Travel agents, recently known as travel advisers are indeed special kinds of people, they’re very helpful in different travel cases.
For times like when you have a complicated itinerary, don’t have enough time to plan your trip or looking to get lower prices on your bookings.
However, in the process of choosing a travel adviser, you have to be very thorough and really vet process the search due to the high level of quack individuals claiming to be professionals.
Somethings to consider when you are on the quest for your dream travel adviser are discussed below.
1- Try looking locally.
Try to see if you can get a travel adviser locally, this will provide you the opportunity to meet with them one-on-one and you’re more likely to gain a better perspective of who they are, how they work and if they can really be of service to you.
You may also look online by zip code or ask your friends and family about any travel adviser they’ve worked with and would recommend if you’re not sure where to start.
Side note: Ask questions.
Don’t be shy about asking any and all of your questions, observe how they respond back and give suggestions. Are they shallow and aggressive or are they reasonable and intellectual in their responses, these are things to note as you interview your travel adviser prospects.
Some questions you may want to ask include:
• Questions about the financial coverage of their quotes.
• Questions about surcharges.
• Questions about your budget and their rates.
• Questions about any incentive programs or overrides they may be participate in.
• Questions about their specialized mode of travel.
• Questions about their office hours and when they can be contacted.
These questions along with any others you have will help you learn more about the travel adviser you’re speaking to.
Also don’t feel pressured to purchase anything from this prospect yet as your visit is just to learn what they’re all about and if this is really the person you wish to do business with.
pro tip: Request for client references.
A good and experienced travel agent will likely have a couple of previous clients they’ve worked with in the past.
By pointing you to these people, you not only have the chance to ask about their experience with the travel adviser but the fact that they’ve linked you with a client reference in it’s own is an added bonus point.
2- Determine your preferred level of activity.
It’s also crucial to determine your desired level of activity, in other words, how involved you want to be in times this travel adviser will be working with you.
Side note: Working styles differ.
Some travel advisers like to be very intricate about all aspects of a trip whilst others may be more laid back and passive.
Determining this can help in deciding if that’s the kind of travel adviser you really want or not, you may also learn a bit about they’re working style when you’re speaking with a client reference.
Pro tip: Discuss communication preferences.
This is particularly important in certain situations like booking of a lodging early, times when you’re in a little over your head abroad or if you’re worried you haven’t insured the appropriate things you should when you were planning out your trip.
You should talk to the travel adviser about how they prefer to communicate so you can be rest assured they’re always close by when you may need to contact them if you really do end up choosing this travel adviser.
3- Brace yourself for fees.
Some people can get easily scared of by the cost mentioned by a travel adviser when it comes to things like making reservations, however this is because of their roles in the travel planning process.
Side note: Travel advisers are resourceful.
The really good ones have a reputation for going out their way to have things sorted out in your best interests, another reason for the high rates is because they’re professionals.
In addition, they have access to resources you probably don’t, they’ll be able make bookings and reservations at a substantially lower price point than if you tried doing it yourself.
Pro tip: Consider your destination.
If you know you’ll be visiting a complex or very foreign destination to you, then you may want to consider getting a travel adviser who’s already based there.
If this isn’t possible or convenient, then you may discuss with the ones locally about your destination and if they’ve visited that place before or if they’re wiling to help you do some research into that destination.
4- Figure out if you even need one.
Searching for and choosing a desired travel adviser can be a little time consuming and so its best to look at your travel schedule and needs to determine if you’d really like to get one.
Side note: Consider the complexity of the trip.
For travels that has to do with a complex travel itinerary or involves more than one person like getting group package deals or something like a full blown family travel. You may want consider getting a travel adviser.
Pro tip: Ask for certifications.
Another thing that sets apart professional travel advisers from the more sloppy ones is their work ethic and proficiency, this can be quickly comprehended by learning about certification(s) awarded to them.
Some certifications you may want to be on the lookout for include:
• ASTA – American society of travel agents.
• CTC – Certified travel counselor.
The process of picking a travel adviser can be sometimes tedious, but its better than paying for the service of an apathetic or inexperienced one.
With adequate research and due vet processing, you’ll find your dream travel agent and it’ll really be worth it. Keep calm and enjoy your travels.