After a long time working, we all need to have some lone time. I always take some time off my Fairfax towing truck duties to go vacationing with family. Trying to arrange your trip on yourself will be stressful. Once you get there, it will become even more stressful especially if it’s your first time there. Many people avoid travel agents to cut travel costs. You might end up spending more without your agent than you would with them. Travel agents understand the destination better than you do and allowing them to take care of the trip will save you some money and the stress. You will, however, need to pick the right agent. Here is a guide on selecting the right agent.
What Constitutes a Good Travel Agent?
If you cannot reach the travel agent when you first call them, then forget about them and look for a new one. Chances are you will not be able to access them when something goes wrong on your trip, and you need help urgently. A good travel agent can be reached easily.
A good travel agent needs to have members of the travel industry’s top groups like the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). The relevant authorities should also have certified them.
Top travel agencies have an extensive network of partnerships with other players in the travel industry around the globe. These partnerships will help you get exclusive deals.
Good travel agents are professionals complete with a code of conduct. They are reputable and even have a channel for registering your complaints which should tell you something about their confidence.
A good agent will not try and force an airline, hotel, departure date, or time to you. Instead, they will be flexible and only book something you are comfortable with.
How to Choose the Right Travel Agent
- Check the certifications and insurance
Look for an agent who is certified by The Travel Institute and is a member of ASTA as well as the Association of Retail Travel Agents. This shows that the agent is well trained, meets the industry standards, and is also professional. Choose a travel agent who also carries an error and omission insurance.
- Get a local agent
Try and find a local travel agent. One that you can meet and discuss the itinerary personally. Try and avoid agencies that you have to deal with customer service associates instead of the agents themselves. This does not mean that you have to compromise on the agent’s certifications, partnerships, and world knowledge. If the local agency does not meet these standards, do not feel obliged to enlist their services.
- Interview them
This is why picking a local agent is important. You need to understand the agency’s experiences, their affiliations, certifications, and fees. The best way to know is through an interview preferably at their offices. Once you are the offices, take note of how they treat their customers too.
Good travel agents can often be the difference between bad travel experience and a pleasant one. They will give you great deals, make the trip stress free and in the unlikely event of a mishap, they will respond promptly.