Remember travel agents? Actually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2012, 64,000 full-time agency employees were listed, and ARC places the number of agents at about 13,000.
I reached out to call center agents and their executives at Last Minute Travel get the inside scoop. Here are the top 10 travel tips they had for you!
1. A great way start any trip to a big city is with a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. It allows you to see key areas of the city, take notes on where you want to spend more time later in the trip, and familiarizes you with the city. Plus, transportation is covered for the day! Available in all major cities worldwide.
3. Book attractions ahead of time to save money and time. A lot of activities have long lines, and some like Alcatraz in San Francisco are sold out early in the day. Try something new everywhere you go. A ‘Fast Pass’ is a must for some attractions, like The Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, London Eye, etc.
4. Airlines typically come out with their sales on Tuesdays, so be sure to take a look before you book and sign up for fare alerts.
5. Transport like a local! In many cities, you save big by being smart about going to/from the airport. Madrid, Hong Kong – take the subway. London, San Francisco, New York – book a $16 group transfer online ahead of time instead of a $65 cab from JFK, for example.
6. Booking a cruise? Keep in mind prices fluctuate the most 90 days out and within 30 days of the cruise departure date. So, if you want to gamble in hopes of a low price, go for it. Otherwise, book within that 60 day window prior to the cruise departure.
7. Taking a tour doesn’t mean you are a tourist. Walking tours are usually inexpensive, and the guide is local, so steal them after and ask them for restaurant and site recommendations.
8. Sign up for car rental loyalty programs. It saves time, often allowing you to skip the desk (and line). It saves your preferences and they upgrade you if they can.
9. Call an expert. Companies like Last Minute Travel and Last Minute Travel Club have expert agents 24/7 that can find alternative room types or dates that could save you hundreds on just one booking!
10. Join a travel club. Last Minute Travel Club can sell hotels up to 55% off the big name discount sites, because they are not allowed to advertise hotels or post the rates online. You simply join the club for a small fee, and let the savings begin!