A Travel Agent is worth their weight in gold. They are a library of knowledge and first-hand experience that can eliminate the stress of planning a holiday yourself. The million-dollar question is, how do you find the right Travel Agent for you?
First, you need to start with finding the right Travel Agency (the business) before selecting your very own Travel Agent (the person). Whilst there are hundreds to choose from, pending on what holiday you are seeking, there are agencies that specialise in niche markets. This could be honeymoon destinations, luxury travel, backpacking, adventure travel, and the list goes on. Understanding what type of holiday you want will go a long way to aligning yourself with the right Travel Agency and ultimately the right Travel Agent.
Travel Agencies aren’t limited to shopfronts these days, so you can connect with your agency of choice online. If they that don’t have a niche, never fear as they are equally as valuable as others however, you should then focus on finding the best Travel Agent within the agency that you can gel with and who understands your requirements. A little more on this later.
Once you have narrowed down your selection of Travel Agents, we recommend speaking to the Manager or senior Travel Agent and ask them a few questions.
Below are a few recommended questions to confirm they know their stuff:
- Has anyone in your agency visited my chosen location and when were they last there?
- Has anyone in your agency booked this type of trip recently? Do you have a review from the client?
- Can you advise on some of the key things to do in this location or type of trip?
These are simple questions that should be easily answered. Once you way up your selection of Travel Agencies and have narrowed it down to one, go for it and set up an appointment.
The next step is to align yourself with the right Travel Agent within the chosen Travel Agency.
Here are just some of the key qualities we believe a Travel Agent should have:
They must be able to build rapport and trust. A skilled Travel Agent can gel with many personality types, so you need to find one you feel comfortable with. You want to find a Travel Agent that has a genuine passion and enthusiasm for travel and who is there to share in the planning experience with you. Let’s face it, you are about to spend a substantial amount of money on something that might be a once in a lifetime holiday. The last thing you need is someone who doesn’t share a common interest in an authentic travel experiences.
Clear and consistent communication.
There are many questions that need answering when booking a holiday. Your Travel Agent should be asking questions and keep you updated regularly. As it is likely that not all of your desired wish list will be available, some alternatives or compromises may need to be taken. This is where communication is key. The biggest frustration from clients we see is when they are not kept up to date with the status of the booking or the Travel Agent fails to update the client by an agreed time.
One single trip will usually consist of at least three types of travel content. This is air, hotel and ground transport. With each piece of content usually being booked independently, good record keeping and itinerary planning are key. Each booking needs to connect perfectly. Also, due dates are a critical step in successful travel planning. Not all content needs to be instantly purchased through a Travel Agent, which is a big benefit, giving you time to pay outstanding amounts. You will want to ensure your Travel Agent doesn’t miss any critical dates, like letting your airfare auto-cancel because payment has not been made. You also want to seek a Travel Agent that will go the extra mile and provide a checklist of things to do, investigate, or have completed prior to your departure. This could be information around insurance, vaccinations, visa requirements, destination safety information, airport departure taxes, tips and tricks etc.
A great Travel Agent has the ability to think on their feet and adapt to new situations. Whether it’s a forced schedule change, an unusual request, or a missed connection, quick-thinking is essential. They will be calm and navigate emergencies like a professional so you won’t be left feeling stressed by any surprise changes.
Don’t rush your decision on what airfare or hotel to book just because it’s a quick and easy choice. You will want to read reviews, search the supplier online, look at photos or ask for further detail before committing. A good Travel Agent won’t force you into committing right there and then. They will instead support you in your decision making process.
We hope you found this information helpful. For more travel industry insights head to our blog page or subscribe to keep up to date.