How should you book your travel?
Lauren Anderson – The Travel Guru
I work in the travel industry, so perhaps this is biased, however I have had 7 years of experience with helping customers all over the globe plan their business and personal travel. There can be a lot of sceptism towards travel agents, however I aim to dispel this on a daily basis. Here are a few of the reasons why in my opinion, you should book with a travel professional.
Expertise – We may not have been to every destination, however the knowledge we have is a combination of personal experience and our previous customer experience. We actively ask for feedback from our clients on their holidays so we can learn from and become experts on the destination, even if we haven’t been.
Airfare experts – Let’s face it, it’s pretty easy to find and book a flight online, however when an itinerary is difficult or a destination is unusual, we are trained to use our reservations systems to tailor the best options to your needs. We can advise on mileage accruable and upgradeable tickets, provide multi city itineraries and also advise on the best routings and fare restrictions to suit your needs.
Flexible payment options – Generally if you book online, you have to pay straight away. We can hold seats and hotel rooms for you if you need to confirm dates and offer flexible payment options.
Reservations with children – More often than not you cannot book infants online, we can add babies into reservations and can confirm seating together, along with bassinets, children’s meals and meet and assistance if need be at the airport.
24 hour assistance – In my 7 years in the industry, the number of times we have received calls from passengers who have booked their flights elsewhere when there is a crisis (ie natural disaster, airport strike) is crazy. Unfortunately we can’t help when flights are booked elsewhere, but when you have booked with us, we have dedicated support lines and are in constant communication with the airlines. We will be your point of contact in an emergency, and have overnight staff that can assist when our office is closed.
Buying power – The advantage of booking with a global company is that we have exclusive contracts with airlines and hotels which means we can more often than not get you a better deal. This could be savings on flights, upgrades on room types at hotels and special inclusions that you wouldn’t get if you booked online. It’s so much easier to book your whole holiday through one avenue while still knowing you are getting the best deals.
We are people too! And we love travel – People don’t join the travel industry unless they are passionate about travel. We genuinely love helping to plan your holidays and love to hear your travel stories.
Overall, we are here to look after you from start to finish and can be a friendly face for you to deal with versus an online avenue. I dare you to give us a go!
Lauren is an Aussie expat who has been in Hong Kong for 3 years working in the travel industry. Apart from travelling the world, Lauren enjoys keeping fit and active and exploring Hong Kongs outdoors, cooking, reading and bad reality TV.