Can I Book Trafalgar Tours Cheaper with a Travel Agent: If you’re considering taking a guided tour with Trafalgar but want to save money, working with a travel agent may help you book Trafalgar tours at a discounted rate. In this article, we’ll explore how using a travel agent could potentially help you book Trafalgar tours cheaper compared to booking directly through Trafalgar.
What are Trafalgar Tours?
Trafalgar is one of the largest guided tour operators in the world. They offer over 200 guided tour itineraries across Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Trafalgar tours are designed for those who want to experience multiple destinations while having most of the logistics taken care of for them.
Some key things to know about Trafalgar tours:
- Guided by knowledgeable tour directors and local guides
- Include luxury motorcoach transportation between destinations
- Accommodations are mostly at centrally located 3-4 star hotels
- Meals are included on most itineraries (often breakfasts and some dinners)
- Sightseeing activities and entrance fees are covered in many locations
- Itineraries range from 5-21 days and hit top sights in each region
The conveniences provided by Trafalgar tours come at a cost. Directly through Trafalgar, their tours can be fairly expensive compared to planning your own independent trip. That’s where working with a travel agent to book Trafalgar tours can potentially help lower the price.
Why Travel Agents May Offer Discounts on Trafalgar Tours
Travel agents have negotiated deals with tour operators like Trafalgar that enable them to offer certain discounts you won’t find booking direct. Here are some of the main reasons a travel agent may be able to get you a better price on Trafalgar tours:
- Volume Discounts – Agents book a high volume of tours each year, so operators give them better rates to reward their repeat business. These savings are passed on to customers.
- Access to Special Promotions – Operators offer exclusive promotions and sale fares to agents throughout the year that aren’t advertised elsewhere. Agents can apply these savings to your booking.
- Flexible Payment Plans – Some agents allow splitting the tour cost into monthly installments at no extra charge, saving on interest vs credit cards.
- Price Match Guarantees – Reputable agents will match any lower fare you find from another source if booked through them.
- Expert Planning – Well-trained agents know tricks like choosing less crowded travel dates that can lower tour prices significantly without compromising the itinerary.
- Loyalty Perks – Many agents reward repeat clients with deeper discounts the more you book through them over time.
- Insider Tips – Experienced agents have insight on how and when to book (typically 6-12 months out) for optimal rates. They understand operators’ pricing structures.
So while direct prices are “list prices”, an expert travel agent is your best bet for negotiating the lowest available fare on a Trafalgar tour through their trade connections and shopping multiple suppliers. Let’s look at a real-world example:
Case Study: Saving $600 on an Italy Tour with an Agent
Imagine you find an 8-day “Splendors of Italy” tour on Trafalgar’s website for $2,999 per person. After contacting a longtime travel agent, she tells you that:
- She can get that same tour for $2,399 through one of Trafalgar’s major travel agent partners (a $600 savings off the direct price).
- The lower rate is due to an exclusive seasonal promotion the agent has access to that isn’t public.
- As a valued repeat client, she’s able to shave an extra 3% off that already discounted rate as a loyalty perk.
So the final price the agent secures for your Italy tour is $2,316 per person – a very substantial $683 total savings versus booking direct. That’s hundreds back in your pocket simply by letting a pro travel agent handle the booking.
Does Using an Agent Cost Extra? Potential Downsides
While travel agents aim to save you money overall, there may be caveats:
- Some agents charge small booking or consulting fees, usually only $50-150 per person.
- Very last minute bookings (within 60 days) often have no negotiated rates, so direct pricing may be the same or better.
- Independent travel (vs guided tours) is often cheaper to book yourself rather than paying agent commissions.
Guided vacations like Trafalgar where agents have access to wholesale rates, the savings tend to easily outweigh any minor fees involved in the majority of cases when booking 6-12 months out. A good agent also provides valuable travel consultation and advocacy if issues arise.
Finding a Knowledgeable Travel Agent
Here are tips for selecting an agent for Trafalgar tours:
- Look for Accreditation – Reputable agents hold the prestigious CLIA/ASTA credentials demonstrating expertise.
- Ask About Experience – Trafalgar has been around since 1957, so find an agent with many years navigating their programs.
- Check Reviews – Sites like Google offer visibility into an agent’s service quality from past clients.
- Request Example Itineraries – A pro can instantly provide real Trafalgar trip ideas and pricing matches as proof of their access.
- Interview Methods – See how they shop rates between suppliers and negotiate on your behalf.
Overall, an experienced travel agent remains your best option for securing cheaper prices on Trafalgar tours through their trade partnerships, insider knowledge and negotiation skills. Booking guided vacations like these through an agent is well worth any potential fees involved to benefit from substantial built-in savings versus doing it alone.