Price Is What You Pay, Value Is What You Get
Article by | Kelley Austin, Couples Travel Concierge at Cruise Planners
As a Couples Travel Concierge I’m often asked “why should I use a travel agent?” Although I could give a long list of reasons, it all boils down to this – time, money, and experience!
The famous Warren Buffet quote “Price is what you pay, Value is what you get” is especially true in travel. We all know what price is, it is the amount you pay for a given item, service, or in this case, honeymoon. Value is another matter entirely. As a travel concierge I act as a value interpreter. It has never been truer than it is in this day and time. With the constant updates and changes to travel, it’s very important to work with someone who can stay on top of everything and help protect the financial investment side of the honeymoon.
Value, what is it to you? For some people, value is time and time is money. For others, value is exclusive amenities. For some, value is knowledge and expertise. Customer service is another area where value should not to be overlooked. Travel professionals work to ensure that you have a seamless and flawless experience from start to finish thus providing you with time, convenience, our knowledge, and expertise.
Some people think booking on the internet is the way to book travel. A very important consideration given COVID-19, is the accuracy of the information you find online. There is no way for you to know if any given website is updated daily or has accurate information. Does the internet answer the phone on the weekends or at night if you have a travel emergency? There are a few larger online booking sites and discount agencies that literally turned off their phones last March and April. Can you imagine being outside of the country, or getting ready to leave, and not being able to reach anyone? There was also an online booking site that went out of business and didn’t notify any of their customers.
The internet only shows prices based on criteria submitted on the search. If you have never been there, how do you know what criteria to submit? Remember, the internet hasn’t actually “been there and done that”. Is the “resort view” a lush garden, or the parking lot with the dumpster? It doesn’t tell you that longer stays or upgraded room categories are often better values because they come with inclusions that shorter stays do not and they are things you will pay for when you get there!
The internet and booking direct often do not include or offer adequate travel insurance. The value of having the right insurance is immeasurable when you have to (or choose to) suddenly cancel, or things go awry mid-travel.
One common question is, “are travel agents more expensive than the internet?” That depends, are you referring to price, or value? Most often you will find prices are very competitive. However, admittedly, sometimes agent prices may not be less than “the internet”, but the value is considerably more. If you book a “cheap” or “inexpensive” honeymoon, and it’s done incorrectly or without the right information, it can turn in to a very expensive mistake.
Do you have time to research the endless options for your honeymoon? Do you have time to deal with things if something goes awry? Do you have time to keep up with the ever-changing travel protocols? How convenient is it for you if you don’t know the testing or documentation requirements and you show up without the correct documents?
Perhaps you decide to book with an online agency that has a call center. Often times the call center employees (note: they are usually not travel agents) have never traveled to your destination and only know what “the internet” tells them. Not to mention, have you ever tried to reach an “online agency” from another country? Rarely do they have international phone support and depending on email to reach customer service is not efficient.
Obviously, the choice is yours. When it’s my money, I opt for value over price every day.
Trust a quality travel professional and start your Happily Ever After!
– Kelley Austin, Cruise Planners