This year promises to be a busy one for the travel industry, as a record number of travelers take to the skies, the rivers and the seas. With more ships, more flights and less legroom than ever, Travel Market Report asked travel agents why they think a traveler should never travel without a professional travel advisor behind them. Here’s what they said:

  1. Travel is more complicated than ever.

With 24 new cruise ships coming online — never mind the new resorts and new airline fare categories — keeping with the options is a full-time job. Having a professional help with the planning and logistics can have a big impact on how much you spend on — and how much you enjoy — your vacation.

  1. Travel advisors are on top of what’s new and exciting.

If you’d like to see The Passion Play at Oberammergau, the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, the cricket World Cup in Australia or the inaugural sailing of Virgin Cruise, travel professionals have access to the best tour packages and exclusive events.

  1. Travel agents save you time and stress.

Planning a trip is hard work, and you never know what to believe. Travel agents travel the world, looking at everything, from the size of the rooms in hotels and cruise ships to the dining options on-site and nearby. If they haven’t personally been where you want to go, they know someone who has. They can answer your questions quickly and correctly.

  1. Travel advisors have your back when you need an advocate.

The year of 2018 was one of volcanoes, earthquakes and airlines failing, not to mention just the bad weather, and 2019 promises to be much the same. Whether the problem is getting there, getting in or getting out, your travel agent will get you where you want to go.

  1. There is no do-over for a vacation gone wrong.

Travel agents can save you hours, not just in doing research, to find you the perfect vacation but also just waiting on hold to talk with short-staffed airlines and resorts, to make your vacation perfect.

  1. Travel advisors add a human element — and an element of trust.

Travel advisors are invested in their clients’ happiness and satisfaction and want to make sure each and every trip is packed full of positive lifelong memories. They listen, suggest, adjust, understand and become a friend. They’re not just a search engine or an anonymous voice. They are with you before, during and after your trip.

  1. The world is constantly changing, and travel agents are on the ground experiencing it.

Has the Caribbean recovered from Hurricane Maria? Is it safe to travel to the Middle East? Travel advisors don’t just sell a destination. They discover, research and experience the places they offer.

  1. Agents often save you money — and if not, they deliver more value.

Even if your travel agent charges a fee, the value you receive will be much larger than what you paid. Cruise lines and many resorts get the majority of their customers through travel agents.

  1. Travel agents offer unique services for discerning clients.

It all comes down to who you know. And odds are, they know that person.

  1. Like any professional advisors, they really do know more about their business.

You can cut your own hair and do your own taxes and perk your own coffee, but a professional can do it little bit better. You can plan your own vacation, too. But good luck with that.

Travel Leaders / Fly Away Travel is located at 1445 W. Harvard Avenue in Roseburg. Cal 541-672-5701 for information.

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