Last updated: 04:53 PM ET, Wed August 31 2016

One-Third Of Travelers Planning Bucket List Trip Use Agents

Travel Agent | Auto Europe | Rich Thomaselli | August 31, 2016

One-Third Of Travelers Planning Bucket List Trip Use Agents

PHOTO: Europe remains the top ‘bucket list’ destinations for travelers planning a long trip. (Courtesy Auto Europe)

Planning that big bucket list trip? You know, the one that you’ve been wanting your entire life? One hundred-plus days at sea on a luxury cruise, maybe, or hiking through Europe?

A new survey says that more than a third of you will use a travel agent to help make that trip a reality.

Auto Europe, the international car rental services, commissioned a survey of travel agents in the U.S. and Canada about trends in the marketplace as well as their clients’ preferences in destination selection and transportation options while traveling.

According to the survey, the majority of travel agents still find themselves helping smaller parties of two to three travelers who plan trips several months in advance, with fewer than 15 percent of their clients planning last-minute vacations within a month before departure.

READ MORE: 5 Secret Ways To Save On Your Next Car Rental

Agents also reported that more than 60 percent of their clients come to them with their destination in already mind, with their bucket list being the primary selection driver. Europe continues to be the most popular destination choice for travelers, backed up in the survey by 76 percent of agents who reported that the same amount of clients who traveled to Europe in the past year also plan to go back to Europe in the next 12 months.

However, the survey did note that the second-most common source for choosing a destination was a recommendation from friends, family or travel influencers, underscoring the growing trend of online reviews influencing consumer purchases.

“We have a long-standing relationship with our travel agent partners and continually learn from them about travel and booking trends,” Auto Europe’s Vice President of Sales, Robert Ardino, said in a statement.

Some 88 percent of travel agents responding to the survey also noted that a desire for the freedom to travel when and where they want was the top reason clients opt to rent a car during their trip. Since travel agents are often asked to help with the planning of these trip itineraries, Auto Europe has created a series of tools to assist in this process, including Road

Trip Planners and Travel Guides for popular destinations.

“We value their insights and we’re encouraged to hear that the main attributes that motivate agents to continue to use Auto Europe is our high level of service along with the availability of cars in locations convenient to client itineraries,” Ardino said.

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