Travel Services: Make Your Dream Vacation Affordable
Planning a trip can be both time consuming and confusing. Travel services will not only arrange the different modes of transportation, but they can also help you to save money through special fares, early booking discounts, travel advisories and hotel deals.
How Travel Agents Can Save You Money
A travel agent will work for you and will go out of their way to meet your travel needs. So how do you find a good agent?
You should choose an agent the same way you’d choose a lawyer or doctor. Get recommendations from relatives and friends who use a travel agent that they trust. You’ll want to meet with several agencies in order to find one that suits your needs the best. Take a look at everything from how the office looks to an agent’s willingness to answer questions and listen to what you have to say.
The agency you choose should belong to the ASTA, which has over two hundred thousand members in over a hundred countries. Currently, ASTA is the most influential and largest travel trade association in the world. Membership includes cruise lines, hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, railroads and rental companies.
What Do Travel Agents Offer?
Each year the travel industry grows more and more competitive and because of this, many agencies strive to increase the type and quality of the services they offer. An agent can arrange all types of international and domestic travel from resort and hotel accommodations to ground and air transportation including tour packages and car rental needs. An agent can also provide assistance with visa and passport applications and other types of foreign travel requirements. While most agencies provide a wide variety of services, some may also specialize in such areas as adventure travel, family travel, ecotourism, group travel, travel for the disabled, incentive travel and the mature market.
Many agents have been trained in geography, tourism and travel and business management, so ask about your agent’s professional background before choosing an agency.
An agent is privy to special cruise cabin rates and hotel room prices, and airline prices that you won’t find online. This alone can save you some serious cash. Beyond saving money, a good agent will have the buying power to get you such extra amenities as insider tours or ship board credits.
Agents are the leading distributors of travel agencies and products, in fact, they sell about eighty percent of all packages and tours, ninety percent of cruises, fifty percent of airline tickets, fifty percent of hotel stays, and forty percent of all car rentals.
Common Misconceptions About Travel Agencies
An agent typically earns their living by commissions earned from sightseeing tours, cruises, rental cars and hotel stays. Airlines haven’t paid commission to travel agencies since the early 90s.
Any good agent from good travel services knows that it is not all about landing a sale, it’s about keeping customers happy. A happy customer will come back for repeat business and recommend an agent to friends and family. Most agents strive to save their customers money. They never base their recommendations on bonus gifts or industry sales incentives. Often, if they know of a better experience or room that will enhance your vacation they will suggest it. Basically, they just want their clients to make the best informed decisions in order to get the most value from their trip.