Consulting a travel agent may appear to be dying out in the era of online booking portals. However, agents are useful for more than just selling Disney World and cruises. Working with a real live person is often just plain better, especially in times of crisis. Many agents still offer services or possess information that you simply can’t find online.

Here are 10 reasons why they’re still useful. 

1. They have the latest up-to-date knowledge of travel restrictions. 

The most recent travel advice is available to travel agencies through paid services. So they are instantly informed of those bookings that will be affected as regulations in various countries change.

2. They can get things done. 

Travel agents can make adjustments to a booking more quickly than the general public since they have access to telephone numbers that are not available to the public. Many travel agents form personal relationships with employees at the companies they promote. They take advantage of these connections to get you things you can’t acquire on your own, like the connecting rooms you need for your extended family trip when the internet sites say they aren’t available or the “sold out” accommodation you prefer. Additionally, they have access to experiences that you might not be aware even exist.

3. They can save the day.

In addition to giving you a better deal on any given trip, they can intervene and make adjustments if something goes wrong. The ordinary traveller often only books one or two trips per year with several travel companies, giving them little to no negotiating power in the event of a problem. Even though the supplier isn’t directly at fault, the travel agent has the power to make things right because they are constantly marketing that source. More than any individual traveller, travel suppliers cherish the business of travel agents. If something is wrong, they will take action to put it right!

4. They can save you money. 

The best travel agents have exclusive access to benefits that can save you money and provide you with a better experience: free room upgrades, spa credits, food and beverage credits are just a few examples of what agents can get that you cannot. Add in difficult-to-get restaurant reservations, exclusive or priority access to attractions, and additional amenities, and you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck. (Have you ever wondered why the couple in the cabin next to yours received champagne while you did not? They most likely used a travel agent.)

5. They can save you time. 

Rather than searching the Internet for hours, days, or even weeks – depending on the complexity of your travel plans – you can have an expert do the research for you, with your specific needs in mind. They do it for every aspect of the trip, and they frequently do it for free.

6. They can help in an emergency. 

If anything goes wrong during your trip, you can count on them to help you. A travel agent will suggest and arrange alternative travel arrangements, assist you in dealing with any travel emergencies, and put you in touch with the appropriate local people to meet your needs. Every Zensu Luxury Travel holiday is fully ATOL protected and gives you access to emergency numbers of local suppliers that can help. 

7. They are up to date with the latest travel trends.

They are at the forefront of what is new: A new resort, cruise ship, or tour is usually announced to travel agents first. They have relationships with many travel partners, who keep them up to date on the most recent and exciting offerings. Agents are the way to go if you want to travel on the latest and stay in the greatest!

8. They cost the same and you receive high level service and advice (for free). 

Over 98 percent of hotels are priced at parity. That is, whether you book it yourself or use a travel agent, the cost is the same. Some travel agencies even have websites with the same inventory that can be booked in real time. The customer receives the best of the high-tech world in a high-touch setting. This pricing parity applies to almost every travel product.

9. They match you to the product that suits you. 

If you call a cruise line, they will not tell you that their competitor is a better fit for you and your travel requirements. Because travel agents sell everything, they focus on your specific needs, ensuring you are matched with the right provider.

10. They offer an ongoing mutually beneficial relationship.

A good agent is comparable to a good mechanic. You’ll never want to let them go once you find them. Travel may be your largest discretionary spend in any given year, and with limited time, you want to make sure it’s done right. When they fulfil that, you’ll want them in your inner circle for the future.