How to Choose
Criteria to Consider:
You want a travel consultant/agent who is a qualified professional, but also someone who’s easy to talk to about your vacation dreams and desires. Ideally, you’ll establish a relationship with a travel consultant who will help you now, as well as with future trips. Here are 5 tips for finding a good match:
- Search for a NACTA travel agency here. Our travel consultants have the credentials and expertise you’re looking for and adhere to an industry code of conduct.
- Select a few travel agents to interview. Call to inquire whether they can set up a time to talk with you in-depth about your travel needs. If they can’t, move on. Someone else can.
- Be prepared to answer a lot of questions during your in-depth conversation with a travel consultant. Although you’re interviewing the travel consultants, they should also be interviewing you: The more they know about you and your preferences, they better they’ll be able to tailor a trip that meets your needs.
- During this same discussion, pay attention to how well the travel consultants listens to your ideas and preferences. If you hate to fly but he or she assures you a short flight is very safe and no problem at all, you should look elsewhere. On the other hand, a travel consultant who takes your concerns to heart and suggests alternative travel arrangements is a keeper.
- Be clear about the dollars. Professional travel consultants can help design a trip that fits your budget, but they have to know what they’re working with.
Insider Tip: What you need to tell your travel consultants:
When your travel consultant asks you about your preferences, the more detail you can provide, the better. Before you make the call, give some thought to what your dream vacation includes (and doesn’t). The more your travel consultant knows about each person’s hopes for the trip, the more they’ll be able to customize your vacation to meet everyone’s needs. Your travel consultants will want to know your:
- recreational or business interests,
- fitness level (can you do a lot of strenuous hiking, do you prefer a cab?),
- travel companions (is this a couple’s trip or are small children or teens along?)
- schedule preferences (does downtime make you stir crazy or insanely happy?);
- tour preferences (on your own, with your travel companions, or in a large group?),
- accommodation preferences (upscale resort, quaint cottage, B&B?),
- dietary restrictions
- splurge tendencies (spa? restaurants?)
- your likes and dislikes about past vacations
A Special Note: Travel consultants work hard to help you plan a vacation you’ll treasure. Please respect their time and only consult with them when you plan to use their services. You’re building a relationship for your mutual benefit. It’s never okay to request information from a travel consultant then proceed to book the trip on your own.