Trip planning is quite literally a full-time job, so it’s hard to do a good job when you’re bogged down with your other life responsibilities. Use the following five suggestions to help you find a travel agent who can expertly take care of your needs!
1. Interview At Least Three Agents
Chances are you’re going need to meet with at least a few agents before making a final decision. It’s important to get clear on the fees and qualifications of each person you interview so you can easily compare agents later on. It’s easier to evaluate travel agents in person where you can get a feel for their personality and see how the rest of the offices runs. Warning signs to look out for are agents who seem more interested in selling you their services than helping you fulfill your travel needs.
Try and find a travel agent you feel comfortable speaking with and who seem genuinely interested in helping you out. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find an agent after your first few interviews. If you don’t like what you see, don’t be afraid to move on.
2. Prioritize Local Agents Over Online
Although it’s possible to have a good travel agent experience online, it’s much easier to navigate the process in person. The ability to meet in person, look your agent in the eye and feel their energy cannot be substituted. Some agents even make personal visits and can meet you at home, work or wherever is convenient.
Dealing with large travel agencies online often puts you in contact with someone reading from a script and trying to sell you the highest value package. Interacting with your travel agent in person is an excellent way to smooth your trip planning process.
3. Evaluate Their Communication Skills
Nailing down complex itineraries requires a lot of expertise and ability to communicate. Feeling lost when your travel agent is explaining your trip is never a good sign. Quality travel agents know how to explain things in simple ways that alleviate the stress of planning your own trip. There’s no sense in seeing a travel agent if you feel overwhelmed with details afterward. Good travel agents know how to communicate in a way that gets you excited about your impending trip!
4. Research Their Certification
If a travel agent is offended by you inquiring about their certifications, then you don’t need to work with them. Certifications in the travel agency industry are necessary to keep subpar agents and companies out of the industry. Depending on your country, your travel agent should belong to at least one or two travel agent associations. These associations operate with a code of ethics and offer courses that help travel agents become better at their job. When interviewing candidates, get their certifications and see how each agent stacks up next to each other.
5. Make Sure They’re Knowledgeable About Your Destination
One of the best things to look for is a travel agent who specializes in your destination. Travel agents who are familiar with a single designation can help you get the best deals and plan the best experience in that area. Travel agents can use their destination connections to make your trip easier and smoother. Not every agent is going to specialize in your destination so you’ll have to do some searching.
All in all, a little bit of extra effort in finding a travel agent makes the experience much more relaxed. Working with the right travel agent opens up opportunities to save money and enjoy your destination in new ways. Remember these tips when looking for a travel agent!