Are you planning to take an extended vacation? If you’re ready to cash in your personal days and spend them on a travel odyssey, take heed. There are a few details you need to keep in mind. One of them will be the service that hooks up your travel. Here are some handy tips on how to choose a reputable and professional travel agent.
Make Sure Your Agent is ASTA Certified
One of the most important things you should do is to make sure that your travel agent is fully ASTA certified. ASTA is the American Society of Travel Advisors. True to its name, this body works to certify travel advisors with its personal seal of approval. This approval is not won unless and until they meet the highest standards.
This certification is more crucial than you may realize. How often have you heard horrific human trafficking stories where a shady travel agent was the connecting link? These tragedies happen a great deal more than you may care to think about.
ASTA can’t be present to certify every travel agent with a seal of legitimacy. But if you check the web, you’ll notice that almost every travel agent site that you run across will have this certification posted for all to see. The reason for this is clear. Certification from this body is a sign of reputability and credibility.
If you don’t see the certification on a travel agent’s site, it doesn’t mean that they are a shady or unprofessional agency. They may be brand new and still working to earn their ASTA badge. But whatever the reason may be, it’s probably a good idea to keep surfing until you come across an agency that can boast this official seal of quality.
Make Sure Your Agent is Well Reviewed
Along with their certification from ASTA, the travel agent you choose should have plenty of independently verified reviews. If you put in a search for “local travel agent,” you should come upon dozens, if not hundreds, of reviews. Every agent in your vicinity that is worth dealing with should be reviewed at least a few times.
Reviews can do more than just give you a clue of who is legit and who isn’t. They can also give you an insight into just how professional and responsive the agent in question really is. This will help you steer clear of agents who may do all of the things you ask of them but in a way that is overpriced or blatantly unfriendly.
If the reviews you read of a particular agent are uniformly, or nearly all, positive, chances are good that you will get a fair deal. If, on the other hand, the reviews are largely negative, it’s a hint that this agent may not be right for your personal needs.
Always Make Sure to Price Check
Speaking of overpriced, this is one of the biggest concerns a traveler needs to look out for. You want to have plenty of money to spend on various activities during your trip. The last thing you want to do is go hungry or stay stuck in your hotel room the whole time because you spent all your money just getting to your travel location.
The way to avoid this is to make sure to take the time and effort to do a thorough price check on all of your available travel agent options. This will save you from being gouged on a travel package that may cost hundreds, or even thousands, less than a comparable offer from another agency.
Seeing is believing when it comes to money. It will always be up to you to follow these handy tips so that you can enjoy your vacation to the maximum. Be careful and stay safe.
The Time to Choose Your Agent is Now
There is no time like the present to get started on planning for your dream vacation. It will be up to you to decide where you want to go and just how soon you desire to leave. Along with these details, you will also need to decide which travel agency you wish to coordinate your travel through. Choose wisely in order to pick a winner.