With so many options to choose from, selecting the right destination and the best way to get there could be overwhelming. Travel agents and counselors are supposed to make the task easier. But how do you choose a travel agency or a tourism professional worth trusting? The answer is simple, you have to do enough research and you have to ask the right questions.
What do You Want? Define Your Goals in Advance
To pick a good agent, you need to have a pretty good idea about what you want.
Would you be looking into luxury travel or an adventure experience? Or maybe you need assistance from professionals that specialize in corporate travel? The very definition of the trip you’re planning to take will limit the number of choices.
Sit down and think carefully about the parameters of the travel. While some travel agents do work with all kinds of travelers, others have a niche. A niche professional is much more aware of the opportunities that will address all of your preliminary requirements.
Look for Online Reviews and Testimonials
The experience of people who have already used the services of a certain agency can be quite enlightening.
Luckily, such information is very easy to find online in this day and age.
Go through multiple testimonials and customer reviews. Where were the people traveling? What aspects of the interaction with the agency did they enjoy? What were the main failures? Did the agency keep all of its promises and were the prices competitive?
These are some of the questions you may want to have answered via online reviews and testimonials.
When exploring such accounts, make sure that you’re going through authentic reviews. Often, these are written by agency employees themselves or the competition. If you can verify a certain claim from two or more sources, chances are that the information is trustworthy.
Interview the Agent and Ask Questions
The first two steps should be sufficient to narrow down the number of options. Once you do, you will have to interview the agents to make sure they know how to provide what you’re looking for.
Find out how long they’ve been in business and which types of travel they specialize in. Inquire about the services and the types of assistance you can count on if you book through the respective agency. The booking fees and the ability of the agent to offer exactly what you’re looking for should be examined.
Make sure that the communication style makes you feel comfortable and that all of your questions are answered. An agent that seems distracted or that’s providing generic answers is obviously not the best match.
Transparency is Everything!
When working with a reputable agency, you should be provided with a quote and an agreement to sign before making the payment. This agreement should list all aspects of the interaction (the length of stay, the method of transportation, the hotel and room specifics, additional services like sightseeing, whether travel insurance is included in the package, etc.).
Go through the agreement carefully before signing anything. The fee structure should be clear and presented in an understandable manner. If you worry about hidden charges, clarify those in advance or look for another professional to organize your trip. Read more on choosing an agent from our article on Corporate Traveling
And for more good travel tips go to Mashcor