Ever since the internet emerged in the 1990s, the demise of travel agents has been confidently (and incorrectly) predicted. There have certainly been changes in the way they operate but the long-expected decimation didn’t happen. ABTA’s membership currently includes over 1,200 agencies in 5,000 different locations in the UK so it’s clear that they are still offering a service that people need.
For short-breaks and cross-channel ferries it’s now increasingly common for people to make their own plans. However, anything that’s longer or more complicated is often a different matter. Particularly if you haven’t been to the destination before, you can quickly get swamped with all the permutations, possibilities and pitfalls which can be time-consuming and stressful to research and offer no certainty that you’ll make the right decisions at the end of it all. This is meant to be a holiday, a time for relaxation – but before you’ve even started you’re frazzled. This won’t do at all. The time has come to seek some expert advice.
Fortunately, Fare Wise Travel can provide exactly that. Here are some of the things that we can offer you but which online sources may not be able to…
1 Our holidays and flights are covered by ATOL which protects from losing your money or being stranded abroad. Booking direct may not provide this security.
2 We are used to complex holiday arrangements where there are maybe two or three flights coming in from all directions to the same airport at the same time, or for large parties of people with all different abilities and requirements to be organized and so the holiday is stress-free and with all its dots joined up.
3 Important personal information like bank details and addresses are not handed over to any third party nor uploaded or transmitted on the internet. They are all kept on a separate file and kept safe.
4 Contrary to popular belief, travel agents are often cheaper than the internet. We have access to a large range of agent-only deals which are often less expensive (and more clearly explained) than those you can find online.
5 All the staff are experts. We need to be because there is rarely a completely straightforward booking. We know all the best hotels, restaurants and also where not to go, when the monsoons are and when you get the autumn colours. It’s the little details and experiences that we know first-hand that can make all the difference to your trip.
6 We have brochures and other sources of information on all the new and upcoming tours and trips at our fingertips. We can also be objective, choosing the combination that’s right for you and not just the ones that we’ve been told we have to sell. (As we’re independent, it’s only your wishes that we have to satisfy.)
7 We offer a personal service if there are any issues, not a faceless call centre. Whether it’s health problems, flight cancellations or natural disasters (one may not want to think of such things but they can happen), we are there to organize, help and re-direct you. We don’t expect you to stress – that’s our job.
8 We’ll get all your information about visas and health requirements sorted, posted and checked through. We check all documents before sending out, checking for misprints and errors, so that you know you’re flying from and to the right airport and with your name correctly spelled.
9 We are up to date with finer details about the area you are traveling to, from vaccinations, good restaurants and excursions to go on or not as the case may be.
10 Last but not least, it’s surely a great feeling to have a travel agent who understands your likes and dislikes, has a record of your previous journeys and knows your reactions to these.
In fact, that’s probably the best reason of all – you can meet to us face to face and discuss what you have in mind. If we can think of an alternative you might like, we can suggest that, based on what you’ve told us not on some online algorithm. We’re here, we’re real and we know what we’re talking about. Pop in and have a chat and judge for yourself.
Fare Wise Travel Ltd, Kennet House 19 High Street Hungerford, RG17 0NL.