Unless you are confident that you can manage travel-related work and necessaries on your own, then you would not need travel agents. However, business travel agents are most relied upon by first-time business travelers because they make it relatively more comfortable to handle all work pertaining travelling which otherwise is not an easy task, especially when you are going abroad.
Business travel agents are essential, alright, but they are carrying a business, so they are most likely to be money-minded. Even if they provide you with excellent planning and travel experience, you must be cautious of how much you are spending and whether you could have had a better deal and experience had you taken precautions or raised queries.
Not everyone, especially first-time travellers, know how to deal with travel agents smartly. However, you can always take precautions so that you are under control and are not taken advantage of. In this article, I have noted down a handful of tips which can help you find a good travel agent and ensure that your trip is a good deal in terms of both experience and money.
With this, here are four tips to keep a note of.
- The Agency Is Legally Recognised: The best way to verify the legitimacy of a travel agency and its agents is through registration. For example, in India, there is a series of steps involved before a travel agency starts operating. The steps include registration of the company, service tax registration, membership to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and registration to become a government-approved Travel Agent through the Ministry of Tourism (though this is not mandatory and based on a few conditions).
The point is that irrespective of which country you live, you must check the background of the travel agent you wish to deal with. Verify the agency’s credentials before making any decision.
- Get references and read reviews
Now that you have checked the background do not make haste and presume that the travel agent offers qualitative services. You will have to consult everyone you know who might have dealt with the agent, and/or check the reviews online. I am not overstating it when I say that references and reviews are critical.
Ask people how the travel agent was, what services were provided, and whether they would recommend the agency. It is better to consider multiple feedbacks for a more exhaustive view. In addition, go to the official website of the agency or on public web pages which discuss the services of the agency. Read the reviews. Also, be careful of the paid reviews.
Naturally, there will be some level of gamble after all this research and analysis, but it shall be a well-informed decision nevertheless.
- Whether The Agent Is Well-Informed
If you wish to sign up a travel agent for your trip, you should be confident that he knows what he is doing. It is your travel agent who would decide your itinerary, from booking tickets to deciding places to visit.
Since you are entrusting such an important task to a third party, it is necessary you assure yourself that the agent knows what he is doing. Hence, it is advised that you enquire whether the agent has been to places or done things which he recommends, or whether he has credible sources of information which give him the confidence to make such claims.
- Involvement of Travel Agent
In principle, it is the agent’s duty to ensure that his clients have the best experience he could possibly offer through his schemes. Note whether he shows interest in making your travel plans and accommodating your ideas in the itinerary. He must show a certain degree of flexibility, assist you in understanding the agency’s policies and provide you guidance on anything with respect to the said matter.
Working with a travel agent can become a horrible deal if he is insensitive, arbitrary and an absolute money-sucking corporate slave. Hence, it is important that the agent does not solely see you as a money-minting machine and puts your needs and comfort on a pedestal.
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