Even if it’s not asked as a question, the statement “I have never worked with a travel agent before” still seeks an answer and I hope to answer it the best I can.
Let me start off by saying that not all agents and agencies work the same way, especially when it comes to fees.
So, I think the best way to explain this is to go through the process chronologically as if you were actually booking a trip.
The first thing that happens is that you decide that you want to go on a trip. This is the first point at which a travel agent can step in and be of help. You should go through a two-way interview process with your agent. This is crucial to see if you are both a good fit for one another. After you have both determined that you are a good fit, a good agent can help you select the perfect trip by getting to know you better through questions that may not seem very relevant to you, but they are relevant. This is also where a fee may or may not come in to play. We here at Discovery Travel DO NOT currently charge a planning fee.
Your agent will then research and curate a proposal specifically for your needs, wants and desires. This proposal may include 2 or 3 options to select from. Communication is key. You do not need to select one of these if they are not quite right. Just let your agent know what you like or dislike about the proposals so that they can be fine-tuned.
So you found a proposal that looks perfect. Now what? If not obtained already, the agent will need personal information about each traveler. This will include all names spelled exactly as they are on your passport or other travel identification, birthdates, etc.
In most cases, a deposit is now due. The amount of the deposit can vary by a number of factors. In cases where you’re traveling in less than 45 days, the trip will need to be paid in full when you make the booking. Otherwise, final payments will be due 45, 60, sometimes even 120 prior to your departure date. For the most part, if you have planned your trip well in advance (smart move), you can make payments as you wish as long as the final payment is made by the date indicated.
This is not the end of our job as your travel agent, however. Your travel agent should not only be there for you during the planning stage but also, while you are traveling and after you’ve returned. We are always looking for feedback to help us improve our service. We always welcome the critique of our service during all 3 stages of your travel.
*Please feel free to comment if you have any other questions about working with a travel agent.