Smart advice on how to use a travel agent

I came across a great article today.  It’s written by a former travel agent, and it offers some solid advice on how to best take advantage of a travel agent’s knowledge, expertise and service.

To me, the key points he makes can be summarized as be upfront with your agent (discuss your real budget, explain where you can make tradeoffs, disclose any research or price/shopping you’ve already done, etc.) and treat your agent as you would any professional consultant (understand why he/she might charge a fee, respect their advice, develop a trust-based relationship)

Today’s travel consultant is an educated, experienced guide who can make your vacation experience so much richer if you just work hand in hand!

You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)