Almost everybody charges a fee for their services. Walk into a doctor's office and you'll be charged. Don't even think about asking a plumber to look at a leak without being charged a fee.
Now that you're ready to take a vacation, you might be hesitant to call a travel agent because you just can't afford their fee on top of paying for a much-needed vacation.
Sound like you? If you think you can't afford a travel agent, think again.
Emily Steinkamp, a travel agent with MickeyTravels, LLC tells her clients that her services are actually free and she can ultimately save you money after booking:
"If a promotion comes out that applies to your date of stay and/or resort package, I can apply the discount. Save yourself time and money by allowing me to follow the Disney news for the latest discounts."
She can also help you reserve popular dining and attraction reservations: "A great example is the 6 a.m. Eastern-time dining reservations that are available to clients 180 days before their Disney World vacation. You tell me your requests and I am online bright and early while you sleep."
So if they don't charge a fee, how do travel agents get paid?
"Agents are paid by suppliers, not by you," said Helen Prochilo of Promal Vacations in Long Beach, New York. "When you don't use an agent, you are actually paying your travel supplier more then you have to since they keep the money we would have been paid and you have no one to advocate for you if there is a problem."
Stacey Hartmann, owner of Enjoy Vacationing in Waunakee, Wisconsin reminds consumers that travel agents also have access to a whole inventory of properties that you may not even be aware of:
"We can look for the best pricing at the best property to maximize your vacation. Not all travel agents charge fees or additional costs on top of what you can book yourself."
So, ask questions and know how your travel agent works: Before you sign up for any trip, you should know if, and how much, your travel agent charges.
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