Using a travel agent for your next vacation can help save you time and money. There are more than 100,000 travel agencies in the United States, according to Travel Weekly, one of the largest travel industry trade publications. Travel agents help companies and individuals make flight, hotel, car rental, tour, cruise and other travel arrangements. For their efforts, they are paid a commission by the travel companies they sell. Most agents offer their services to the public for free or for a small fee (in the case of a single flight or hotel reservation.)

Using a travel agent to tap into their knowledge and experience

Using a travel agency to plan your next vacation lets you take advantage of the agent's vast booking and travel knowledge. Most agents book more cruises, tours and/or airline tickets in a month than you'll take in your lifetime. Most have also traveled extensively. This experience can help you with things like the best seats to pick on a particular aircraft, which cruise line has the best children's program, and where to go for the best snorkeling. Agents can also help you find a destination that best suits your travel needs, perhaps a place you've never even heard of.

Using a travel agency to save time

Although many travel companies allow you to book your cruise, tour, or hotel arrangements via their websites, do you really want to take your valuable time to do this? A travel agent puts everything together professionally and efficiently with minimal input and time required from you.

Using a travel agency to save money

In addition to saving you time, travel agencies can save you money. Since they work with travel all day, every day, they are in an ideal position to see new packages and discounts that meet your needs as soon as they are announced. This allows you to jump on a sale before all of the seats, cabins or tour spots are sold out.

Using a travel agency gives you someone to call in an emergency

Lastly, working with a travel agent gives you someone to help you in the (rare) case that something goes wrong during your trip. There are a lot of variables with travel. Bad weather can ground your flight. Your hotel may have over-booked and not have your room available when you arrive. Or, you or your traveling companion may become ill while on vacation. A good travel agent knows whom to call to help solve these kinds of situations and get you where you need to be without a lot of hassle.One excellent travel agency in Minneapolis you might consider is American Group Tours - Karol Baumeister.

Travel agencies have a lot to offer. Before you start booking your next family vacation, it makes sense to consider the many advantages to turning the booking process over to a travel agent.