AP NEWS

Travel agents: What can they really do for you?

July 18, 2018
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People wait in line to check in at McCarran International Airport, Friday, June 29, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

When you can book every aspect of a trip online, why would you need a travel agent? In this episode of the Associated Press Travel podcast “Get Outta Here,” Erika Richter, communications director for the American Society of Travel Agents, explains how travel agents can enhance your vacation while simplifying the planning process for you.

Richter discusses how to find a good agent, how agents earn their money and how they can save travelers money. She also says the industry is starting to use the term “travel adviser” instead of “travel agent” to reflect their changing roles. They’re not just booking flights these days; they’re helping to plan itineraries and helping consumers make the most of whatever budget they have.

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New episodes of “Get Outta Here!” are published every Wednesday. Host Beth J. Harpaz is travel editor for The Associated Press, a volunteer Big Apple Greeter and a licensed tour guide in her native New York City. She recently completed a quest to visit all 50 states, and she’s editor of an anthology of AP travel stories that’s also called “Get Outta Here!”

Before becoming travel editor, where most of the news -- thank goodness -- is about happy people going on nice vacations, Beth covered politics, disasters and all manner of mayhem for the AP. And not to reveal her age, but she also worked for several newspapers way back in the 20th century and also wrote three books.

She does not own wheeled luggage but instead carries her belongings around in an ancient backpack and various tote bags.

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For more trip ideas, travel trends and destination news from Beth and the rest of The Associated Press, follow @AP_Travel on Twitter and check out the travel tab on the AP News mobile app. For a full list of podcasts, go to the AP podcast page or subscribe on iTunes at http://apple.co/2s2ruHY or Stitcher at https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/associated-press/get-outta-here-the-ap-travel-podcast

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