Parenting Survival Guide: Using a travel agent to plan your family vacation

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It was a family trip many years in the making for Ebony Jackson and her two kids, Natalie and Jayln, and grand baby Olivia.

The family went to Orlando to enjoy several days of big attractions for Jayln’s 12th birthday.

“It was one of the best birthdays I have ever had,” Jayln said.

Jackson says in the past she did not do trips because of all of the work trying to put them together. She says she would always start the planning then never finish.

This time around she decided to leave it to a travel agent.

“I gave her what I wanted, my budget, and the only thing I had to worry about was waking up and getting into the car and driving to Orlando Universal studios,” says Jackson.

Lori Jo Harvey with AAA says using an agent can come with the perk of knowing the latest promotions and deals for hotels, airfare and cruises.

She says most travel agent services are free to use unless you are just booking airfare.

“I see it pivoting towards using travel agents because of experience and guidance. They are busy and they want someone to handle that for them,” says Harvey.

Harvey says a good travel agent should always listen to your needs and be readily available to answer questions you might have as they help guide you to planning your ideal trip.

She says help from your agent does not stop there because they can also help if things might come up while you are on your vacation.

“We do provide a peace of mind for unexpected things that come up. The world is an ever changing place, so you have someone as a resource for those unexpected events,” says Harvey.

Jackson says her experience was so seamless that her daughter decided using an agent for her first time visit with her baby to Disney World.

“She made sure everything was taken care of with connecting flights and she made it as stress free as it could be with a toddler,” Natalee said.

Jackson and her family are already planning their next big trip for sometime later this year.

Jayln hopes they will be using a travel agent again.

“Now I know that we can go though a travel agent and take the stress off my mom, the whole thought of it is amazing,” says Jayln.

Harvey says when it comes to using a travel agent it’s important to get to know them so they can have a better idea of what your interests may be.

She says it’s also best if you can to meet with your agent in person when planning your trip instead of over the phone.

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