A Must Read – How to Choose a Traveling Agent

There is a rush all over which is typical of the festive season, and despite the best intentions, in order to start early to beat it, it may sometimes come down with to employing the services of a travel agent to be able to make all the travel arrangements for a planned trip.

A travel agent may also be able to come through with special offers and bargains that could help to make a saving, such as airline ticket discounts because they buy in bulk.

An agent will also save you the trouble of making several stops to make ticket bookings, accommodation arrangements and transfers to other places, if visiting more than one holiday destination.

Agents also have the rates of a wide ranger of destinations and ready packages of various budgets, which saves one the hustle of shopping around several places to find affordable destinations.

Services Offered

Ask about the specific services offered. You may not get the cost of each services separately, such as for hotel bookings and ticketing but will always get billed jointly.

Like all other sectors, there are high and low end travel agents, and choice depends on your budget. Be clear about the services you are paying for. If for example, you will be staying in more than one place over your vacation, be sure that airport and hotel transfers have been included.

As you make payments for accommodation and travel, which you will normally pay for together with the travel agents fees so that they can pay on your behalf, ensure that extras such as park fees are included. Others also offer extras like travel insurance while some do not.

Shoddy Services

This is the case with every industry out there, you may have the misfortune of dealing with an agency that fails to deliver, for example, in terms of accommodation that turns out to be less than what it was made out to be or bookings in places that turn out to be unavailable due to overbooking or other reasons, thus messing up a much anticipated holiday.

Larger travel agents with several branches or those running a desk within hotels or airports may be at hand to immediately sort out the discrepancies.

If not, it is within your rights to seek compensation or other form of redress if not from the agent then through your tourism board.

Choosing an Agent

Having decided what kind of holiday it will be, the next step is top find a fairly priced agent. Ask within your work place about the company that offers work-related travel. Ask a friend or relative about a travel agent they have used before or normally use. A word of mouth recommendation from another persons pleasant experiences is perhaps the best.

Do it yourself

For local trips to a single destination, such as a trip to a resort at the coast by air, simply planning ahead and early bookings with an airline and a hotel should be easy enough to handle personally.

Trips that will inconvenience more, such as a one to the coast combined with a trip to a game reserve or other bush destination or a regional trip, are best left to an agent to organize details such as transfers and tours to places of interest in a place one is not familiar with.

Do it now

Whatever your plan for the holiday is, it is never to early to make arrangements, especially during the festive season; there is only so much even the best travel agent can do to make things happen in the high season.

The Internet Advantage for Local Travel Agents

Travel and the Skeptical Public

There is no question that the internet has changed the travel business. Online airplane reservations and electronic tickets combined with the loss of the commission structure has taken a primary travel function away from traditional travel agents and automated the service. People can shop for hotel and car reservations on their own, on the web. Consumers can book vacation arrangements and cruises with a mouse and a keyboard.

And they can also get badly burned. It seems that the anonymity of the web has spawned unscrupulous business operators in every industry and the travel business is no exception. Travel has had its share of stories about unfulfilled promises due to airline strikes and cruise line bankruptcies. In fact, insurance companies now routinely offer travel insurance that covers a consumer’s loss if a trip that has been paid for fails to materialize. Add fraudulent travel websites to the mix and the result is an entire industry that is suspect in the public’s eye.

An Opportunity for the Independent Travel Agent

All of this can work to an honest travel agent’s advantage. Oddly enough, the way that a travel agent can capitalize on public use of the internet for travel and public distrust of travel businesses in general is to utilize – the internet.

The web is a made-to-order medium for advertising vacation packages. Photos of beautiful, historic and exotic locales combined with visual or audio descriptions are tremendous sales tools; there is no reason why an independent travel agent can’t use the same tools that Carnival Cruises or Expedia uses. The technology is simple, the software well established. An independent agent can apply all of the sales technique found in the enormous, faceless travel sites.

The additional service that an independent agent can supply is personal service. It is fair to speculate that with the advent of “help lines” for websites functioning around the clock with overseas operators, perhaps a customer shopping for travel arrangements will place more faith in a travel service that has phone availability during business hours only. Certainly an 800 number is desirable, but a number with the agent’s local area code will lend an air of credibility to the transaction. Real personal contact has become important in the faceless, nameless world of the web – an independent travel agent can provide that.

The Independent Travel Agent – Guaranteed to be Genuine

The problem is so widespread that there is an entire website devoted to travel fraud at http://www.fraud.org/tips/internet/travelfraud.htm. Many of the situations for which this site provides warnings can be put to rest by an independent travel agent offering personal service. Someone who books an expensive vacation is going to want confirmation on reservations, reassurance on bookings and details on the destination site. An independent agent can provide those things; perhaps most importantly an independent travel agent can have the same voice provide additional information every time a customer calls.

The net result, so to speak, is a travel site that provides the sizzle of online advertising, the convenience of online contact and the reassurance of personal customer support. An independent agent doesn’t necessarily have to compete with the “online specials” and other gimmicks found on major travel sites. The security provided by personal service will make the price worthwhile. An independent travel agent can make the internet an extension of the traditional personal service, rather than a replacement for it.

How to Make Use of Travel Agents to Help Plan Your Trip

There are many advantages of planning vacation with a travel agent. Travel agents are experienced not only with destination but also with all important things that must be taken care of. With their experience and exposure, you get free access to travel tips such as free holiday tips, airline travel tips, cheap airfare tips, travel insurance tips, budget destination tips, travel planning tips, international traveling tips and many more.

Travel agents have resources, contacts and links to plan holiday within budgets and help you out in case of emergency. They can provide best airline travel tips and packages according to your budget. Most travel agents offer the travel package that consists of everything from airfare to toll taxes. The following travel tips will help you in finding a good travel agent and exactly what to expect from a travel agent:

Tips and Advantages of Touring through a Travel Agent When you plan a travel or holiday with a travel agent, you get free access to many travel tips and benefits that help you in enjoying your holidays. Some of them are:

o Airline travel tips

When you organize a trip with some travel agent, you get tickets on discounted prices from multiple airlines. Travel agents have tie-ups with airlines and provide discount on tickets.

o Hotel travel tips

Travel agents can book hotels in advance. You should ask your travel agent to book a hotel well in advance to avoid last minute hassles. If you are visiting multiple vacations, book hotel at all places. This could save you heavily on your travel budgets because hotels charge exorbitantly when they see a traveler in need.

o Tips For Seniors

Travel agents also organize group tours for different age and vocational groups. The group tours are not only cheaper but safe also, especially for seniors. The benefit of group tours is that you never feel alone. You will soon find friends out of the fellow travelers. Group tours have a fixed schedule, so most of the destinations and important places are covered up within the budget.

o Travel tips for historical visits

Travel agents employ guides to explain historical monuments to tourists. Knowing the past heritage and visiting a monument arouse interest and make your visit memorable. Most guides know how to operate DV cams and still cameras. You can ask them to shoot you with your family or take a few snapshots. This could save you substantially because the cost of guides can be spread over the entire group.

o Women’s Travel Safety Tips On Tour

Criminals are always looking for innocent travelers for cheating or for sexual assaults. When you are planning a travel with travel agents, you have free access to travel safety tips for women traveling alone. Moreover, the travel agents have contacts and information on police, hospital, embassy and law that can come to your help. In case of emergency, a travel agent is better equipped than you to handle those situations.

The Benefits of Becoming a Travel Agent

There are many different benefits of being a Travel Agent. First off being a Travel Agent means that you are now in the industry, which means you automatically qualify to receive travel and vacation benefits. There is a great way you can get these benefits and much more that I will be discussing below without having to get a license or qualifications or anything of such. But the question is, how can you benefit from being a travel agent. And yes you do need a license to be a Certified Travel Agent, but I’m going to honestly show you a way where you can become a travel agent without having a license and still receive all the benefits I’m going to share with you.

Lets talk about the benefits of being a travel agent.

cruise lines offer travel industry rates for bona fide travel agents. The rates can vary from $35.00 – $50.00 per person per day. The travel professional is allowed to bring one companion at the same rate.

Hotels and car rental firms offer discounts to travel industry personnel. The discounts can vary from 10% up to 50% off normal rates. These discounts are subject to availability and offered at the discretion of the supplier.

Many escorted tour companies will offer substantial discounts on their tours. These discounts will also vary but are typically 10% – 50% off the retail price.

One of the most appealing benefits to travel agents is the opportunities to go on a FAM Trip! FAM is short for familiarization. Special trips are organized specifically with the travel professional in mind.

They are offered by tour companies, hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, airlines and cruise lines. The purpose of these trips are to familiarize the agent with the products as being a benefit for being in the industry. The great thing about these FAM trips or sometimes called member trips is that they are so easy to use. Once you become a agent you are able to take one of these FAM trips immediately. These trips are extremely discounted, and can save you up to 1,500 per vacation, which is well worth it. Here are some examples of some of the member trips that you can take advantage of.

1.) 4Day Jamaica Vacation for only $234.00
2.) 4Day Cozumel, Mexico only $181.00
3.) 4Day Cancun Mexico Vacation only $230.00
4.) 6 Day Caribbean Cruise for only $285.00
5.) Myrtle Beach golf vacation for 3 nights for only $359.00
6.) Disney World 3 Day/ 4 Nights Only $335.00- oh the kids will love this one…
And there are dozens of others that you can take advantage of as well. These are not single trips these are family vacations.

Other benefits include commissions from booked travel from 70% to 90%, and enhanced commissions, educational programs and events, Corporate and leisure hotel programs, travel insurance vendors, blocked cruise space & exclusive vendor deals, professional familiarization (FAM) rates on luxury cruises, resorts and tours. Travel agent discount on hotels and rental cars, show and theme park discounts and free admission to popular attractions, Take advantage of huge tax breaks available for home-based businesses. You also can do all of this from home because you get your very own customized website ready to go set up just like expedia, orbitz or any other major travel website where your friends and family can book and you can receive your commissions. And you can set your own hours.