The advantages of using a travel agent are manifold.  But I don’t have to blow my own horn!  Suppliers will do it for me!

From APPLE VACATIONS:

Travel Agent Appreciation Month

By Gina West, May 12, 2011

Every year, Apple Vacations celebrates Travel Agent Appreciation Month during the month of May. This year is no exception. As a Senior Sales Manager with Apple Vacations, my primary role is to work hand-in-hand with our travel agent partners to keep them up-to-date on any new destinations, resorts and the
latest hot deals. Yet, whenever I meet someone new and they discover what I do for a living, I’m often asked, “With all of the resources on the internet, why would anyone need to use a travel agent?”

Travel agents literally spend hundreds of hours each year continuing their education of destinations and resorts by participating in educational seminars and familiarization trips (FAMs) to keep their knowledge current. The internet is a great tool but the information is often conflicting, contradictory and confusing. A good travel agent uses all available resources plus their personal studies and experiences to ask the right questions and recommend the vacation that best fits your needs. In the long run, planning your vacation takes less time to qualify you and your family for the right vacation by using a travel agent.

If you’re still not convinced that it makes sense to use the services of a travel agent, consider this … Apple Vacations considers the travel agent’s input so critical to successful vacation planning that the cost of the travel agent’s services are already included in the cost of each and every Apple Vacation. That’s right – the cost of your Apple Vacation includes paying your travel agent to book your vacation with us for you so by not using a travel agent, you are in essence short-changing yourself and not getting the full benefit of the Apple Vacation product and service. Since your travel agent’s service is included in the cost of your trip, why not get all of your monies worth?

So, during the month of May, I hope you’ll join Apple Vacations and say “Thank You” for a job well done to the person who cares so much about you and your vacation experience… your local travel agent!

Leave Vacation Planning to the Professionals 

Consumers are more inundated than ever with seemingly too-good-to-be-true vacation prices, especially on-line.  How can even the most seasoned travelers be expected to cut through the clutter and make the
right decision?  Part personal shopper and part matchmaker, a professional travel agent can match up options from hundreds of travel deals with your personal preferences, and take the stress out of the vacation planning process. Consider the following:

  • First-Hand Experience – Chances are good that your travel agent has experienced the resort first-hand or has received personal feedback from clients who have. With so many websites      containing outdated or misleading information, the expert advice and personal recommendation of a travel professional can be far more reliable and less biased than a travel brochure or web posting.
  • Interpreting the Fine Print – Professional travel agents are familiar with the disclaimers and hidden      fees that could cost you far more than you bargained for. They’ll provide expert advice on everything from optional resort excursions to the real value of travel insurance.
  • Convenience, Cost and Value Recognition – By sifting through the web or making countless phone calls to hotels and airlines, you may be able to find a lower price on your own. But more likely, a travel agent will find you the best value in far less time, and you can avoid making a decision that may cost you dearly. Knowledgeable travel agents can discern the difference between a low price and a good value. When you book a vacation, you’re investing not only hard-earned dollars but also valuable vacation time. It pays to get it right.
  • Clout – With a travel agent, you have someone who will go to bat for you should the unexpected happen.  Experienced travel agents have long-standing relationships with travel suppliers. They have the right contacts and know how to get things done in the most efficient and timely manner.

Apple Vacations, one of the nation’s leading wholesale vacation companies, recommends booking through a professional, retail travel agent for the right advice and best price.

So why use an agent when you can go online and book yourself? Perhaps the question should be, why not?

With so many vacation options available, it’s helpful to work with someone who has “been there, done that” and can guide you through the entire planning process – finding the right destination, choosing the perfect hotel…a friend in the business who can give you insider tips to help you have a unique and memorable experience.

So, even if you like to do your own research, we recommend discussing your options with a professional travel agent. Apple Vacations provides you with a free listing of travel agencies that specialize in our destinations and can give you great advice throughout your planning process. The expertise, guidance, and personal service these partners provide are invaluable. All you need to do is . . . find a travel agent ready to help.

Golden Apple – These are agencies that send hundreds, sometimes thousands, of passengers on Apple Vacations each year. They receive one-on-one training from us about our destinations, products, and services. Some of these agencies may have nationwide affiliations and industry endorsements.

Red Apple – These agencies are also highly qualified to book Apple Vacations. In addition to receiving ongoing product training, they also send large numbers of passengers to Apple destinations. These agents may have a more local customer focus and are equally capable of finding the perfect vacation for you.

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