What comes to your mind when I say ‘vacation’? A beautiful beach? Exotic animals? Pleasant weather? Snow? Or visa, hotel bookings, itineraries, invoices and flights? Well, if you belong to the latter category, I welcome you to adulthood ! You know the stress and advance plannings required for a successful vacation. And honestly, it can become very hectic. Especially if you are traveling with a group of people.
But, why bear the burden when you can leave it to the experts? Hire a travel agency to plan your next vacation. Whether you have an extravagant taste or are restricted to a budget, they will take care of everything. All you have to do is enjoy and relax.
While travel agencies can be a great help, you must steer clear from in authentic ones to avoid frauds. So, here is a list of pointers that will help you to choose the best travel agency for your next vacation.
Outline your needs
Before proceeding with you hunt for a travel agency. Sit down and make a rough outline of your requirements. It will help a lot to narrow down the best choices. These details can include
- Travel duration
- Places you want to visit
- Number of people traveling
- Accommodation specifications
- Activities that you want to try like winter sports or cruises.
Start looking in advance
It is always a good idea to start planning months prior to your vacation date. Since you are booking in advance, you can take your time to browse, compare and finalize a travel package. Several local companies use an online portfolio builder to display their products and services online. So finding one that suits your budget and travel style shouldn’t be a problem. It is also cost-effective as you can land with best deals and discounts on flights and hotels. In addition to saving bucks, you get the time to prepare yourself and save some money for the trip.
Go for local agencies
Obviously, online consultations are possible. But if you are skeptical about relying on words on a screen, local agencies are your best bet. Because you can easily visit them for face to face consultation. It may even be a more affordable option. Choosing a local travel agency will also help you know and decide better. You can easily research about them and look for any references or people who have had experience with the ones you like.
Look for certified agencies
Before you spend your hard-earned money on a travel package, make sure to find out the legitimacy of your travel agency. You can ask them for their business permits or certifications. And if they hesitate or give excuses. Know that it’s a scam. Since, legitimate travel agents and agencies are usually registered.
It is also not important for every agency to have paperwork. But, certifications can stand as proof that they mean serious business.
Do check their affiliations
Another way of finding out the authenticity of a travel agency is by going through their affiliations. Check out the hotel brands, airlines or cab rental companies that they have tie ups with. You can easily find it on their website. This becomes a deciding factor as it would not be possible for inauthentic agencies to get tie-ups with other brands in the market.
Ask for their specialization
Now, you may want a beach holiday with provisions for scuba diving and paragliding. Or, you may want to go for a safari to get a glimpse of an elephant herd. Not every agency will be able to give you the best holiday experience. So it is important to know the specialization of your travel agency as it can impact your vacation time.
Ask them about their niche, for example: romantic, retirement, business etc. And this will help you get a clear picture of which travel agency to go for.
Customer service is a must
A 24/7 customer service should be your priority while looking for a travel agency. Also, it should be smooth and easy. Some agencies also have the facility of chat service for their customers. Problems can occur even while you are on travel. And you wouldn’t want a customer service that never connects or keeps on redirecting.
Availability of customization
Travel agencies should be able to adapt to your needs. Most of them have travel policies for this purpose. Browse through the inventory and policies of an agency. See if they allow customers to choose their hotel and flights or if there are any specific criteria s for specific customers.
Ease of booking
Ultimately, your experience with a travel agency should be easy. Since you are looking for a hassle free option and not one that adds to your stress. You should be able to self book and keep a check on all the expenditure. Some agencies make travel convenient with mobile apps and by sending notifications on whatsapp.
Now you know who to trust with your holiday plans. So next time you want a vacation, keep these points in mind for hiring a travel agency.