Good travel agents have the edge over almost any other seller of travel. They know what you want, speak your language, and are for you when you run into trouble.
If you are planning your honeymoon destination or dream vacation and have decided to enlist the services of a travel specialist to get expert advice and assistance, here are some of the things you should keep in mind when choosing the best travel agent.
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Tips to Help in Getting the Best Travel Agent
The most important thing you can do to find the best travel agent is to know what you want before you start looking. But, how do you know if you are working with the right travel agents? Here are tips you can look for when choosing the agents.
1. Look for the Right Certification and Accreditation
You want to ensure that your travel agent is adequately regulated and is ethically conducting their business. Ensure your agent operates under a certified and credible IATA Travel or Host Agency.
If there are local regulatory bodies, ensure your travel specialist has all the legal accreditations and certifications will those local authorities before moving forward. However, a great travel agent will always recommend purchasing travel insurance to be completely safe.
2. Agent Background Checkup
Referrals from family and friends are ideal. If you are working with a travel agent you don’t know, check out their reviews online.
You should first do your research about the agent before you invest time in giving out details and starting the research process. Does this travel agent have a website that talks about their services?
And if so, does the list of services include the type of experience you are looking for? If the travel agent does not have a proper website, then this would probably be the first sign that this agent is not the right travel agent for you.
3. Areas of Expertise
Another way to find a travel agent is to look at the area of an agent’s expertise. Does your travel agent specialize in certain types of trips, such as destination weddings, eco-tours, or unusual destinations? Are they enthusiastic about where you want to go and have suggestions to enhance your trip?
Choosing someone who specializes in a destination is a good foray into working with a travel agent, and when you work with the same agency for a while, they become a specialist in you.
A good travel agent should be able to find the best travel options for you. Your travel agent should advise you of all the fees involved in your holiday, so there is no surprise.
This includes all the costs, identifying any fees, including the counseling fee for assisting with your booking, letting you know about any change or cancellation fees, and taking you through all the terms and conditions.
5. Communication Skills
How is their communication? Communication equals customer service. If the customer service is poor, nothing else matters; that travel agent is not the right one for you.
Early signs to look for are the things like response time; how long did they take to reply to your first email or phone call? A good travel agent should have the information needed and suggest any missing information that may be useful to your decision-making. A travel agent that communicates well will win over all every single time.
6. Read The Reviews On Agency
While you need to take some reviews with a grain of salt because the same may be out of malice, it is safe to say that peer review can give you insight into what you can expect.
7. Does The Agent Understand Your Travel Style?
Do you like to travel alone, or are you planning multigenerational trips with children and grandparents? Do you like leisurely, slow trips?
Ensuring that your agent understands what you want and maybe even establishing that they have a similar travel style themselves can allow them to plan a better trip for you.
Some critical questions to ask include: Do they charge a planning fee? What are some examples of trips that they have planned in the past? Mostly how they like to travel and some of their favorite destinations. An agent should be looking to get to the heart of what you want as a traveler.
8. They Are Available When You Need Them
A good travel agent should be able to support you if anything goes wrong while you are away. If the flights are delayed, accommodations are unsatisfactory, hotels are overbooked, there are changes in fees, or elements of your holiday did not live up to your expectations, your travel agent can help rectify the situation and assist you.
Get the assurance that you can easily reach your travel agent for help if you need it.
9. Think About Where You Want To Go
You will likely want to work with an agent based on the destination(s) they specialize in. You will want to work with an agent who has booked several trips to the destinations you want to go to and has connections and contacts.
Therefore your destination should determine the agent you want to work with.
Whether online, over the telephone, or in person, the most important thing you can do to find the best travel agent, is to know what you want before you start looking. While you may think there is one best agent for you, the reality is there are many great agents out there. With proper research, the chances are that there are quite a few agents that you will be delighted to work with.