Educational Consumer Tips
Author: Better Business Bureau
A travel agency is can be an important resource for consumers looking to travel. A reliable agent will help plan and find great deals for flights, hotels, cruises and excursions. Travel agencies are available to make planning a trip less stressful. It is important to carefully research any travel agency before hiring to avoid scams and unreliable agencies.
Tips for Finding a Travel Agency:
Ask for Recommendations. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, ask friends and family if they have had any great experiences with travel agents. You will want to choose an agent that can specialize in your type of travel or destination. Check the agency’s accreditation, ratings, and reviews with the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org.
Compare Fees. Hiring a travel agency will allow you to save time and money. Find out what different agencies charge for the amount of planning and booking you desire. Fees will depend on what aspects the agent books and how much research the agent is doing for the trip.
Check for Credentials. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is the largest travel association with members including travel agencies, airlines, hotels, cruises, rental car companies and tours. Look for a travel agency that is a member of ASTA. ASTA members have many connections and can offer the best deal for your money. Check if the agent is a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC). Agents that have obtained CTC have passed an exam and have at least 5 years experience of full-time industry work.
Look Locally. By working with a local travel agency, it will make communication more convenient and personal. If you are looking for a specialty travel agency outside your area, make sure to have a direct phone number to easily get in contact with the agent whenever it is needed.
Inform Your Agent. The travel agent should ask many questions about the travelers and the type of travel. Notify the agent of the planned budget for the trip and the interests of the travelers. The travel agency will also be able to steer travelers towards appropriate hotels and sites.
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