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There’s always a lot of conflict in the travel blogging world about the value of travel brokers (or agents) and whether or not they’re a “dying breed”. I’m here to tell you now – they’re not!! In fact, more and more people are moving back to booking through brokers, and not just for the security factor when something goes wrong.
Don’t get me wrong – I realise that travel brokers aren’t for everyone. There are a whole bevy of independent travellers out there who LOVE planning their own trips, doing all the research and ultimately booking it themselves online. There’s no problem with that, and at the end of the day, I do too! Why else do you think I became a broker?!
Quite frankly, I’m not interested in trying to win their business and this post is not directed at them. There are a whole other camp of travellers out there who love to travel just as much, but don’t have the time, or the inclination, to do their own planning. Or maybe they just find it too stressful and overwhelming. Which is where I come in.
1. You like to keep your credit card details private.
It’s not paranoid, it’s just sensible. Why should you expose your credit card details online if you don’t have to? With a broker, you can still get all the benefits of paying for your holiday with your visa, but without the risk of having your personal details stolen.
2. You’ve got better things to do with your time.
Why waste precious time on something you can easily outsource? Even if you are totally tech-savvy, it doesn’t mean you want to spend hours trawling through all the review sites to find the perfect hotel. Travel brokers have a selection of tried and true products that they sell and that you can rely on. If those don’t suit THEY’LL put in the hours researching to present you with a few choice options – complete with pictures, details & prices (just like you’d find on booking.com).
3. You want access to deals that aren’t online.
Around 80% of the time a good agent can get a better price for a hotel than the online sites can because they’ve got bulk buying power. Even with a booking site they can often get wholesale access to better prices because they use those sites ALL THE TIME. And because hotels put aside a set number of rooms specifically for each wholesaler to sell, a broker can often secure rooms that “sold out” days ago online.
4. You want to deal with someone you can trust.
Finding a good travel broker is like finding a good hairdresser – it can take some time, but it’s so worth it once you do (recommendation: go by word of mouth)! Once you’ve got that relationship going, you can rely on them to find you the best value product to suit your travel style and budget. Your broker will get to know what you like and what you don’t, where you like to sit on the plane, and whether you think having breakfast included is vital or you’d rather run down to the supermarket for a box of Cocopops.
5. You want to know what you’re paying up front.
There is nothing more frustrating than finally deciding on a hotel, only to get stung with hidden charges at checkout, or even worse – when you get there! With a good travel broker everything is laid out right from the beginning, including any credit card fees you might have to pay. And even better, with everything paid for up front you know that any money you take with you is purely for extras. Like that new pair of shoes.
Do you use a travel broker or prefer the DIY approach (or a bit of both)? Leave a comment below!
Anita | Burgess Travellers
Anita Burgess is in the business of making memorable family moments. Soccer mum, travel broker & writer, she’s happiest with a camera in her hand and the sand between her toes. Find insider travel tips and inspiration for your memorable moments on her blog, Burgess Travellers, or get in touch if you’re ready to make your holiday happen.