Who needs a travel agent in this day and age? You do …

How difficult can it be to book a holiday on the Internet? With the push of a couple of buttons, your credit card details, a few hours of surfing and tada … your holiday is booked. All you have to do is pack your sun glasses, bikini and flip flops and you’re headed off to the sunny beaches of Mauritius. Right?

Not so fast … While booking some forms of travel, like a local air ticket, may be a complete no-brainer on the Internet, a professional travel consultant will come in handy if you’re faced with the following scenarios:

When you forgot things like birth certificatesm …

Despite media reports and assurances from friends and family, you still need to produce an Unabridged Birth Certificate when travelling with a minor.

Do you have your kids’ birth certificates? Are you sure it’s the unabridged version? Did you know you need an affidavit if you’re travelling without your partner? Do you know what the affidavit needs to contain?

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And we haven’t even started on visas, number of blank pages in your passport, mandatory vaccinations, etc. …

Is your head spinning yet? Wouldn’t it be handy to have an ASATA-accredited travel agent on hand to clarify everything and help you arrange everything?

When you’re not sure where to go …

You know you want to go somewhere sunny where there are white beaches and piña coladas under swaying palm trees, but you don’t only want to spend time at the beach.

You also want the option of enjoying interesting activities and exposing yourself to the local culture. Let’s not forget about the kids and granny who are tagging along: there needs to be something that interests them as well. And, of course, this holiday can’t break the bank.

Good luck finding exactly what you want on the Internet. After trolling the net for days, chances are you’re ready to give up on the idea of a holiday altogether. But, walk into an ASATA-accredited travel agency, and the professional consultant will use his or her expertise to find a destination and holiday that matches your criteria quickly and efficiently.

When you think you’ve found the cheapest deal online …

You’re a real deal hunter and always find the cheapest prices online! But did you know that breakfast isn’t included in the ‘cheap’ deal you found, that the room looks out onto a brick wall and that it is situated at about a 15-minute walk from the nearest resort swimming pool?

You’re a real deal hunter and always find the cheapest prices online! But did you know that breakfast isn’t included in the ‘cheap’ deal you found, that the room looks out onto a brick wall and that it is situated at about a 15-minute walk from the nearest resort swimming pool?

Don’t become a marketing victim. Your ASATA-accredited travel agent will know how to recognise a ‘real deal’ that offers true value. He or she will also be able to warn you when you’re about to make a huge mistake …

When something just doesn’t add up …

Did you arrive in your hotel and is it just nothing like the picture you saw in the brochure? Is that pool, which looks so sparkling blue on the picture, not exactly blue? Is the bird’s-eye view not as sweeping as you would expect? Is the deserted beach actually quite crowded?

Your ASATA-accredited travel consultant knows what’s real and what’s ever so slightly embellished … And if for some reason the hotel doesn’t meet you expectations, your travel agent will make sure all your concerns are sorted out.

When things go very wrong …

Unfortunately, sometimes things can go really wrong. Political unrest, natural disasters and acts of terrorism have shaken up the entire world. Danger isn’t contained to a few ‘unsafe’ destinations and disaster can strike anywhere.

Although obviously a travel agent will not be able to prevent disasters from happening, your ASATA-accredited travel consultant is there to help evacuate you from these distressing situations. It is essential to have a professional by your side to bring you to safety ASAP if things go very wrong so you can travel with peace of mind.