northsouthtravel.comumaid bhawan palace jodhpur