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Four Secrets to Picking the Right Travel Agent

      1. Seek out the right certification.


If the agent is a part of the a reputable Travel Agents organization that’s a guaranteeing sign. IATA is the world’s largest organization of travel experts, with a code of ethics that has a tendency to keep the riff raff out. If your travel adviser is certified by The Travel Institute (www.thetravelinstitute.com), that provides courses on various destinations and travel areas, that’s a reward. Another regular membership worth searching for is the Association of Retail Travel Agents (www.artaonline.com/mc/page.do). Affiliation with a large organization like AAA or a company such as Carlson Wagonlit can be proof that your agent is on the up-and-up. Your agent also needs to adhere to any state seller of travel laws and carry error and omission insurance.

      1. When possible, stay local.

There is no replacement for the personal touch. My favorite encounters with a Shedi Travel which was a local travel agency in Islamabad. The opportunity to meet — to appear the agent in the eye, to shake his or her hand — is one thing online agencies can’t match. (Note: not all agents operate in an office, but home-based agents can and do make private appointments.) The only exclusion to this rule is if you’re searching for an agent with a sought-after specialty. But even so, a trusted voice on the phone is far better the often unintelligible, script-reading customer service associate you’re linked to when confronted with a large agency.

      1. Interview the agent.

Don’t select the first agent you discover. Speak with the travel pro. Learn how long he or she has been in company. Inquire about fees (yes, you pay booking fees, but they’re worth the cost if you get into a pinch). I would endorse performing the interview in person. Pay attention not only to the way your prospective agent responds, but additionally at what’s going on in the office around you. Are the other agents making the effort to talk with clients, or do they only seem considering pressuring their clients to make a booking choice? Does the agent you’re meeting with seem distracted or centered on trying to help you? If you do not like a specific item, move on

      1. Find out how they react under pressure.

The only way to know for particular if your travel agent is a keeper is to see what goes on when you run into difficulty. And you will have that chance, ultimately. Whenever your flight is postponed or your hotel is overbooked or your travel insurance claim isn’t being honored, what will your agent do? Good travel agents have an edge over almost any other seller of travel. They know what you want. They speak your language. And they’re there for you when you run into trouble.