Choosing a Travel Agent
Tips on selecting a travel agent; not all travel agents are created equal so you will want to shop around for the best one.
By Peter Sterling
With so many destinations to go to, it's important to plan accordingly. A travel agent will be able to acquire your tickets, hotel reservations, car rental, and activities all at once, saving you time, and thus, money. Booking a vacation can be a lot of trouble for just one person, but with a qualified travel agent, it's easy! Of course, like vacations themselves, not all travel agents are created equal so you will want to shop around for the best one.
The Benefits Of A Travel Agent
Don't miss out on all that a vacation has to offer! A travel agent will be experienced with the top destinations at your travel area and be able to provide you with recommendations for where to go. As an industry insider, they can get special deals that you would not be able to acquire. You might pay a little bit more for this service, but overall you will save.
Do Your Research
Doing your homework doesn't have to take a lot of time. The best way to find a good travel agent is to do your research. You can talk to friends and family members who have used travel agents in the past. You can also use the internet to try to find the best agency or agent in your area. In some cases you will be able to read testimonials from other customers who have used a certain agency. Try searching for message boards that might give you some insight to good travel agents in your area.
It is important to find a travel agent who understands your personal needs and desires when it comes to the type of vacation you are looking for. There are countless agencies that are available online as well where it is easy to select what kind of amenities you are looking for.
Make Sure They Are Licensed
A licensed travel agent will be a member of the ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents). Membership in the American Society of Travel Agents allows travel agents to work with other members to get the best deals and rates for you. Membership also requires certain qualifications so by finding a travel agency that is part of the Society ensures that you will be getting excellent service.
Of course, it is perfectly acceptable to ask questions in order to determine if a travel agent is right for you. Questions such as, How long have you been in the travel business?, can be helpful in giving you a better idea of your travel agents background. You might even want to ask your travel agent for references.
Your Vacation Package
Putting together your vacation package just got easier with a travel agent. They will be able to interact with you and help you choose what features of your vacation you want to splurge on and what features you can skimp on. Don't need a luxury car, but want a great hotel? Done and done. Perhaps you want a tour included and thus won't need a car at all.
Of course, your travel agent is unlikely to make any final decisions before consulting with you first. It is your vacation and therefore you should have the final say on everything planned. This is why it is important that you make yourself accessible to your travel agent.