Why should I use a travel agent?

Allison Sodha

There are many myths that circulate about travel agents:

"Travel agents really don't know as much as the average consumer."

"Travel agents won't offer as many options because they only have contracts with particular vendors."

And the most popular:

"If you use a travel agent, you will pay so much more. It is a waste of money."

With the internet housing endless options for researching and booking generalized travel, why should you use a travel agency? I believe there are many valuable reasons - for purposes of time, I have prioritized the top three, as it pertains to Sodha Travel:

1. Expertise: Online booking engines, including Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia, provide an avenue for travelers to find generalized deals. However, if you are seeking a customized itinerary, or specialized information on a particular region, the sites lack possibilities. Sodha Travel specializes in India and Nepal - it is what we know and what we love. We can provide options that are unavailable on other sites, including house visits with the locals, an Ayurvedic cooking demonstration, or a private tour of a Bharatanatyam dance academy. If there is a hotel or flight that is showing sold out online, most times we can confirm the reservations. Furthermore, we can answer your questions about train schedules, currency, vaccines, visas, restaurants, water filtration systems, and more.

2. Value: Let's be clear. There is a significant difference between "value" and "cheap." As John Peters, President and CEO of Tripology stated, "If you want cheap, then sure - hit the web and take risks... You get what you pay for." Believe it or not, many people who come to us are surprised at the affordability of using an agency. Why? We have inside connections with vendors, hotels, and operators that are unavailable on published sites. Furthermore, there is the value of time. For many, planning an itinerary in India and Nepal is a complex endeavor - some spend weeks researching and googling only to become overwhelmed by the options. We eliminate the burden of train schedules, trekking permits, and airport transfers so you can focus on what is most important: the experience itself.

3. Advocacy: Sodha Travel is here to assure you have a memorable experience. We are your advocates. If you wish to make changes to your itinerary, we explore the options. If your flight is cancelled 24 hours before departure, we step in. Does a hotel booking need to be extended, train tickets changed, and/or transfers rescheduled? Do you need to access local authorities or the nearest embassy? With associates both in the United States and India, you always have someone available to assist you. Above all else, we provide a detailed list of contact names, phone numbers, and a 24 hour emergency line throughout your trip. It is our philosophy that peace of mind is just as important as the logistics.

Allison Sodha

Written by Allison Sodha

Sodha Travel was born from my desire to share the beauty of India with the world. Since then, our services have extended to other destinations - but our passion remains the same. To me, traveling is a multifaceted relationship: a relationship with other cultures, a relationship with other people, and ultimately a relationship with our own self.