How to Select a Travel Agent

Planning a vacation abroad can be time-consuming and complicated, particularly with so many on-line websites claiming to have the best deals and lowest prices. No need to fret. There are still old-fashion travel agents who actually book vacations for a living, and they can make your planning much easier. They tend to offer personal service which is so lacking on websites and typically are familiar with transportation, lodging, packages and best costs.

Get a referral

Since travel agents can play such an integral role in your travels plans, make sure to find someone you trust. Talk to friends, family, or business associates for a referral. A personal recommendation demonstrates that the travel agent has satisfied customers.

Make sure they are licensed

Before choosing any travel agency, make sure they are properly licensed and certified. Realize, however, that even with the proper certifications, you are not guaranteed the best price or the most courteous service….you are just assured the individual is properly authorized to service your travel needs.

Know what you want

Before you approach a travel agent, be sure you have an idea of exactly what you want. Develop an outline for your trip. Determine where you’d like to go, how you’d like to get there, and how long you would like to be gone. Make sure to include your travel budget in your outline, because as you know, the cost of a trip can vary tremendously depending on your expectations and available funds. Once provided with this information, a good agent will gladly put together sample itineraries that include transportation, accommodations, and estimated costs.

Do your homework

Every successful trip requires several things: proper planning, good advice, detailed research of available options, and patience. Of course, the more time you allow for planning your trip, the more options you will have available to you. Last-minute planning often limits your choices, so plan ahead.

Follow-up

Once that perfect travel agent has planned your perfect trip, follow up. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork to enter different countries. Check to see if you require immunizations. Confirm your reservations. Check to make sure there are no hidden fees with the airline and hotel or ship. While it is up to the travel agent to plan the trip, it is ultimately up to you to arrive prepared and make the trip a pleasant experience – without unexpected surprises.

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