While their services may cost a bit more, travel agents bring peace of mind to travelers. If you opt to use a travel agent when booking your next vacation, consider these tips on how to use a travel agent.
See the value in using a travel agent. Travel agents work for commission, so you will likely be quoted a higher price than one you would find, say, online. But a travel agent's price also includes her services while traveling to and staying at your destination, which is something that online sites don't always offer. If you value having a contact back home who can solve your travel dilemmas, then you will want to use a travel agent. Likewise, if you'd rather leave the booking in the hands of the pros, then using a travel agent is the right approach for you.
Find the right travel agent for you. When you decide to use a travel agent, you don't necessarily need to hop in your car and drive to the nearest travel agency. You can use any travel agent from any agency you want to. You can make travel plans with an online agency. Or you can pick up the phone and call your old travel agent from your childhood town. You'll still get the same services no matter where the travel agent is located. What's important is that you use a travel agent that is willing to work with you to make your travel plans, and isn't going to charge you an arm and a leg for doing so.
Discuss your destination. Whether you're taking a trip to a sunny resort or you just need a direct flight to Minneapolis, you can use a travel agent to help you make travel arrangements. Discuss your travel plans with a travel agent and ask about the cost of such a trip. Then take your quotes home and do some research of your own on the internet. Look up the same flights, trip and travel plans and see how much more you're looking at paying because you're considering using a travel agent. If it's a considerable amount, return to your travel agent and suggest she work for a lower price or you'll book elsewhere. Often, travel agents are even willing to match online prices as long as you bring proof of the current price to her. Agree on the lowest possible price for your travel needs with your travel agent.
Have your travel agent book your travel plans. Once you have arrived at a price you and your travel agent can both agree on, you should book your travel plans through your travel agent. She should do all of the paperwork for you, arrange for your tickets, and even confirm your travel plans prior to your departure. All you'll need to do is pay her! She will compile a package for you that contains all of your travel documents, and she'll likely also give your some reading material on the place you're visiting. These personal touches can't be found with regular online booking websites, and so they really add to an enjoyable booking experience.
With all of the added benefits and services of a travel agent, it's no wonder that many people still prefer to use travel agents to make travel arrangements.