Why You Should Use a Travel Agent to Plan Your African Safari
In the age of DIY, planning a trip even to the moon feels like it is just a few Google pages away. All you need to do is get online, research your destination, read a few reviews, and a couple of months later you are off on your dream holiday. Well, there is a reason the travel agency industry is projected to generate $17.3 billion by 2020 in revenue up from $15 billion in 2015. Oh, and that is just in the US alone. Travel agents have reported an increase in sales in recent years. Clearly, travel agents are doing something right. So here is why you should use a travel agent to plan your African safari.
1. Travel Agents Actually Save You Money
Contrary to popular belief, booking with a travel agent is actually more often than not cheaper than booking direct. Hotels and lodges offer a commission to travel agents. It is easy to see why one would think travel agents then go on to add a markup on the hotel’s retail price. However, this is simply not the case. Travel agents either have to match the retail price or offer a more competitive price. If this was not the case, travel agents would not be able to compete. They would simply go out of business.
Why then would the hotels and lodges be willing to accept a lower price from travel agents and even go ahead to pay them a commission? Well, simply because travel agents bring in 80% of the businesses. With that in mind, hotels, lodges, and camps are willing to make less on an individual sale safe in the knowledge that they will more than make up for it when travel agents direct a thousand more individuals to their facilities.
Sure you may book direct and save the odd dollar for a weekend stay but for a fortnight’s long safari across several destinations booking with a travel agent will be less damaging to your bank account. Definitely, use a travel agent to plan your African safari.
2. Time Is Money And Travel Agents Save You Both
Again that DIY culture comes to the fore once more. It is fun to get online and travel to one’s dream destination on their laptop or phone. Browsing the various destinations and activities is fun and travel agents have no intentions of taking that away from you. In fact, travel agents are more than happy to take away the boring facets of planning your trip. Once you are done daydreaming about your destination the actual planning then starts.
Planning a vacation trip abroad means first and foremost booking flights. Once that is done one has to create an itinerary from scratch. This means researching the best attractions, say, in Africa which may be spread out across various countries. For each destination, one then has to go through a myriad of hotels, lodges, and camps and decide which is most suitable to stay at for that specific destination before doing the same for all the other destinations on one’s itinerary. This may even mean calling several of the facilities to go over some details. This is a very cumbersome process and may even drain the wanderlust that had initially inspired the trip. Worse still, a lot of confusion is bound to occur as you try to navigate a foreign country. Asking for help from total strangers is a bit nerve-wracking, to say the least. It can even be a risk to one’s security.
How Travel Agents Save You Time
On the other hand, travel agents for starters have tour packages that highlight the best destinations. This takes away the stress of creating an itinerary from scratch. These tour packages usually include scheduled stays at some of the best hotels, lodges, and camps chosen to suit varying budgets. Furthermore, such tour packages are usually quite flexible in the sense that one can add or remove destinations on the itinerary or even change lodges. Travel agents will almost always arrange a certified tour guide to pick you from the airport, deliver an unforgettable holiday experience, and drop you off at the airport once the trip is done. As for payments, you only pay once to the one travel agent organizing your vacation. Not to every Tom, Dick, and Harry at every stop on your trip.
If all this has inspired some wanderlust in you, Kenya has some of the world’s most amazing safari destinations organized in affordable tour packages for the ultimate safari experience. Such tour packages are exactly why you should use a travel agent to plan your African safari.
3. Expert Advice
There are things even the internet does not know especially about current events in remote areas where some of the attractions may be located. A seasoned travel agent will furnish you with nuanced information about the best time to visit a particular attraction. Game drives are the soul and life of any good safari holiday. However, wildlife can be very hard to predict. Sure anyone who has read a few articles online will tell you that to see the Great Wildebeest Migration it is best to plan your safari in August or thereabouts. However, local travel agents know that the migration is dependant on the rains. If the rains come early or later than expected, the wildebeest consequently change their migration patterns. It would be a shame to have the greatest land animal migration start just when your trip is ending.
This is just an example of a scenario where expert advice from local travel agents can be the difference between a great vacation and a great waste of money and time. In summary, travel agents simply do the heavy lifting for you so that you can enjoy your vacation. They are always within reach to help with any issues that may arise. In other words, when working with a travel agent your holiday begins the moment you start planning the vacation. Better still, your vacation starts when the travel agents start planning it for you. That is why it is advisable to use a travel agent to plan your African safari.