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How To Pick The Right Travel Agent: 5 Things To Look For

You are planning your dream vacation or your destination wedding and you have decided to enlist the services of a travel specialist to get expert advice and assistance with creating your itinerary. Now the next step is to find a travel agent that has the knowledge required to personalize and put together the best possible travel experience ever.

The first thing you need to know is that most travel agents are categorized specialists. So that means they only focus on selling a particular niche group of products or destination so they provide the most value in those areas. And while any good travel agent can pretty much help you book anything, it is always best to find a travel expert that has the knowledge base and history to help you get the best possible value and service. Here are 5 things you can look for when qualifying your agents.

1. Agent Background Checkup

Whether you were assigned this travel agent through a host agency, or you got a referral from a friend who is a past client, you want to first do your own research about the agent before you invest time in giving out details and starting the research process. Does this travel agent have a website that talks about the services they offer? And if so, does the list of services include the type of experience you are looking for? If the travel agent does not have a proper website, or a credible outlet that gives enough information about who they are, then this would probably be the first sign that this agent is not the right travel agent for you. If they are not willing to invest in properly setting up and promoting their business, well they probably do not take it very seriously.

2. Accreditation and Certification

You want to ensure that your travel agent is properly regulated and is someone that is conducting their business in an ethical manner. Make sure your agent is operating under a certified and credible IATA Travel or Host Agency, and if there are local regulatory bodies, ensure your travel specialist has all the necessary legal accreditations and certifications with those local authorities before moving forward.

3. Have Your Agent Personally Experienced The Product

This does not always mean that a travel agent that have never been to the resort, or visited the country, or taken the cruise will not be able to provide you with proper information about the product, but it is most certainly a bonus when they have. Personal experience beats online training videos and product knowledge seminars every single time. Ask your agent whether they have personal experience of the products you are interested in or not.

4. Does Your Agent Have A Lot Of History Selling The Product?

An agent may have never been on a site inspection trip, or may have never gone on a personal vacation there, but they have sold the product so many times that they have experienced it through passed clients and dealing with the product vendors. This type of history is just as valuable in qualifying an agent as any other criteria. A travel agent with a rich history of selling product will not only have knowledge but have relationships that may come in very useful in getting extra perks and favors.

5. How Is Their Communication

Communication equals customer service. If the customer service is poor, then nothing else matters, that travel agent is not the right one for you. Early signs to look for are things like response time; how long did that agent take before the returned your first email or phone call? When they contact you, do they already have any information to provide you with or further qualifying questions? If a travel agent just call or email you to let you know they are working on your quote, that’s the sign of a BAD agent. A good travel agent will first touch base to verify the information that was submitted, and to find out or suggest any missing information. Some will even have recommendations or information that may be useful to your decision-making. A travel agent that communicates well will win over all every single time.



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