WHY SAVVY TRAVELERS

USE A TRAVEL ADVISOR

Look around the airport when a flight is canceled and it’s easy to see which travelers booked their airline tickets with a travel advisor; they’re the ones sipping drinks at the bar, knowing that their travel advisor is taking care of everything. And that’s just one of the reasons using a travel advisor is the ultimate luxury.  

Smart travelers were turning to travel advisors in growing numbers even before the complications of the pandemic to ensure that they made the most of their vacation time and budgets. Travel advisors have the knowledge and connections to know which hotels, resorts and tour guides would work best for you and to enhance your trip with one-of-a-kind experiences, tailored to your interests, that you’d never find on your own. They’ll also be there to smooth out problems that might occur along the way. Plus, they often have access to special fares, discounts and perks, such as complimentary upgraded room or cabin categories, free breakfasts and VIP treatment.

The Special Joys of

USING A TRAVEL ADVISOR

Go places you cannot Google! Travel advisors have the knowledge and connections to enhance your trip with one-of-a-kind experiences and to smooth out any problems that might arise. Plus, they often have exclusive access to special fares and discounts. So take advantage of their expertise to create your dream vacation. But don’t just take our word for it; here are some articles by trusted journalists about benefits of hiring a travel advisor.

  • How Travel Advisors Amaze and Delight Their Clients

    Travel advisors can seem a bit like magicians. They can help you pursue your interests in very personal ways and arrange things most travelers would not even dream possible by tapping into their experience, global contacts, and network of vetted suppliers.

    Read More

Four Reasons To Use A Travel Advisor

Arranging the perfect private guide for your interests, finding a cruise that you, your parents and your kids will love….these are just some of the many ways a travel advisor can elevate your experience.

  • Money Savings and Perks

    Travel advisors have exclusive access to special travel fares and discounts, guaranteeing you’re getting the best value. They often can provide upgraded rooms or cabins, complimentary breakfasts, and other perks.

  • Time Savings and Convenience

    Instead of sifting through countless websites, guidebooks, or posts from your friends on social media, you deserve a hassle-free vacation planned by a professional, saving your valuable time.

  • Personal Attention at Every Step

    Travel advisors take pride in creating one-of-a-kind trips based on the specific tastes and interests of their clients. From planning until your return, you’ll have a personal consultant looking out for you who is just a phone call, text, or email away.

  • Expert Advice

    Travel advisors have the expertise and personal connections to create your dream journey and help you avoid common mistakes. Plus, they can arrange authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences that you’ll never find via Google.

Why use a travel advisor

frequently asked questions

If you have never consulted with a travel advisor, you probably have questions about how they work, what they can do for you, and what you should expect to pay for their services. Here are the answers to the questions we are most often asked. If you have additional questions please reach out to ASTA.

You may not. If you’re simply booking a flight to stay with relatives or staying at a resort you’ve frequented and loved in the past, you may be fine on your own. But even then, there are benefits to booking with a travel advisor. For example, he or she might advise you about which airport offers the most reliable connections so you don’t spend hours or even a night in an airport. Your travel advisor also might be able to get you a special deal at your resort or suggest a getaway that you’d like even better. And if your flight is canceled, your travel advisor can probably handle your rebooking far better than you could.

More importantly, a travel advisor helps you sift through the confusing array of hotels, tours, cruises, and even room types to make sure that your trip fits your dreams and your budget. They’ll also open your eyes to special experiences you might not think of and prevent and/or sort out any snafus that might come up during your trip. And they often have access to money-saving deals, upgrades and perks that can enhance your trip.

Travel advisors especially earn their stripes as heroes when disasters such as the pandemic or a hurricane strike and they have to pull strings and use their creativity, knowledge and sometimes, their connections, to get their clients home. 

Most do, especially if they are arranging a very elaborate itinerary. Fees vary greatly, from negligible to $100 and up, depending on the complexity of the trip. At the very top end, one travel agency charges a $100,000 membership fee just to be a client—but that is very unusual. Most offer a free consultation and will advise you then of their fee structure.

As with choosing any professional, recommendations from friends and family are helpful if they have similar interests, budgets and travel styles to yours. It’s also a good idea to look for specialists and certification. The ASTA website lets you search for an ASTA advisor by specialty (family, LGBTQ, adventure, river cruising, skiing, etc) and by destination. You also can add their office location to your search criteria to find a local travel advisor, which can be nice, especially if you would like to meet face-to-face. There’s also an option to specify if you want an ASTA Verified Travel Advisor (VTA); these are experienced travel advisors who must take and pass a rigorous curriculum to be certified.  

A good first step is to work with an ASTA member. The ASTA logo is recognized around the world as a symbol of professionalism and integrity and members must adhere to a code of ethics, which ASTA enforces.

Expect to answer a lot of questions about everything from the hobbies and special interests of you and your travel companions to what you’ve enjoyed and hated about previous trips. It’s important to answer thoughtfully and honestly because those questions will be the basis for the recommendations the advisor will make. Think in advance about your travel dreams, your budget, and any specific needs or concerns you have. The advisor should also disclose their fee, if any, and what services they provide (24/7 availability if there are issues while you’re traveling, perks they can provide, etc.)

Probably not. There are two components a travel advisor brings to their work: their expertise and their understanding of your needs. The more trips a travel advisor plans for you, the better they understand your needs. And travel advisors have a network of experts to tap into if there’s a place or an experience they don’t know personally.  So as long as you’ve been happy with your advisor, we suggest sticking with him or her.

The term “travel agent” dates back to a simpler era when the agent’s job was to book steamship, airline and train tickets. As travel became more complex, their work evolved from booking agents for suppliers to trusted advisors to consumers — akin to financial agents and CPAs — who make the overall travel experience better and provide leisure and business travelers maximum value for their travel dollar.

Featured News

From travel tips and trends to hands-on advice from ASTA members and media coverage of the industry, here are some of our favorite stories.

  • Selling River Cruises

    A cruise pro offers everything you need to know to sell river cruises. 

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  • Travel Advisors to Department of Labor: Independent Contractor Proposal Should Be Withdrawn

    The American Society of Travel Advisors strongly urged the U.S. Department of Labor to withdraw its proposal for determining employee or independent contractor classification.

    Read Article
  • Why Wave Season Matters

    Cruise lines offer some of their best deals for the coming year during Wave Season.

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  • Travel Advisor Priorities Included in Year-End Spending Bill

    Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus spending bill included provisions of the Visit America Act/Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act—a policy priority of ASTA’s during its Legislative Day event in June.

    Read Article
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Bets Big on Travel Advisor Distribution

    $250,000 in advisor recruitment & training through ASTA will bolster the sales force to meet increasing industry demand. 

     

    Read Article
  • Expert Tips and Tricks for Making Flights Go Easier

    Flight cancelations, delays and misplaced luggage are a fact of post-pandemic travel. What can you? We asked travel advisors to share their best practices. 

     

    Read Article
MEET OUR MOST RECENT

ASTA VERIFIED TRAVEL ADVISORS

Becoming a Verified Travel Advisor requires fulfilling a rigorous set of requirements that provide a deep understanding of the industry and a strong skillset.  Our most recent Verified Travel Advisor (VTA) graduates epitomize the professionalism, expertise and ethics the VTA program is known for. Learn more about the VTA program.

  • Debine Lutz, VTA

    New Bern NC

  • Kevin McCormack, VTA

    Huntley IL

  • Christina Schlegel, VTA

    Arlington VA

  • Julie Prusak, VTA

    Austin TX

  • Cheryl Jones, VTA

    Clinton MS

  • Desiree Jones, VTA

    Los Angeles CA

  • Tracy Whipple, VTA

    Deforest WI

  • Paula Rowe, VTA

    Ider AL

  • Yvonne Sala, VTA

    Herndon VA

View All Verified Travel Advisors
American Society of Travel Advisors

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800.ASK.ASTA

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