You might need support for a variety of possible disruptions, say a snowstorm delaying flights, a new COVID-19 guideline at your destination, or an illness or injury to someone in your travel group.
“We have close relationships with the travel suppliers, who keep us in the loop of any changes at your destination so there aren’t any surprises,” Mahnken says. “Our most important role is as an advocate. If something does go awry, we are just a text or phone call away and can leap into action and resolve it.”
Agents are more familiar with travel restrictions
Mahnken says her primary work right now is helping clients sort through the myriad of travel restrictions and policy changes. Not sure if your destination requires a COVID-19 test upon arrival? Unclear whether your airline mandates masks for toddlers? Your travel agent likely knows and if not, they’ll do the work to find out.
They’ll tell you what to expect
If you’re headed to Walt Disney World with hopes of getting a warm hug from Olaf from “Frozen,” booking with a travel agent who specializes in Disney trips, like Mahnken, can set your expectations. In that case, she’d warn you that there are no Olaf hugs to be had, as all Disney character experiences are currently socially distanced — meaning characters only wave to you from terraces, parade floats or behind other barricades.