Guide to Choosing a Travel Agency: 4 Tips (2020 Edition)
Every single D I Y -interested vacationers are starting to think about hiring a guide. How to Do It:
Don't be shy about including a friend in your story
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Initial release: April 27, 2021 A new version was released on July 27, 2021.
You want to go on another trip, huh? It's not just you In spite of setbacks, delays, and pauses, the news that the European Union will allow vaccinated travelers in has encouraged many to start making real plans for a summer getaway. or even take the plunge and schedule those once-in-a-lifetime trips
However, getting from one place to another is still no picnic. The virus is spreading to new parts of the world at an alarming rate, bringing with it a plethora of new regulations and restrictions (complicated by a surge in demand for short-term housing, transportation, and other rental services). This fact of life has served as motivation for numerous D I Y -inclined vacationers to think about hiring a travel agent or travel adviser for the first time to alleviate some of the burden of vacation preparation.
In most cases, a travel agent will not charge a fee for their services (though some may charge a booking fee of $25 to $100, depending on the complexity of your trip) because they are compensated by commissions from the establishments they recommend, such as hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, airlines, and so on.
Erika Richter, senior communications director of ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors), compared finding a good adviser to looking for a new hairstylist. You should look for a companion who can appreciate your unique sense of style. ”
Ms Tips for finding a travel advisor who "gets" you and your ideal vacation were provided by both Richter and Misty Belles, MD of global public relations for the luxury travel agency network Virtuoso.
I would recommend starting with recommendations from people you know and trust. And, as Ms. Ladies Said "If you have a friend or family member who has recently used a travel agent and been happy with their service, that can be a good starting point for you to find a good one, too." ”
If that is not possible (or if your loved ones don't share your passion for travel), Ms. Richter recommended strongly that people look for nearby establishments.
"It's more crucial than ever that we rally behind local mom-and-pop shops," she said. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) maintains a searchable directory that can help you locate local advisors, though a simple web search will probably do the trick as well, Ms. Richter stated
You can also look for a travel agent by the destination or destinations in which they have expertise. Is there a particular Caribbean country you're hoping to visit? You should hire a travel consultant who has planned multiple trips to the country and who has established relationships with locals. While some travel agents focus on cruises, others are experts in planning vacations to Disney theme parks. If you want to plan a trip that falls outside of an advisor's specialty, they will either find someone in their network who can help you or do the legwork for you.
As a first step in working with a travel advisor, "choosing someone who specializes in a destination is a good first step," Ms. The ladies remarked But after a while of working together, your adviser will become an expert on you. ”
When discussing your needs, it may be helpful to research the group(s) with which your adviser is affiliated. Whether they are sole proprietors, part of a small team, or a large agency, travel agents are almost always members of a larger organization, such as Virtuoso, which includes over a thousand agencies from 50 different countries, or the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).
Although I am an advocate for ASTA, I believe it is vital to investigate an advisor's credentials. It was Richter who stated Having an adviser who is a member of an organization like the American Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (ASTA) can give you peace of mind that they have met certain standards and can help mediate any disputes that may arise between you. Some groups focus on a specific niche in the tourism industry; Virtuoso, for example, caters to the affluent traveler while other groups may emphasize outdoor excursions, family vacations, and so on.
One of an advisor's main selling points is access to traveler perks through their networks.
Ms. Polley suggests, "Ask them what kinds of benefits they get from their professional networks." Richter declared. "Who wouldn't want free upgrades, free breakfast, and extended check-out times?" ”
Would you rather take long, relaxing trips or short, hectic ones? Itineraries jammed with stops at famous landmarks and other points of interest Will you be taking a trip with just your significant other, or will you be bringing the whole family? Building rapport with your adviser (and giving them the information they need to plan a great trip for you) is greatly aided when you take the time to explain what you're looking for in a vacation and learn that their travel style is similar to yours.
Is there a planning fee, and how much is it? I'm curious as to the types of trips they've organized in the past.
When planning a trip, "be really upfront about your budget, and be sure that that is something they can help you make the most of," Ms. Richter stated
Ms Belles suggested that the advisor be questioned on their preferred modes of transportation and vacation spots.
Get to know them a little by conducting some interviews. She then added, "You can see if there are any similarities there." However, make sure they're asking you plenty of questions as well.
There's cause for concern if they aren't," Ms. Belles An advisor's primary goal should be to understand the specific needs of each client. ”
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