With rare exceptions, Joe and I generally don’t use travel agents. When using points for the hotels and miles for the flights, I don’t know how much a travel agent could (or would want to) get involved with our travels. Besides, for us (especially Joe), making all the plans, including bookings, is half of the fun.
In a nutshell, we have nothing against TAs’ services; we just usually don’t require them (this is an excellent post, which was not written by a travel agent, to help you decide if you need to use a TA or not).
That being said, we’re friends with several travel agents and are aware they’re struggling right now. For the most part, TAs get paid a commission based on people going places and for the past several months, nearly all discussions with TAs have only been for cancellations. Even now, with states’ restrictions being lowered, people aren’t traveling nearly as much due to the COVID threat, and when they do, it might be a smaller vacation where they don’t want or need to use a TA.
However, there are a few ways you can still support your TA, even if you can’t give him/her as much business as you normally would:
- Leave a review
There are a WHOLE LOT of travel agents out there and competition is fierce. If your TA has a website and there’s an option to leave a review, now’s the time to start writing about all the great ways (s)he helped to make your vacation so great. It could be the difference between the next person choosing “your” TA and someone else.
- “Like” and comment on their posts. Maybe even share them
Does your TA have a Fan Page on Facebook? When it comes to Fan Pages, Facebook only shows posts to about 3% of a Page’s “fans.” However, the more likes and comments a post gets, the more people FB will show it to. Of course, if you share their post, it will get shown to even more people.
- Give them a shout out/tag them
If you’re writing about a trip you’ve been on, or showing pics on your Insta and it’s appropriate to include info about your TA, and/or if you can tag them, do it!
- Refer a friend
Lots of TAs get new clients through word of mouth. Maybe you’re not traveling but your neighbor or family member is. If they’re looking for a good TA, let them know who you worked with.
- Reschedule instead of cancel
If you can reschedule that vacation for next year, it does two great things. It means your TA gets to his/her commission AND it gives you something to look forward to! Winning!
As much as you’re itching to go on vacation, your TA is itching for all his/her clients to go away, too; his/her reasoning is just a little different ;-). While you’re waiting for that to happen, maybe you can do these easy little things to potentially help your TA get more business.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary