PORTLAND, Ore., – A majority of Americans see value in using a travel agent, according to a survey by AAA. Eighty-five percent of Americans find travel agents provide cost-effective, trouble-free, personalized vacation planning. Travelers say they appreciate the knowledge, expertise and value travel agents can offer.

“Travelers see great value in working with a travel professional,” says Doreen Loofburrow, Vice President of Travel Services for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Anyone who’s ever tried to book a trip online knows there are a myriad of options. And once you arrive at your destination, you may find that the location doesn’t look anything like the slick photos you saw on the Internet. Travel agents can save you time, money and the frustration of doing countless hours of research.”

“The busy Thanksgiving and end-of-year holiday travel periods are coming up, and working with a travel pro can help you get the most bang out of your travel dollars,” adds Loofburrow.

The most frequent benefits travelers cited when using the services of an agent are:

Travel agents are a knowledgeable resource, providing a great vacation experience (26 percent)
Planning a vacation that is fun for all can be a daunting. An experienced and knowledgeable travel agent can provide recommendations to clients based on their interests and expectations, whether that’s a family-friendly vacation, a stay at an all-inclusive resort, a memorable honeymoon, or a first-time cruise. Travelers who work with the same agent repeatedly also enjoy a familiarity that makes it even easier to select a destination or cruise to match their travel tastes.

Travel agents know the best deals, saving their clients money (23 percent)
Travel agents work with cruise lines, hotels and tour operators every day and often have access to special rates and added benefits that are not available elsewhere. They can provide clients information on values and savings during certain times of the year—for example when a cruise line is offering extra incentives to sail to a destination, special offers for residents or military personnel, or special promotions for kids to travel, eat or stay free.

Travel agents make reservations and bookings, saving time (20 percent)
Selecting the right destination, hotel, cruise line or theme park is a time-consuming task. A qualified travel agent can take care of all the arrangements and stay on top of every detail, saving travelers time to focus on other priorities.

Travel agents can help if something goes wrong, providing peace of mind (16 percent)
Perhaps one of the greatest values in working with a travel agent is the peace of mind they offer when something goes wrong on a vacation. If flights are suddenly cancelled, a hotel doesn’t meet travelers’ standards, or a hurricane hits a key tourist destination, travelers who booked their trip through a travel agent can make a call to their agent, who can make alternate arrangements immediately.

Convinced? Contact a AAA Travel Agent today to start planning your next trip.