5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Travel Agent

Choosing a travel agent is a significant part of planning your trip. Online search engines have made it easier to book hotels, flights and rental cars on your own. However, there are many benefits that a travel agent can offer you that you can’t get through a search engine. Travel agents can meet your specific needs by getting to know you. You can’t get that on Google! When you are choosing a travel agent, there are five questions that you should ask before you start planning your trip with them. 

1. Ask If They Have Visited Your Destination 

Books and online tours just don't do the actual destination justice. While training and book knowledge is helpful and essential, having a travel agent that has been to your desired destination will make planning your trip much easier. Your travel agent may even be able to give you personalized recommendations for hotels, restaurants, and things to do. It’s best to use a travel agent that has been to your destination within the past few years. They will be able to help you the most with planning your trip. 

2. Ask About Fees 

Travel agents either earn an hourly or flat rate, or they work solely on commissions. Be sure to be vigilant when inquiring about fees. Ask about booking fees and cancellation fees. You don’t want to be hit with any surprises at the last minute that could dip into your vacation fund. Many travel agents want to be sure you can commit to the fees before they start working with you. Make sure you have all the details before you start. 

3. Ask Your Travel Agent What Services They Offer 

Not all travel agents offer the same level of services. Most agents will book flights and hotels, but some may go above and beyond and book dinner reservations and other activities. Some Disney travel agents even plan their clients’ trips right down to the rides they will go on! The more in-depth the itinerary, the higher the fees will be. However, having a detailed itinerary before you leave for your trip can ease the stress of traveling to a new destination. 

4. Ask About Their Qualifications 

It is perfectly fine to ask your prospective travel agent about their experience. Experience can come in many forms and may include travel, seminars, and years of experience as a travel agent. Ask about their training and inquire about how often they attend seminars that keep them up to date on the latest travel trends. 

5. Ask About Their Response Time 

How fast does the travel agent return calls and emails? While no travel agent will be available 24 hours a day, using a travel agent that doesn’t respond to your calls and emails within a day may be troublesome for some people. Last minute questions days before the trip need to be answered quickly in order to make changes to the itinerary. A travel agent that is able to answer your inquiries quickly will make the planning process go a lot smoother. 

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Posted on Feb 19 2019

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