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How Do I Choose the Best Local Travel Agent?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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When trying to find a local travel agent, talk to friends, family and co-workers and ask for recommendations. Once you have some names, contact the agents and ask about their qualifications and expertise in the type of travel you want to book. If possible, investigate the agent’s background: make sure that he is licensed to sell travel in your jurisdiction and that he doesn’t have a history of complaints or disciplinary actions filed against him. Be sure to find a local travel agent whose office is convenient to your home or workplace and do ask about fees before booking a consultation.

While access to online travel websites has made it easier for consumers to book their own travel, many people appreciate the advice and expertise of an experienced local travel agent. When you begin your search, think about the kind of travel you plan on doing. This can be important when you are seeking referrals. For example, if you are planning a destination wedding that requires booking a room block for friends and family as well as the wedding chapel and other amenities, explain this to the people who you speak to. With this information, they are more likely to refer you to a quality wedding travel specialist.

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After compiling a list of names and contact information, you might want to check online consumer reporting sites to learn about the reputation of the travel consultants on your list. Once you narrow your list down to legitimate travel experts, contact each of them. Ask if they have experience in booking travel itineraries similar to your own requirements. You may also want to ask if they have any professional certifications and specialized travel types or have recently visited the area or areas where you wish to travel.

Be sure to ask about fees. In the past, many travel agents worked on a commission only basis. Changes in the travel industry, however, have resulted in various fees being charged for travel agent services. In some cases, a local travel agent may waive these fees if you book a large travel package through him, so be sure to find out if this is an option. Keep in mind that some local travel agents will charge you these fees even if you decide to not book your trip through their travel agency, so do ask if he will offer you a complementary short consultation before you commit to working with him.

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Sporkasia
Post 3

When you are concerned with the cost of a trip, whether you use a travel agent or not, I advise you to research your trip. Get an idea of how much the trip should cost and how difficult the planning would be. Then call a few local agents and see whether they can get you a better price. You don't lose anything by looking at all of your options.

Feryll
Post 2

When my brother and I went to Europe we went through a travel agent. This was our first trip overseas and we were not experienced travelers at the time, so we felt much better with someone else handling the details. We stayed in several locations, so getting the hotels and figuring out transportation was more than we wanted to tackle ourselves.

Putting all the plans in the hands of a travel agent took away any potential stress that could have come for all of that. Also, the agent knew what she was doing, so she was able to predict any problems we might have and tell us how we could avoid them. For us, hiring a travel agent made a lot of sense, and allowed us to get more out of the trip.

Animandel
Post 1

Like this article says, there are so many travel sites and places to get discounts on hotel rooms and discounts on flights and car rentals that almost anyone can serve as his or her own travel agent. Go to a computer and research the places you want to go and then start finding the best deals. Sure this will take some time, but for me this is part of the fun of a trip.

I get to search the interesting places I want to visit so I can learn what I want to see and what I want to do. Then finding the best possible deal is like a challenge. I enjoy finding the best flights and hotels. Planning the trip is half of the fun.

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