The internet has made it possible to score some pretty awesome deals, but travel agencies still have many benefits. First of all, they still have the ability to create a well-priced travel package. Second, they can help you plan a vacation based on your interests. They can even make quick changes when your plans change. However, not all travel agents are on the up and up. The following are just a few tips on how to choose a travel agent you can trust.
Do Your Homework
It pays to do your homework for a number of reasons. First of all, you’ll have a much better idea of how much your vacation should cost. This will let you know if you’re better off with or without a travel agent and whether or not they’ve giving you the best deals. Sometimes a package deal may sound like a great deal, but once it’s broken down, you realize that the prices aren’t that great. Write down your research so that you can get the best deal.
Search Out ASTA Agencies
The American Society of Travel Agents, otherwise known as the ASTA, is well-known for their customer service skills. As you make your list of companies to call, look for travel agents that carry this logo. In most cases, you will get the best deals and best service. If you don’t, you can always report the agency to the society and BBB as a way to warn other travelers.
Make a Few Calls
Before your hand over your vacation plans, make a few calls. If you’re told that the agents are busy, or get an answering machine and your call is never returned, the company is not trustworthy. While the company may do a good job, they are obviously overbooked and will not be able to provide excellent service. Instead, you want a company that answers or returns your call quickly and is able to put together a package within a 24-48 hour window.
Choose an Agent That Is Quick on His Feet
A good travel agent will be able to make changes at a moment’s notice. If he calls you back with the plans for your trip and something doesn’t work for your schedule, he should be able to quickly make changes with a backup plan.
Avoid Agents That Offer Few Options
If the agent seems stuck on getting you to stay at a certain hotel or take advantage of certain deals, the agent may be working solely for the commission, rather than providing an excellent vacation experience. A trustworthy travel agent should provide you with a number of options that match up with your wants and needs.
A travel agent can be a great help when planning the perfect vacation. However, not all travel agents have your best interests in mind. Before you hand over the cash, make sure this is someone you can trust.
About the Author: Lavenia Oakden loves to travel and is currently planning a China tour. She uses a very small, local travel agency and hopes to one day become an agent or tour guide herself.