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Lifestyles of the…not so rich and famous. What exactly does a travel agent do?

This is the age of the iphone, the ipad, the ipod and basically every other invention that has made Apple filthy rich. But what does that mean for old fashioned customer service? And why do you need a travel agent anymore, when you can just pull up an app on your phone and make a hotel reservation?What’s the point?

Believe it or not, there are still travel agents out there. And we are actually faring really well in this new age of technology, as long as we learn to grow and use it to our advantage. I’m part of the younger generation, so blogging, Facebook, Twitter and everything else isn’t so foreign to me; but to a 60 year old travel agent who remembers when she had to write out plane tickets by hand, this is a huge awakening. And that’s truly what it has been for my grandmother, who has been running a travel agency since I can remember.

Travel agents have always worked on pure commission from the vendors, therefore we work hard for our customers, but in the end it’s the vendors we count on the most to ensure our customers are happy. So when we recommend a hotel or a cruise line to you, we really mean. Because that is our livelihood: to make sure you have an amazing experience, and then come back to us for all your future vacations.

Because despite what we generation x’ers may think of the wonders of Apple and the internet, word of mouth and customer service are more important than ever.

But what does a travel agent do for you? 

Well, we do everything and anything to make your vacation as smooth as possible. You call us, tell us more or less what you’d like to do, where you’d like to go and when. Based on extensive training and personal experience, we then recommend where you should stay, what you should do and if your budget expectations are realistic for the type of vacation you want. We give you a few different options and work with you to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

All you, as the customer, have to do is choose. From there we, as your personal travel concierge, make your reservations, figure out all the logistics of your arrival, book your transportation and make sure everything is accounted for. We send you an e-mail with your tickets/reservation information and off you go on your trip, stress-free.

And if, by some chance, something doesn’t go the way you expected it on the trip, we are just a phone call away. It is just like having a personal assistant, but instead of shelling out thousands of dollars in salary, you pay us NOTHING out of your pocket.

That’s right – NOTHING! Not a penny in fees go from your pocket to us.

And while we do receive commissions from the vendors, the prices you pay will be the same rates you would have paid (if not cheaper, in some cases) if you had done all the work yourself.

So really, why would you want to waste time going through page after page on Expedia, never really knowing what you’re going to get when you arrive, when you could have the peace of mind knowing you have a trained professional working on your side.