With so many options out there, it can sometimes be hard to pick the right travel agent for you. It’s not just about who’s going to give you the best service, with so many experienced travel agents out there, you want to make sure you pick the right one for what you need. And, most importantly, an agent who offers you excellent financial protection and expert knowledge.
But how do you go about that? Where do you start? If you’re uncertain on how to recognise and choose a good travel agent, here’s a few tips to keep in mind.
Why Should I Book Through a Travel Agent?
Let’s start at the beginning. Booking a holiday through a travel agent will make things a lot simpler. Despite the convenience of online bookings and easy access to information this way, there are many more issues that come with that, and a lot of complications can be avoided by using a travel agent who is a member of Protected Trust Services (PTS).
Travel agents will deal with a lot of the legal and financial stuff for you.
Whereas if you booked on your own you’d have to pay and make agreements with many different providers, and then make sure all your bookings lined up nicely, if you book through a travel agent they get that done for you.
They will talk to their trusted service providers and tour operators, finding the best people and deals and combining it all under one price.
They will provide you will all the legal information you need too, and have everything in one place, all you must do is ask and the information is in your hands.
It will take much less time this way, because they will have good relationships already with suppliers and can handle currency issues too, so all you have to do is tell them what you want and pay for it, enjoying the thrill of anticipation for your holiday.
Most importantly, they are a human being that you can pick up the phone to. This in itself is invaluable.
They’re an Experienced Travel Agent
The main detail you need to be aware of when choosing your travel agent, is choosing someone who is experienced in travel. And, someone who protects your money with the PTS trust account to ensure your money is completely financially protected.
This will most likely be someone who’s very passionate about travel, both for themselves and for providing the best holidays possible. After all, you wouldn’t go to a tattoo artist with no tattoos, or a dentist with terrible teeth, you want to know that they care about the service they’re providing, and they understand it.
When you’re considering a travel agent, don’t just look at their advertising, investigate reviews of their services on sites like TrustPilot. Ask them about their experience and recommendations too, with experience they’ll be able to craft the holiday with you, not just do the bare minimum.
Good travel agents won’t just sell you a package, they’re selling you an experience and a holiday that suits you. If they’re not making you even more excited about your destination, that can be a bad sign.
They Have a Trusted Network
This also feeds into experience, as you’ll probably find a lot of their good qualities will. A good travel agent will have a list of suppliers, tour operators, and other travel companies that they’ve worked with many times and trust to provide a good service.
This means that they’ll probably be able to get good deals with these people because they’re familiar, but it also means that these service providers will have received good reviews from the travel agent’s past clients.
When you’re discussing elements of a holiday with your travel agent, looking into the reviews of the providers they use could save a lot of time.
Your travel agent should be providing you a specific list of suppliers that fit your exact needs. If you find yourself asking for a service and they cannot provide a specific supplier they trust, they might not be the right travel agent for you.
This comes down to specifics too. All good travel agents will have suppliers they trust, but some may specialise, it could simply be a matter of choosing the right travel agent for the specific place or experience you want who will have more experience in that area.
They Focus on Your Unique Needs
The first thing a good travel agent should do is get all the information you have on what you want.
From here they can select the elements, the providers, the right contract, and the best time to fit exactly what you’re looking for.
They should go the extra mile to ensure that everything is exactly how you need it, because a good travel agent will be passionate about travel and want to share that with you.
They will make recommendations based on what you want and make suggestions for things you may not have considered. Ultimately, you will be able to see how passionate your travel agent is about their work, being a career that is much more driven by a love of travel than a simple need for work.
They Will Know Where to Spend
Getting a holiday at a low price seems exciting at first, but there are certain places you shouldn’t be cutting corners, a good travel agent will know this.
You don’t want to look for the cheapest travel agent, but the one that can offer the best quality service for a fair price. That’s not to say that a travel agent will not find you the best deal too.
They will recommend where it is better for you to spend a little more for quality, and where you can afford to save some money. A good travel agent will neither be trying to drain your pockets, nor will they seem too good to be true in terms of prices.
The best way to investigate this would be to compare prices and reviews. Generally, you’ll be able to glean the average price a good quality service goes for based on the prices paid for the service that is most highly praised.
If a service has 60% bad ratings and is being sold at a very low price, it’s most likely that a good quality version of that particular service is worth more than that, so you can see where to avoid taking things cheap.
In saying that, it is important to look at the content of the reviews, there could be a lot of reviews that are taking fault with things outside of the supplier’s control.
For a good travel agent, the job doesn’t stop once you’ve booked your holiday.
This is especially true with travel agents working with the Protected Trust Services trust account, because your money will stay in trust until the specific suppliers need to be paid. PTS travel agent members are there to deal with your concerns throughout the process until you arrive home. Think of them as your travel best friend.
A good travel agent will be available to you for any issues throughout your holiday. If you have an issue with the service from a tour operator, for example, and you cannot get in contact with them, that’s what your travel agent will be there for.
Find Them as Early as Possible
When it comes to travel, especially in 2021, planning and booking your holiday as soon as possible is always a great advantage.
It gives you a time to find the perfect services, the right prices, and allows time for queries to be questioned and answered. Even during current times, booking earlier gives you time to make decisions in the situation that something about the world’s status changes. It is also an incredible time to book for 2022 and take advantage of incredible flexible deal available currently.
In the same way, finding a travel agent as soon as possible will give them more time to provide the perfect holiday to you thoroughly. It is to your and their advantage to plan things out at least a few months ahead of when you want to leave.
It also gives you the chance to take your time in finding the perfect travel agent for you if you don’t already have a trusted travel agent lined up.
Use a PTS Member
We pride ourselves on only having experienced, good quality travel companies as PTS Members. From our pool of travel agent members, to tour operators, to suppliers, PTS and its members invests in quality providers.
So, when in doubt, look for the PTS logo on a company site to be assured you are looking at a travel agent you can trust.
If you have further concerns, or need assistance picking the right travel agent for you, feel free to contact one of PTS’s lovely staff by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.