There are many ways to book travel arrangements, one being to use a travel agent. There are many benefits to using a travel agent, which we’ll go over later, but there is a plethora of misinformation regarding using a travel agent for vacation planning. Many people perceive using a travel agent as having to pay more money. Let me break down that notion. Travel agents are knowledgeable in various areas of travel through training and experience. Most home based travel agents are independent agents, meaning we work independently within our own businesses. With that being said, know that each individual agent conducts his or her business independent from another agent. There are general industry laws and regulations we all must follow as an agent but individual practices such as websites, presentations, booking fees, etc. vary from each individual. An agent may elect to add a booking, planning or admin fee at their own discretion, but not without reason. Some people are turned off by and by a booking or planning fee. The fee can be applied to compensation the agent for their time researching, the size of the group or the complexity of the trip. This should be communicated clearly to each client within the initial meeting or conversation. Whether it is two people, a large group or multiple stop trips, planning booking and managing takes time, patience and may require answering questions from multiple guests, making changes, and making payments, which is partly why some agents elect to add a fee. Planning a vacation, activities, and flights is essentially a service. Travel agents additionally provide expert knowledge, travel documents and resources for clients, among other benefits. Some agents charge for this service and some choose not to but paying for a service and expert knowledge should not scare you away from working with a skilled travel agent. As for myself, my vacation planning services come at no charge for groups less than 10 persons and single destination trips. Schedule a 15-min consultation call today!