Tips When Using Outside Agencies
Booking travel these days can be fun and easy, but it can also be overwhelming. Even the most experienced jetsetter should follow these tips before traveling:
If you’re booking online, make sure the website your working with has good reviews. The same is true of working with a travel agent. Recommendations from people you know and trust may help you find that hidden gem.
Plan as Early as Possible
While sometimes easier said than done, planning early can save you money and hassle. Airlines tend to offer the lowest prices on 21-day advance tickets. Lower-priced categories always sell out first. If you wait, you may end up paying more for less-desirable locations. You’ll also find the best availability for dining, shows, entertainment, and excursion reservations.
Read the Fine Print
Beware of hidden fees on changes, taxes, additional baggage, etc. What happens if your flight is canceled? Make sure you know what you’ve signed up for. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
Be sure to review any follow-up emails from your travel provider. Many travel companies request your email address for a reason—to alert you of any flight schedule or itinerary changes, to reschedule your trip if there's been a cancellation, and/or other updates. The days of getting a phone call from your airline to notify you of changes or cancellations are long over; in many cases, email updates are the only form of communication.
Be a Fan
If you like staying in a certain hotel chain or flying a particular airline, why not sign up as a preferred customer? Sometimes the best deals are reserved for a company’s own online customers or preferred clients. The best part: most of these programs are free.
Give Yourself Time to Travel
Yes, we’re all excited to get to our destination, but did you give yourself enough time between flights? Some airports require getting on a shuttle to catch another plane. Think about restroom stops, meal times, and delays when planning your trip. While it may cost a bit more to avoid such a hassle, it may also be well worth it for peace of mind.
Cancellations and delays can leave you stranded. Plan to have important phone numbers or websites accessible at any given time. When you miss that last leg of your trip, you’ll be glad to have that rental car information handy.
Listen to the Experts
When planning a trip, especially to somewhere foreign or new, trust the experts. A good travel agent is not only planning your trip, but also helping you with your overall travel experience. Is your hotel in a safe area? Where do you buy a train ticket? Let an agent do the homework for you. Agents can be especially helpful when planning group travel. We recommended that you work with an accredited agent.
Manage Your Expectations
Sometimes the best online deal translates to no customer support. If you need flexibility in your travel plans, you may want to work with a travel agent. Know what your needs are before you book.
Let People Know Where You Are
In today’s society everyone knows everything right? When traveling this may be a great idea. Let people you trust know where you are, where you’re staying, and your flight times. That way in a case of an emergency, people know how to contact or find you.