Travel Agencies - How to choose a travel agency before your trip and what you must know
Many times, when planning a trip abroad, our main concern is the cost of the plane ticket and searching for deals. Oftentimes, travelers do not consider the travel agencies through which the actual deals are made.
As an experienced travel agency, we recommend that you place an emphasis on the travel agency when planning long trips to destinations like South America, the U.S., Africa or other distant places. When your destination is far, you become more dependent on your travel agency. You may need help navigating through issues that may arise, such as help in finding internal flights, connecting flights that have been delayed or bumped earlier, solving problems with hotel reservations or other scenarios.
Sometimes, it is worth paying a little extra for the confidence of being in good hands. It is comforting to know that there is someone behind you who will help you receive the best service, is prepared to help you, responds quickly and takes care of any need that may arise.
If you are looking for a flight to South America or any other destination, the ticket price is a very important parameter to take into account. Usually, the ticket price is representative of the travel agent's ability to find inexpensive deals. An experienced travel agency will be able to find deals for traveling abroad and airline tickets at reduced rates from the airlines.
The Agency's Standards of Service
You can measure the level of service offered by the travel agency and their agents by a number of parameters:
The agency's office hours and availability, response time in dealing with needs that arise, the ability to reach them while abroad through any medium (phone, email, available cell phone of a contact person), the courtesy of the travel agents, the speed of service and so on.
An agency's professionalism is measured not only by their ability to find good deals abroad and purchase inexpensive airline tickets. A professional agency should share important information with you, even if you did not request it. For example, they may offer suggestions of what to take on a trip, where you should visit, what special attractions you should see and what you should avoid.
Another way to gauge an agency's professionalism is the number of options and solutions the travel agents offer you to address your needs. For example, outlining a flight route that includes internal flights and connecting flights in accordance with your schedule.
The Choice is Yours
Your personal feelings and intuition regarding the travel agent is very important. Sometimes, travelers will recommend a travel agency or give a negative review based on their own experiences. It's likely that your experience will be different from theirs and you may have a different view of the agency's professionalism. Therefore, you must take any recommendation with a grain of salt. The attention you are shown and the experience you feel is personal and unique to you.
Each travel agency has a variety of agents, and all are human. One agent may place the emphasis on enjoying your trip and will focus on giving tips about the destination location and forging a personal bond with you.
Another agent might determine that the price of the airline ticket and finding good deals abroad is the most important factor for you.
The choice here is yours. You decide what is important to you, whether it is cheap flights, personally connecting with your agent, speed of service, response time from the agency or other factors.
What things are important to tell your agent?
When you consult with a travel agent about travel times and the length of your stay, it is important to tell them what your priorities are. Where do you plan on visiting, what festivals would you like to participate in and what museum is a must-see? Based on this information, the agent will build a travel route tailored to fit your schedule and personal budget.
In order to make your choice easier when choosing a travel agency through which to purchase airline tickets, clearly outline what you feel is important to you:
“It is important to me that they accompany me throughout the trip,” “It is crucial that the price is low,” “I am interested in having a flexible flight timetable with the option of changing the dates.”
After you tell the agents what you are looking for and what is important to you, you can determine who reacts the best to what you requested and who best responded to the needs you expressed.