Travel agency tips every vacationer should know

July 28, 2015

Finding a destination is easy, it's the getting there that's the challenge. By using a combination of travel agencies and online research, you could go where you want for less.

Travel agency tips every vacationer should know

Agent or internet?

  • It's a good idea to visit a travel agent in person and check their website. They don't always have the same offers and information.
  • Talking over your needs with a real person can get you advice you didn't know you needed.
  • Agents (including those online) have access to packages not available to individuals, so you won't necessarily save money by arranging the different elements of your holiday yourself.
  • The obvious benefit of an agent is their experience and expertise. Not only do they know the ins and outs of most travel protocols, they often also have first-hand knowledge of many locales and resorts.

Online revolution

  • The internet lets you to take control of your plans and search out a bargain.
  • Some promotions are available only online and fares are often reduced because companies can cut out the cost of a salesperson.
  • The Internet gives access to companies around the world without the cost of international telephone calls.
  • Like anything, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of sites that often advertise an unbelievably good price that turns out to be unavailable
  • Read reviews of hotels and more at travel review sites to see what travellers think of your chosen destination or accommodation.

Look for unbiased advice

  • An agent you know and trust can be an indispensable source of information and good fares.
  • Discuss all your requirements with the agent and make sure they understand what is important to you.
  • Be aware that your agent could have an agenda other than getting you the best prices, as many airline companies offer bonuses to the travel agencies that sell the most tickets.

Hidden extras

  • Read the small print of brochures and travel agreements to make sure you don't miss added extras.
  • Watch for additional charges, such as taxes and resort fees.
  • Booking charges and hidden charges, such as airport taxes, may only be added on at the time of booking. Check totals carefully.
  • Make sure your travel agency is a member of a provincial consumer protection organization like the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), so you may have financial protection if the tour operator goes bust.

Live like a local

  • If you're keen to travel but don't want to fork out for accommodation, then organize a holiday exchange with someone who lives at your chosen destination.
  • If you don't mind the idea of another family living in your house while you're on holiday, consider a house swap. You can find a suitable exchange partner through well-established agencies if you look online.

Many Canadian travellers now use the internet to book their getaways, and the savings can be substantial. But whether you use a travel agent or go online, make sure you know exactly what you're paying for.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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