Lori, Edie Grace and I love to travel.
Back in the "old days" before the internet, we would call Burns World Travel and get them to handle all of our travel arrangements. We would give them the destination, dates and our budget. In an hour or so, they would call us back and have everything done.
We didn't have any sleepless nights worrying about the quality or location of the hotel and a host of other issues related to traveling to a new place for the first time. The same went for cruises. Cruising is a great way to travel, if you want to see multiple places and not worry about a single detail. Our Statesboro-based travel agent, always knew the best deals on the best ships and the best ports of call. We never arrived to discover the ship wasn't as new and nice as the pictures on the internet.
In the time it has taken me to write this story today, I have received five emails from airlines, hotels and cruise lines with amazing "last minute" deals that I must book in the next few hours or that deal would be gone forever.
It is so much fun to explore exciting destinations over the internet, but it never fails after you complete the transaction, you immediately have buyer's remorse. You are concerned that you may have made a mistake on some important detail or the hotel, ship, plane will not live up to your expectations.
If only, you could get the same fabulous deal that you can get on the internet from a local travel agent. A local agent who knows you personally and knows what you like and from past experience understands your expectations and desires. More importantly, a local travel agent that you can physically go to their office if there is an issue and talk to a real person who will become your advocate.
For more than 40 years, Andy and Patty Burns and their talented staff of Burns World Travel have been taking the guesswork out of travel. They have never left us, but many of us have left them because we assumed we could get a better deal or wanted the freedom and convenience of handling everything ourselves.
"The entire travel agent industry has been turned upside down over the past few decades," Patty Burns said. "Our industry was built on being the experts on finding the best deals with the airlines. They paid us commissions for handling this business. Our industry took a large blow when airlines stopped paying commissions. We had two options, give up or figure out a way to survive."
Thanks to loyal corporate clients like Georgia Southern University, they were able to weather the storm of changes and figure out a way to survive. The evolution has changed their focus from primarily booking airfare to now focusing on handling your entire trip. From airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, local tours and even tickets to performances in the city you are traveling to they will package it all together to shop the best deal for you and take that stress off you.
What most internet travel shoppers don't understand is that most of the popular travel booking websites are owned by the large airlines.
Because of this, when you search for air travel, you don't often get all the options. Many discount airlines like JetBlue, Frontier or Southwest are not included in those web sites searches. There are many tricks and discounts that even the most seasoned traveler will miss out on by not enlisting the resources available from a travel agent.
"We have invested heavily in the most comprehensive industry software that allows us to search all options," Patty Burns said. "Remember, in many cases, the airlines, hotels or cruise lines either own or are paying to be featured on the popular travel internet websites. This significantly limits your options. Our software includes every option. Best yet, we are incentivized now to get the best travel deal possible for every client. It costs nothing more to use our local travel service.
"The only time there may be a small charge is if we only book your airfare. The maximum fee charged for airline only booking is $35. This is often covered by the savings and convenience we provide. For our clients who enjoy doing the research online, all we ask is to allow us to look over your plans before you book. We can normally match the price and in most cases save them money, in addition to the satisfaction of doing business locally."
Obviously Burns World Travel prefers that you book with them initially so they can ensure the best deal and best locations. However, in many cases, like cruise and tour bookings if you notify Burns World Travel immediately after booking online they can normally transfer those over to their agency and handle the trip for you.
With offices in Statesboro and Springfield and a team with nearly 150 years of combined experience in the travel industry they are the local experts.
From my experience, I urge you to give them a try on your next trip and see how much more you will enjoy travel knowing you are in good hands.
Not only are you getting the peace of mind that you have people you know and trust handling your travel investments but you are also supporting a local business who has supported and served our community for more than 40 years.
Lori, Edie Grace and I love to travel.