5 ways to tell if a travel agency is able to meet your needs

Planning a trip? Have you found a travel agency that's ready (and able) to meet your needs? Here are five ways to tell if you're getting the best service.
If you’re finally ready to go on your dream vacation, you can’t just randomly choose your travel agency. At the very least, you’ll have to do research to ensure you’re dealing with a trustworthy agency that can meet your needs.

1. Ask around

Word-of-mouth is the best way to begin your search. Ask the people around you if they have recently dealt with an agency to make trip arrangements. Were they satisfied? What type of trip did they go on? What countries did they visit? Would they recommend one agency over another?

  • Feedback from friends, colleagues and family can help point you in the right direction.

2. Check your local directory or online

Are you looking for an agency that specializes in ecotourism or business trips? Or one that organizes group trips to sunshine destinations or safaris?

  • A travel agency’s newspaper ads and website can give you lots of information. Don’t hesitate to phone them and talk to somebody in person.

3. Make sure you're protected

Before you choose a travel agency, find out if it’s a member of the AssociationofCanadian TravelAgencies: ACTA members are expected to follow a code of ethics, which gives you some protection. British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec also have organizations that regulate travel agencies.

  • Look for their logos to ensure that you’re protected by the law and will have the opportunity to recover your money should the agency fail to meet its obligations towards you.

4. Learn about the various fees

Remember you can’t take the price of the trip alone into consideration. In fact, using the services of a travel agency will incur fees. The agency will charge a modest service fee, and there will be taxes to consider as well.

  • Ask in advance about all the charges; it will prevent you from having any unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pay the bill.

5. Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the travel agent. What certifications do they hold? How long have they worked in the business? Have they recently visited your destination?

  • If they don’t inspire confidence, or if you have nothing in common, you’d better find someone else.

It’s time to choose

Now that you’ve completed your research, all that’s left for you is to choose. How do you know if you’ve found the right agency? It’s easy: in just a few minutes, a good travel agent will ask you all kinds of questions to glean what they can about your interests, needs, and budget.

5 ways to tell if a travel agency is able to meet your needs
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