PORTLAND, Ore., – Most Americans (75 percent) would consider working with a travel agent to plan their vacations, while some 27 million travelers plan to do so just within the next year, according to new research from AAA Travel. Younger travelers also appreciate the expertise offered by travel agents. Millennials are just as likely as baby boomers to say they are planning to use a travel agent for a trip in the next 12 months.
Nearly half of Americans (46 percent) feel that working with a travel agent adds value to their trip. Travelers’ top reasons for considering whether to consult a travel agent are to ensure a smooth experience on more complicated and expensive trips, and for recommendations and help arranging special activities and experiences.
“Of course, anyone can book travel online. But it can take hours of research about potential destinations, where to stay and what to do. And do the photos shown online really depict the location as it is in real life? How do you know if you’re getting a good price? Travel pros can help you make the most out of your trip and get the most value for your vacation dollars,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.
The study finds that nearly half of travelers (49 percent) would consider working with a travel agent for an international vacation, but just one-quarter (22 percent) would do so for a vacation within the United States.
“Even when you’re not traveling outside the country, you can benefit from working with a travel agent. They’ve have been there, done that. They know the do’s and don’ts for your destinations,” adds Dodds.
AAA says working with a travel agent offers many benefits:
Find the best deals, get upgrades and money-saving travel perks. Travel pros are often able to throw in extras that you wouldn’t get if you booked on your own.
Save time. Travel agents can take the guesswork out of researching and evaluating the many options that are available to travelers, saving time and the hassle that often come with vacation planning. Who wants to spend hours researching possible destinations?
Make expert recommendations. A knowledgeable travel agent will make personalized recommendations and offer tips on destinations, what to see and do while on vacation, the best and worst times to travel, what to pack, and much more.
They’ve been there and done that. Travel agents are often well-traveled, having visited the destinations and experienced the vacations they recommend to travelers.
Reduce stress. Travel agents can help with all the details—advising travelers on everything from foreign currency and passport renewal requirements to recommendations on travel insurance or getting an International Driving Permit before traveling overseas—taking the stress out of the process.
Help with the unexpected. Between weather delays, natural disasters, flight cancellations, lost luggage and much more, a lot can happen on vacation. Travel agents act as the traveler’s advocate in the event something goes wrong, helping navigate the challenge of making any necessary itinerary changes.
AAA’s research findings are the result of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,002 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted August 23-26, 2018. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 59 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
AAA news releases, high resolution images, broadcast-quality video, fact sheets and podcasts are available on the AAA NewsRoom at NewsRoom.AAA.com.