With the power of the Internet at our fingertips, it may seem hard to find a reason to consult a Travel Agent when you’re looking to plan your trip. It doesn’t matter whether you’re organising a business trip or your own vacation, things can get complicated fast and not everyone’s equipped to handle that. When it comes to trips that span over several weeks, with planes, trains and automobiles to organise, as well as accommodation, it can get to be a hassle, especially if you’re not going alone.
It simply makes sense to hire a travel agent, an experienced professional who can assist you with your travel arrangements, which leaves you free to actually enjoy your vacation and not get stressed out getting all the details right, with the ever present fear of getting stuck in a foreign land. Not only can they help you organise things, they can also give you great advice and recommendations, some of the things you might like to go see and experience, and the places you should avoid.
There is a wealth of information on the internet, but a website can only take you so far and offer you so much in comparison to someone who does it on a daily basis.
So now the only problem you have now is… what makes a good travel agent?
The best way to start your search for a good agent is to ask the people you know. Whether it be your work colleagues or friends and family, consult the ones who travel on a regular basis, these are the ones who would give you the best recommendations. And at the very least, they can tell you which agencies to avoid and any number of other helpful details for your trip.
Once you have your recommendations, it’s time to start treading into the water and the best way to establish what kind of agent and agency you’re consulting with, is to ask a few questions.
Experience: It is recommended that you consult with an agency that has been working for over five years. While this is not a guarantee, you can be sure that they know what to do and what not to.
Qualifications: There are plenty of courses one can take to become a travel agent, but the highest certification is known as a Certified Travel Consultant. Other suitable qualifications are Certified Travel Associate and Destination Specialist
Agency Affiliation: A good number of travel agents tend to work by themselves or have their own established agency. Sometimes though, you’re better off consulting with someone in a well-established agency simply due to the amount of resources most major travel agencies have behind them. However, the “catch” is that they tend to be less flexible and may not support everything that you want to get out of your trip.
One the key things to understand when consulting a travel agent is to understand the kind of beneficial services that a travel agent can provide when planning a trip.
Sometimes you might be able to find a better deal than what your agent is offering, so it sometimes begs to question why you should take the agent’s deal at all. When consulting an agent, you sometimes have to bargain and push with them as well-connected travel agents typically have preferred suppliers that they have pre-made arrangements with. This is not always a negative thing though, as these arrangements often come with the added benefit of special travel offers or insider deals that can be passed along to you.
So, if you're thinking of planning a trip, have a quick chat with your nearest Travel Agent.
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