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Another blog post from Mr. Deals…
Well, I sure stirred up a bit of anger last weekend. That was in no way my intention, but after re-reading the post I don’t blame folks in the industry for getting upset with me. So first off, an apology. In no way did I mean to put down the profession of being a travel agent. The amount of work it takes to plan a trip and ultimately an experience can be overwhelming for some. I for one am guilty of not giving Mrs. Deals enough credit for some of the trips she puts together for us. The service some of these professionals offer is invaluable and my guess is they often don’t get the credit they deserve after putting together some amazing vacations for their clients. Travel agents out there, I want you to know there is not hate from Mr. Deals. I will clarify the situation from last week a bit further.
The trip in question last week was one that Mrs. Deals and I had just taken to Israel. My mom was heading there and staying in a lot of the same places that Mrs. Deals and I had just experienced. We had been able to do it economically and at the same time stay in really good locations to the major city/country attractions. The gripe I was having with my mom going through a travel agent came out of a couple of factors.
The travel agent her friend was using was not getting any sort of deal on the hotels, if anything, Mrs. Deals was pulling up better prices on rooms. Right there I saw that as a red flag, especially when a simple search showed better rates. If anything you would hope that the agent would want to show some savings against publicly available pricing on the internet.
Money aside, the biggest factor here was that the travel agent had really no experience planning trips to Israel and did not seek out help from others in their network. Some of the locations for hotels that were being suggested were downright dangerous. That’s a bit concerning when you are relying on someone to create a phenomenal experience for you. Now I’m not sure how it works in the industry, but I would imagine travel agents do share tips with one another or at least can admit when a certain area is not their expertise. This is where my view got really soured unfortunately.
Of course, this is an isolated incident, but I will say I think that when using a travel agent it is very important to do your own homework, be it asking friends, co-workers, scanning the internet and even reaching out to some travel bloggers. The last thing anyone wants is a bad vacation.
As the second in command in my household when it comes to travel, I know that Mrs. Deals will lead the charge in trip planning. I only get to step up when it involves a snowboarding adventure.