It’s no surprise that use of travel agencies has gone down in the last 15 years. With the rise of affordable internet access, lots of travellers are choosing to book their own holidays, shopping around and doing their research for the best deal. What that means for existing travel agencies is that they have to work harder to provide the best offers for customers, whether your trip is for business or pleasure. Still, it helps to know what to look for, regardless of who’s booking your holiday.
What Do You Want From Them?
Travel agencies vary from huge international conglomerations to tiny startups looking to cater to niche choices. With such a wide range of companies to choose from, you might find it difficult to know where to start – so start with what you’re looking for. It’s wise to choose an agency that specialise in what you want, be it international business travel, family ski holidays, safari tours, or honeymoon island cruises. Check out annual quality awards from firms like The British Travel Awards, who recently released their top accolades for different categories of travel agencies, so you can browse from the best in each business.
What Makes Them Unique?
Every business, both within and outside of the travel industry has to have a Unique Selling Point – so each travel agency should advertise theirs. They might have excellent partnerships with different Mediterranean restaurants if they offer foodie cruises, or perhaps an adrenaline sports holiday company provides discounts on equipment thanks to deals with retailers. Even if you are booking with a travel agent, it pays to do a couple of comparisons to get the best offer – after all, they should be able to match you up with the perfect trip for your budget and interests.
How Experienced Are They?
What makes a travel agency really is their staff – so choose wisely. While it’s useful to browse online while you are in the initial stages of planning, don’t underestimate what you can glean from speaking to them directly. If you can, phone them during business hours and talk to them about your wants and needs from a holiday. Good travel agencies hire staff with an extensive interest in and history of travel, and provide opportunities for their staff to travel and get to know different areas. What this means is that a good travel agent can plan your holiday down to a T, so be sure to ask them plenty of questions to gauge their experience.