Travel agencies are a business that specializes in planning trips and vacations. They act as third-party representatives between the holiday destinations and the traveler. A person planning a vacation trip will first go online to search for information on his dream vacation and in most cases will be overwhelmed by the loads of information from websites, blogs, infographics and ads. Using a travel agency saves you this stress and so much more. This blog post will focus on the multitude of advantages travel agencies serves compared to planning your trip yourself.
- Saves time and stress: All you need do is to contact or walk into a travel agency and tell them your preferred destination(s). The travel agent will do all the research, evaluate the available options and help you get the best deal possible. A good travel agent knows the best hotels, cruise lines, restaurants, tourist attractions and the fastest routes. This is because many travel agents are affiliated with travel networks and can secure extra benefits for their clients. They also help with the details involved in planning a trip such as getting a passport or renewing the one you already have and even hiring a car or vehicle from the airport or the vacation destination.
- Expert recommendations: Most travel agents are well traveled and are in a better position to make recommendations tailored to the traveler’s needs. They are often familiar with the destination and can offer the best advice, tips and nuggets to the intending traveler. They also form relationships with hotel/resort staff and know just how to get the right information at the right time.
- Help with Miscellaneous/Expediencies: Travel agents serve as the mouthpiece of the traveler in case something (natural disasters, cancelled flights, lost luggage or impromptu delays) goes wrong. They help the traveler stay calm in case any of these happens and make any necessary adjustment to the schedule.
- Personalized Travel Experience: Travel agents give a personal touch to any trip they plan. They make sure they understand the traveler, listen to his/her preference, get the appropriate information related to the desired destinations and evaluate the options before advising the traveler. In addition to helping you get the best deals, they can also help you get special offers such as discounts and promo offers from hotels/resorts.
- Forward thinking and prevents problems from occurring: Travel agents think ahead and plan alternative for unexpected scenario such as blizzards, snow storms or flight cancellations. Most people don’t factor in things wrong on during their dream vacations but a good travel agent does.
Steps in planning your dream vacation through a travel agent
- Decide on the travel agency you want to use and contact them: You can search online for travel agencies in your location, check out their websites and contact them. Some travel agencies like FLY NOW TRAVELS one of the most reliable travel agency in Nigeria offers free quotations once you visit their website and fill the contact form on the website. You can call or send a mail for more information.
- Get in touch with a travel agent and tell them your travel preference: You want to go on mountain hiking vacation or lounge all day on a sun-kissed beach? Simply tell the travel agent your preferred destinations for your dream holiday. You may asked a series of questions like the date you plan for the vacation, where you plan to visit and if you have a preferred airline or airport.
- The travel agent does the research and evaluates the available options using the Global Distribution System (GDS). The GDS is computer software used to search for flights, cruises etc. This system also contains discounted flights (usually called unpublished airfares) from airlines and is not available to the public. Travel agents use the GDS to plan the traveler’s schedule.
- Make a decision: The travel agent will send you a list of several options to decide on. This list contains several options beginning from the option that mostly fits your preference to other options that may be cheaper or also suit your taste. Once you make a decision, the travel agent will most likely book you a flight ticket and inform you
- Cross the I’s and t’s: The next step after making a decision is filling the paperwork. The travel agent will send you a form called an Online Authorization Form (OAF) to fill in your details including your credit card details.
- Make payment: after filling and submitting the Online Authorization Form, the payments will be paid and the travel agent gets his own commission, the e-tickets and other necessary documents will be sent to you via email or fax.
- Fly away: The payment is actually the most important part of the planning process and once this is done, just pack your bags and fly away.
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