Planning your wedding is already taking a lot of your time and now you should start to plan your honeymoon too? If you feel overwhelmed, maybe you’re considering hiring a travel agent.
This article will help you decide if hiring a travel agent is right for you.
Some people are prizing their travel agent for being very useful, some had a bad experience. And some people see hiring a travel agent as a waste of money.
All of them are actually right, it really depends on your preferences and needs.
What it also depends on is your budget. Learn how to create a wedding budget, so that you can afford on your special day anything you want.
I’ve put together 5 pros and 5 cons of hiring a travel agent to help you decide.
If you haven’t decide on your destination yet, I have reccomendations for amazing luxurious & romantic locations that are worth your attention.
PROS of hiring a travel agent
(Just a short note: in this article I will use “he“, „him” and “his” to refer to the travel agent. Of course a travel agent can be as well a woman! So I hope it’s fine, that I simplify it for now :-))
#1 Save your time and nerves
A big advantage of having a travel agent is that it will save you bunch of worries. And probably several hours of your life too. That depends on how much time you would spend on googling and planning your honeymoon yourself.
The benefit is that if you spend less time and effort on planning your honeymoon, you can focus solely on your wedding planning.
For those who really enjoy planning their traveling, this might be not such an advantage. I am usually the opposite, I like to be taken care of and just enjoy myself without thinking too much where to go and how will I get there.
A good travel agent will help you coordinate all your travels, accommodations and excursions. Furthermore, they will provide you with information what documents and visas do you need.
They will save you from sweating all the details, such as meal costs, resort and tourism fees and other expenses, that you might be not aware of.
#2 Package full of advice
They aren’t just able to plan and coordinate. They should especially have experiences with the location you are heading into.
That means they will give you valuable advice. What are the best activities to do there. What is the real quality of the accommodation. What sightseeings are worth to visit and so on. These the information your agent should be able to provide you with.
#3 Additional bonuses
Another advantage of hiring a travel agent is his connection to the industry. Agents who are a member of larger consortia have established industry connections. Because of that, they are able to negotiate with big suppliers like resorts and hotels for a discount.
That is also a reason, why the travel agent might be able to get you a better price than you’d find on the internet.
Travel agents might be able to enhance your honeymoon with perks and surprises you wouldn’t usually get.
The most useful feature of hiring a travel agent is that he will cover your back.
Agents can help you in case of any troubles. This can be anything from a canceled flight to a bad (or even closed!) resort.
You’re booking months ahead and you don’t know what the weather will be like.
Travel agent usually gets an early update from the airlines, if the weather goes wrong and the airlines have to cancel your flight.
He will help you with rebooking your flight quickly, without too much hassle.
Imagine another unfortunate scenario- since you’ve booked your resort was closed meanwhile. He has the needed connections to help you out and find a new accommodation.
Or what if you come to the hotel or resort and you end up hating it? It would be probably pretty difficult to change your booking during the stay. That’s exactly what a travel agent can help you with.
#5 Get your discount
Last useful feature is that travel agent can help you maximize savings with special promotions and bonuses that are not available to the public.
And if not, he might be able to get you some special treats in form of flowers in your room, a bottle of champagne, etc. so you will get some of the money you spent on his fee back.
CONS of hiring a travel agent
Until now, it sounds pretty good, huh? You are probably wondering, what are the drawbacks. So here they are.
#1 Service fee
Even though the agents are paid a commission by the resorts, you might pay a fee yourself too. The fee can differ a lot, sometimes you pay €20 ($25), sometimes €80 ($100).
Since the airlines are usually the only one not paying them any commission, the travel agents might charge you an additional fee to book airline tickets. This could go up to €200 ($250) for an international flight.
In addition, some airlines are taking their business to the third-party sites which makes it more time consuming to compare the prices. Maybe your travel agent won’t be too motivated to get you a lower price. Especially if his fee is a percentage of the money you spend.
So when it comes to flights, you might get a better price if you book yourself.
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#2 Planning fee
Many agents will charge you a planning fee, once you request their services. This fee can be later applied toward your trip once it’s booked.
It’s something like a security deposit because the agents don’t want to waste time on planning a vacation you might be not serious about.
#3 Putting trust in another person
Even though you will tell your agent what kind of vacation, destination, and experience you want, you still have to trust him, that he will do his job properly.
You also have to trust the agent that he is presenting you with the best deals and option available.
Therefore I’d suggest asking for references and recommendations for a travel agent in your surrounding or on the internet.
#4 You might be dependent on him
All the booking is made through your travel agent. Therefore it can happen, that your hotel won’t let you confirm the booking without your travel agent. If the travel agent doesn’t respond quickly enough, it might be an issue.
So make sure to observe, how quickly your agent responds from the beginning. Because it probably won’t get any better down the road.
#5 Not all agents are good agents
As you have probably already figured, as much as the travel agents can be a huge help, there are also agents that will make you regret your choice to use their services.
If you still are not sure, whether you should hire a travel agent or not, I have a final tip for you.
Agents are especially helpful for big vacations, once-in-a-lifetime trips, not for an ordinary holiday.
The more complex vacation, the more helpful they are.
For example, if you want to venture African safari for three weeks and visit seven different countries, it’s probably almost impossible to plan it yourself.
But if you want to book an all-inclusive resort, you are most likely capable of doing so without any help.
So if you end up hiring a travel agent, make sure it’s a good one with good recommendations from satisfied couples.
Spend some time doing research.
These are the things you should look into:
- The agent responds quickly.
- He will try to get to know you and your travel style first so that he can offer suitable locations, trips and sightseeing, activities, and dining.
- He is able to offer special bonuses– spa treatments, room upgrade, or breakfast included.
In case you want to hire a travel agent but are short on money, try some of my tips, how to save some money and maybe you will then have some extra $ to spend.