Travel agents can be a very useful resource especially for first-time travellers who are hoping to do the most while on Kenyan soil. The advantage of using travel agents during your trip to Kenya is that you will have delegated the responsibilities of planning and organizing to them. All you have to do is show up. However, seeing the increase in numbers of tourists in the country, some individuals have become malicious and crafty, hoping to take advantage of unknowing travellers. Here is a list of things to check and consider when choosing travel agents, so as to tell whether they are genuine or not.
A travelling agency that is serious with its mission will put in the necessary effort and funds in acquiring an authentic website. The most trusted websites have .org or .net but some .com websites are just as good. Your browser is able to pick out sites that have security threats and if the one you are looking at has popped up as a threat then you are better off looking for another one. If a travel agency does not have a website altogether then do not engage it.
All authentic travel agencies in Kenya have a physical office where they operate from. So it is advisable to get their address and make a visit before you make any payment for the trip. Most fake agencies tend to use social media to prey on victims.
Social media presence
A travel agency’s main aim is to get to as many clients as possible. Since most of its target market is abroad, the fastest and most efficient mode of marketing is social media. Do not trust a travel agency that doesn’t have a Facebook or Instagram page at the very least. Some might have pages that have not been updated for the last two years. This too is a danger sign.
One of the best things about the internet is that it has made it easy for people across the world to share their opinions with each other. Before settling on a travel agency, try to get other travellers’ opinions. Of course, all the reviews cannot be positive, but you can weigh between the good and the bad. All or most travellers cannot give an agency a bad review for no reason.
Payment times and methods
Whenever a travel agency keeps pushing you for payment even before planning for the trip and providing a comprehensive itinerary, then you could be dealing with conmen. A good travel agency will ensure that you are satisfied before asking you for a deposit, which is the normal procedure. Do not pay cash, always ask for credit card payments. That way the transaction can be traced if need arises.
Communication, and Deals
Do not trust an agency whose staff you have not seen. Assuming you are sourcing for travel agents before coming to Kenya, the primary mode of communication will be emails. However, always ask for at least two video calls to get familiar with the people you are dealing with. To be very sure, you can make a recording of your video calls so that you can have evidence if the deal goes south. Never trust an agency whose deals are too good to be true. You can do your own research and get the rough estimate of a trip you want to take. Use your findings as a comparison to what the agency offers and gauge whether it is plausible.