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.
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.
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.