When people find out that 5678andTravel is a group of Independent Travel Agents (ITAs), one of the first things we frequently hear is “Why does anyone need a travel agent anymore?”
And you know what? You don’t. You could just go book your travel on the internet yourself and be done with it. But by doing that, you’re missing out on a couple big opportunities.
To begin with, did you know that most of the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) belong to the same companies? There are basically like three big travel conglomerates that own almost all the OTAs. For example, Expedia Group owns Expedia, VRBO, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Hotwire, CheapTickets, and more.
So, while you think you’re shopping around online for travel, really, you’re just checking in with the same companies via different URLs. That is not only a waste of time, but you’re also unlikely to find that prices differ between suppliers.
And do you know who gets the commission if you book directly? The OTA. Meaning some big nameless corporation that owns most of the travel websites.
However, if you use a travel agent like any of the ITAs at 5678andTravel, then instead of handing your commission to a corporation, you can give it to someone working in the arts (whether onstage, backstage, in the pit, on set, or elsewhere—creatives are everywhere).
It’s your choice. But think of it sort of like “shopping local” as opposed to buying online at a major retailer. This way you can support the “little guy or gal.” Even if you know exactly what you want to book, if we can price match it, if you’ll let us book it then we get the commission and you’re not out anything except maybe an extra step contacting us.
You know what else travel agents are good for that online sites are not? Asking questions! Online sites usually don’t do much to help you find out the details beyond a FAQs page. But as an ITA, it’s literally our job to help you get to the bottom of things.
By doing the work for you, we’re earning that commission (which you don’t have to pay by the way—suppliers pay commission directly to both OTAs and ITAs as an incentive to sell their travel services). So, let us save you time by calling, researching, and basically getting the answers for you.
Hopefully we can also save you some money too because we know lots of different suppliers and have direct preferred partners with whom we can check. However, trying to get things “cheaper” should not be the main motivation to use a travel agent. While we can almost always match the prices you find online (and sometimes find things at even better rates), if we can’t, we’ll be honest. But beyond prices, we’re providing you a service and assistance navigating the oft confusing ins-and-outs of travel booking.
Most of all, the reason to use a travel agent is that we make it fun! We’ll check the details, but we also get excited with you about your trip. And since part of the joy of travel is the anticipation, it’s nice to do it with company.
Reach out if you need a one-night stay, a car rental, a staycation, or a full out vacay. We can’t wait to help you plan, and you’ll be supporting the creative arts by sending the commission our way instead of to a nameless OTA.