Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Some of us remember walking down the street and seeing one or two travel agencies on Main Street.  We would drop in to pick up brochures, ask questions, and to have airline tickets printed for our upcoming vacation.  Well, travel agents are still out there, but they're not all working in an office on Main Street anymore.

Many, like me, work from a home office, where customers don't drop in anymore.  They find us on the internet, or through referrals from friends and family.  The best travel agents get new customers because of word of mouth.  I work very hard to ensure that my clients trips are amazing and that the process is effortless for them.  Here are some things you can do to make sure you are getting the most of your travel agent:

1.  Communicate:  Tell the agent all about yourself - your likes, dislikes, preferences, hobbies.  If I don't have a good idea of  who you really are, I can't put together recommendations that will truly fit your lifestyle. 
2.  Answer all of our questions:  Don't skimp on the details.  I need to know about your past vacations - both good and bad.  This will help me to narrow down the millions of choices that are out there. 
3.  Be up front about budget:  Don't pretend you have no limit if you truly do.  There are many itineraries out there that will fit for many budgets, but I have to know what you are expecting in order to give you achievable options.
4.  Don't forget the details:  Airlines, resorts, and cruise lines all have cancellation penalties.  It's best to know up front all of the logistics in order to make sure all of the details are correct.
5.  Doublecheck the pricing but don't overdo it:  You will most likely want to do some of your own research.  Go ahead and do this, but realize that you may not be comparing apples to apples.  That price you see online will most likely be the very least expensive option available, but usually does not include some additional hidden costs (such as taxes, insurance, etc).  In addition, working with a travel agent can sometimes earn you some perks, as well as personal assistance when you need it.
6.  When something goes wrong, who you gonna call:  Call me right when you see something has gone awry.  I may be able to help you fix the problem right away.  Waiting until you return home and then having to go back to work it out is not always successful. 
7.  Don't assume anything:  Ask questions and make sure that everything you want is included in the package you ultimately purchase.  Don't assume that just because you said you want a nice place with a beach for some R&R, tha tyou are going to a remote destination that's deadly quiet 24/7.  This goes back to the initial consultation and making sure that your agent understands exactly what you are looking for.
8.  Value their knowledge:  A good travel agent has either visited the place you want to go to or has associates that have.  I have a great network of agents with 1st person knowledge about hotels and destinations than you could ever find (or trust) on the internet.
9.  Give feedback:  When you return from your trip, send me an honest and detailed description of your trip.  Tell me what went right, but also what went wrong.  This will allow me to know what to watch for as I am planning your next trip.
10.  Find a good travel agent:  Understand that I have been trained in my field, and that I am consistently taking continuing education classes, online research and familiarization trips to stay on top of the travel industry news.

Call me at 210-858-6399 or email me at for your FREE consultation.

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