If you’ve ever planned an extensive vacation that required plane, train and boat travel, you know just how time-consuming and overwhelming the process can be. Further, you’ll be second-guessing yourself the entire time, not sure if itinerary you’ve laid out and tickets you’ve booked is going to work out in the end. With these often-encountered fears in mind, travel guide Andrew M. Berke would like to weigh in on the merits of hiring a professional planning agent whose job it is to ensure that your vacation goes according to their plan. According to a recent American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) exploration of the topic, hiring a travel agent is essentially a “must” if you’re going abroad. In this article, Andrew M. Berke will shed some more light on the topic and explain why he also thinks that the professional services are worth the investment.
The first question many travelers will ask is, “How much is this going to cost me?” A fair point, says travel expert Andrew M. Berke, as the vacationer is about to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on the upcoming trip. According to the AARP, you could pay anywhere between $25 for guidance on a weekend getaway or upwards of $150 for week-long planning of an overseas excursion. The next question Andrew M. Berke hears often is, “What services do I get by hiring a travel agent.” Typically, these experts can provide you with suggested locations to visit, knowledge about when the best time to travel is, act as a go-between for advance lodging and transportation booking and generally be a wealth of knowledge. As Kathy Sudeikis, a Kansas City-based travel agent told the AARP, “We know if there’s going to be snow in Turkey or a strike in France … We proactively react and rearrange flights and hotels.”
Therein lies the rub for many travelers: Hiccups happen along the way but only those who know where to look will be prepared in advance. “How could you be expected to know about a rail line in France going on strike when you’re busy taking public transportation here at home to your job,” Andrew M. Berke said. According to the article, additional benefits of a travel agent include being able to re-book canceled flights or trains. For those who’ve been stranded at home or abroad – and suddenly faced with the fear of a crumbling carefully-planned itinerary, a shoulder to lean on back home could prove indispensable.