Travel should always be associated with the words “fun”, “relaxation”, and “memorable experience” – not “stress” brought by poorly-planned trips. If you’re not one of those seasoned travelers who are well-versed in DIY traveling, then you may want to consider the easy way around: hiring a good travel agency.
Travel agencies do all the daunting tasks for you: booking flights, booking hotel accommodation, scheduling tours, renting out cars for easy transportation, and more. Just give them your budget and schedule, and they’ll find the best deals for you. The only thing you should do is relax and enjoy what your travel agency has to offer.
With a countless number of travel agencies popping all over the net, claiming they offer the best deals, it can be challenging to find the right one. Sometimes, it can be hard to differentiate the legitimate ones from the scammers.
When looking around for travel agencies, here are 6 factors to keep in mind.
1. Do your background check
Fraudsters prey on poor travelers who just want to have stress-free travel experience. To see if your agency is legitimate, look into their certifications and business permits. If you’re browsing online, check if they have a physical location/address.
Do a little digging on their background too. How many years have they been running? Do they have some shady involvements in the past?
2. Review their affiliations
Looking into their affiliations will tell you whether they’re dependable or not. Check out the hotels, airlines, tour companies, and other brands they work with. Are they reputable too? Trustworthy companies only work with legitimate travel agencies
3. Hear it from their previous clients
The best way to look into the quality of the company’s services? Listen to their previous customers.
Find the agency on TripAdvisor, Klook, Traveloka, and other rating websites, and see their ratings and feedback section. Follow them on social media and check other forums too. Were the clients satisfied? Have they encountered some issues with the agency? How do they treat their guests? How about their payment system?
4. Check their website
You can also spot an agency's character by how good (or bad) the web design is. A good travel agency has a business website that looks professional.
You can navigate seamlessly. It has everything you need, including the list of their services, rates, booking processes, travel requirements, mode of payment, and their contact details. They also feature high-quality pictures, making you more excited to explore.
5. Compare offers and rates
It’s not just about the price – it’s about what comes with that price. See the inclusions in their package and ask the following:
• Do you like the tourist spots they have to offer?
• Is the hotel they’ve picked suitable for your needs?
• Is the airline good for you?
• Is it worth the price? Or can you save more money when you DIY?
Make sure to compare rates from one travel agency to another – their competitor may be offering more for a similar price.
6. Evaluate their customer service
Try to reach them using the contact details provided in the site and inquire about their rates Did they give you a prompt response? Were they able to give you the information you need? Is the transaction smooth and easy? Did they ask for more details to help them serve you better?
If you're satisfied with what you learned from your travel agency, then you’re good to go.
6 Best Times to Hire a Travel Agency
- When you have a limited travel time
If your vacation is short and you can’t afford wasting time in a not-so-good destination, hiring a travel agency is the best way to go. Count on them to give you the best itinerary to maximize your trip.
- When you have no time to book reservations
Whether you’re too busy or you just don’t know how to, you can rely on travel agencies to do the research for you. Travel agencies will book the most valuable flights and hotel accommodations for your budget and needs.
- When it’s your first time traveling to that location
Travel agencies would be of great help if you’re inexperienced with your destination and you need an insider knowledge of the locations you’re about to visit. They know the best ways to lodge, dine, shop, and get around the place.
- When traveling with a group
Want to get 10 people on the same with seats together at a discounted price? That’s a job for the travel agency.
- When traveling with the family
Family travel isn’t the same with solo or couple travel, where you’re likely to be spontaneous. You need sensible flight times, short overall travel time, seats together throughout, family-friendly tours, hotel rooms with adequate sleeping space, and cars that accept child’s seat. A good travel agency can save you the stress of sorting all these all by yourself.
- When you’re looking for a package deal
Getting a package deal is hitting two birds with one stone. Aside from saving you the headache of individual reservations, travel agencies are likely to offer these bundles for cheap.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the seasoned writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a modern hotel located in the heart of Western Sydney, delivering top-class Parramatta accommodation. She has always been passionate about traveling, taking photos, and writing travel tips and tricks.