Trip to Columbus

The biggest travel agent myth

Posted on 05/06/2016

One big misconception that the public has about travel agents is that they travel all the time. For free.

Travel agents DO travel, but just like the rest of us, agents go on vacations and they pay their own way. Maybe in years past, travel agents went all over the world on someone else’s tab. Not today.

A lot of times when they do travel, it’s business. Delta Vacations, with whom Travels By Donna works with, offers trips (called FAM for familiarization) to various locales for site inspections of hotels and resorts.

And don’t think the agents are lounging around poolside, sipping colorful drinks while on these trips. If you’ve ever been to a resort and seen a group of people taking pictures and writing notes, scurrying after a hotel employee, you’ve just seen travel agents on a site inspection.

Agents can often tour as many as six properties a day. That means they are up and ready to go at the crack of dawn and get back to their rooms late at night — with sore feet and minds spinning with all the places they’ve seen that day.

After the site inspections, most agents are back in their rooms, writing reports about which resorts they saw that day, reporting back to their agency owner.

These trips are very important.

Why?

If you want to go to a destination and saw a resort advertised online, your travel agent can probably tell you if it’s a resort he or she would recommend because of these FAM  trips. First-hand knowledge is key for agents to help you plan your dream vacation.

So while you're enjoying yourself poolside at an exotic resort, lift your pretty cocktail to the one who got you there -- your travel agent, who is sitting at his or her desk, helping someone else.

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