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Trip Planning Today: How Travel Agents Can Help

By AMA Staff

When it comes to getting the information you need to land that perfect vacation, there are now countless ways to do it yourself online. But the jury’s out on whether any of them are the best way.

According to analysis by the travel industry magazine Travelmarket, the average traveller visits nearly 40 websites before actually booking a trip. On average, consumers spend the equivalent of five whole days scouring the internet before reaching a decision. 

That’s a lot of time spent on an increasingly fraught task. Sure, the internet is a fount of information, but there’s just so much of it—and its quality can definitely vary. 

How can you be certain that what you find online is accurate? Even official websites for attractions, accommodations and tours may not be kept consistently up to date. And while surveying third-party reviews is a valuable exercise, it’s hard to know if those reviewers’ preferences align with your own. 

For a more tailored way to plan a trip, consider connecting with an AMA Travel counsellor. They can save you time by identifying what you actually want in a vacation. They’re also well-versed on Covid-19 safety measures and restrictions currently in place for countries you may want to visit, which eliminates the hassle of navigating increasingly complex regulations on your own.

“People who used to do their own vacation research are now visiting travel counsellors,” says Terry Vander Linden, AMA Travel’s product marketing manager. “They quickly come to appreciate the value of working with a travel agent. They understand the networks that agents have, as well as the value they can provide.”

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A recent AMA survey suggests travellers want to feel like someone has their back before, during and after they’re abroad. In fact, nearly one in four Albertans say Covid-19 has made them more likely to use a travel agent. 

AMA Travel agents do all the hard work on your behalf. You benefit from access to valuable expertise and exclusive deals, plus 24/7, Alberta-based support if anything goes awry as you travel.

Travellers can also build relationships with their travel agents, just as they would with a hairdresser or a mechanic. Like a hairdresser understanding their client’s wants and needs, a travel agent can learn a traveller’s vacation likes and dislikes over time.

“Visiting a travel agent shouldn’t be a one-time transaction,” Vander Linden says. “As you build a relationship with an agent, they’ll come to know where you’ve been on your previous trips. When it comes time to plan your next trip, they’ll already know what’s on your bucket list.”

That relationship can translate into rewarding experiences. An agent could find better opportunities and deals for you because they’re familiar with your preferences. They might also find exclusive trips catering to your travel dreams, like group tours in Portugal with Insight Vacations.

No matter what stage of trip preparation you’re at—whether you’re dreaming, planning or booking—there’s a good chance that AMA’s team of travel counsellors have already done much of the work for you.