How to choose a travel agency

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When traveling for business or pleasure, many people use the Internet to book flights and accommodations for themselves. It is convenient and requires minimal time investment. But some travelers lose good deals because they don’t know the inside information big travel agents have.

Certified travel professionals have an edge in the digital world. They work for you to ensure you have the best deal and back up their bookings with personal service that cannot be achieved by booking online on your own.

Travel agents are professionals who know all the tricks from the book when it comes to making sure a trip goes smoothly. For a fee, these agents will plan every aspect of your trip, leaving it to you to relax. Better yet, if something goes wrong, your agent will be a phone call away with a solution.

Here’s how to find a good travel agent:

What there is to know

Eleven states require travel agents to be state licensed. Many of these states only require the agency to have a license and pay a fee. These stipulations offer no real protection to travellers. There are other ways to find out if a travel agent is competent, knowledgeable and honest.

First, find out if the agency is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents or the Association of Retail Travel Agents. Next, ask if the agent is a member of a travel consortium. Members of a consortium have strong bargaining power and will often have access to better travel deals.

Next, ask for referrals from customers and wholesalers. When you contact these suppliers, talk to the sales manager. This person should be happy to answer questions about their relationship with the agency.

Of course, a travel agency should have emergency contact information available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The agency should also have a toll-free telephone number. If you plan to travel abroad, choose an agency that allows you to contact them for free in case of problems.

It is generally best to work with one agent. This person must have a phone extension and email address. Reputable agencies have specialized email addresses. Don’t trust agencies that have email from free services, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, or Gmail.

Specialized travel

Anyone traveling abroad should have up-to-date information on political conditions. Good agents provide their clients with such information.

High and specialized holidays require specific knowledge and reputable suppliers. Good travel agents will give you many options. They will also have information on US State Department travel advisories.

Cruise passengers can also benefit from exceptional offers when they use a travel agency. Members of the Cruise Line Society of Travel Agents can offer substantial savings or offers.

But no matter what type of trip you’re on, a qualified travel agent will have access to information about safety standards and industry reputation. They can help you avoid fraudulent providers and scams.

Whether you are planning a relaxing vacation or an adventurous getaway, your stay can be an incredible experience. Talented travel agents can provide the necessary advice and support. They will take care of the details so you can relax and enjoy your free time.

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