Man looking at a travel agency website on his phone.

What You Need to Know Before You Contact a Travel Agent

How Travel Agents Guide the Trip-Planning Process for Solo Travelers to Groups

You’re heading to Machu Picchu, but you forgot to make arrangements to stay somewhere on your first night in Cusco, Peru. Your family checks-in at the hotel featured in a cheap family vacation package you booked online, but the hotel isn’t kid-friendly, and you don’t have a backup plan. You planned a group trip, but one of your friends has to stay behind at the hotel because the private beach isn’t wheelchair accessible. 

These are all mistakes people can make when planning vacations on their own. And it just speaks to the reason why consulting a travel agent to take care of all those important travel details is extremely important. A travel agent’s primary job is to ensure that your dream vacation goes smoothly, allowing you to relax without worrying about the details. Before you consult a travel agent, here are a few things you should consider if your traveling solo, as a couple, or with family, or a group.

Blended family eating a meal at a table in South Africa.
From SOlo to Groups - Travel agents have the expertise and years of travel experience to customize trips for solo travelers, couples, groups and multi-generational families. 

Solo Travelers

Having that freedom to travel where you want, when you want, and not having a locked-down schedule are some reason why some people enjoy solo travel. You get to embrace new experiences, engage with new people, and create unforgettable Instagram-worthy moments. A solo traveler never needs to feel like their alone when consulting a travel agent, who not only coordinates and executes all things travel, but is always helpful before and during a trip, especially to help get them through those unexpected emergencies. One huge perk of working with a travel agent is that they have relationships with travel companies that specialize in unique solo experiences. From a solo adventure tour with Abercrombie and Kent to cruise lines like Norwegian that offer studio staterooms for solo travelers, travel agents have the inside scoop on how to craft the best solo travel experiences for luxury travelers.

One huge perk of working with a travel agent is that they have relationships with travel companies that specialize in unique solo experiences.

Before talking to a travel agent, as in most situations, assess how much you’re willing to spend to ensure that your travel agent can craft the dream solo traveler itinerary without breaking the bank, but provide you with a travel experience you won’t soon forget.

Woman sitting on a pier in Venice, Italy
solo traveler - Know how much you are willing to spend on your dream vacation before contacting a travel agent. Your budget will ultimately help manage your expectations.

Couples

For couples, a travel agent can be the great compromiser, tailoring an itinerary that sometimes cleverly combines two different travel styles, such as an outdoor enthusiast and an avid cruiser. In this case, an agent can provide a viable solution such as an expedition cruise to Alaska or Antarctica for a couple. But regardless of what your travel style, a travel agent has the expertise and experience to help couples choose the right destination for a romantic getaway or a fun vacation to a bucket list destination. Couples reap the benefits of working with a travel agent, which include exclusive perks and VIP services provided through an agent’s long-standing relationship with airlines, hotels, resorts, cruise lines and tour companies.

Couples reap the benefits of working with a travel agent, which include exclusive perks and VIP services...

One key factor to consider before reaching out to a travel agent is to come prepared with a couple of ideas about where you both want to go for that secluded island getaway or for your 30th anniversary vow renewal ceremony. Manage your expectations based on your budget and be willing to let your travel agent be your personal assistant, offering ideas and perks to make your vacation an unforgettable travel experience that you’re both going to love! Get more information about how travel agents can help couples plan their next getaway.

Couple on a beach in Thailand
couples - Even if a couple has different travel styles, they should try to choose a destination that they both agree on for their vacation before consulting a travel agent.

Families

A travel agent can help parents find kid-friendly accommodations for the perfect vacation for mom, dad and the kids. And even if grandparents and other relatives tag along for the fun, a travel agent is there to guide you in the right direction to ensure that everyone has fun at the perfect location that has something for everyone, including adjoining rooms, an adults-only pool and a kids’ club. One of the most important reasons why a travel agent is essential in planning a family vacation is that the stress is taken out of the entire process.  That means the less you have to worry about planning and executing all the travel details, the more you can focus on what really matters – savoring those moments with your loved ones. And travel agents have changed with the times, planning stellar trips for families of all shapes and sizes, including LGBT families and blended families. Their goal is to make the experience fun for everyone and to provide those unique travel experiences that will create a lifetime of memories. 

A travel agent is essential in planning a family vacation... the stress is taken out of the entire process.

What do you need to know about working with a travel agent and planning your dream family vacation? Take a look at our tips to prepare parents and other family members who want to consult a travel agent for an unforgettable multi-generational family vacation.

Family in a resort swimming pool.
Families - Travel agents can provide their expertise to find the perfect family-friendly resort. Families also reap the benefits a travel agent can provide, such as room upgrades and resort credit. 

Groups

From a mini-high school reunion of close friends to a pampered girls’ getaway with your besties, a travel agent can customize a vacation for any group gathering or special occasion. But first, every group should designate one person to communicate with the travel agent to avoid having “too many cooks in the kitchen.” As the designated leader, it’s also important to make sure you clearly understand the entire group’s likes, dislikes and special requests; so, you can clearly communicate those important details to the travel agent. Be able to answer questions like: What’s your timeline for booking this trip? What’s your budget? 

Once a travel agent knows where you're going – he or she can take it from there. 

One the most important questions in planning any trip is to know the answer to, “What destination do you have in mind?” Once a travel agent knows where you’re going – he or she can take it from there. Just make sure you choose a vacation destination that works for the entire group. It’s also important to know how many people are traveling with you or as part of the group. Based on the size of the group, a travel agent may be able to offer your group cool perks. For example, travel agents working relationship with resorts can get you exclusive benefits, such as a room upgrade and or a resort credit for on-site services (think spa treatment). Again, be knowledgeable about what you and your group want to ensure a smooth trip-planning process to create the dream trip you all want. For groups that want to work with a travel agent, here’s a couple pointers before you connect with a travel specialist.

Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan your dream solo trip or a fun getaway as a couple, group, or family? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent, who can customize the dream itinerary that you deserve.

Group of friends on a sailbaot
groups - Be prepared to pick one person in the group to communicate with the travel agent. He or she should be knowledgeable about what the group wants.
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