Sometimes booking a whole trip alone can be hectic. Sometimes you just want to take a vacation where you find everything already sorted out. Sometimes you have no idea where to start with the trip planning. Whichever the case, travel agents exist for exactly these reasons. However, before sealing the deal with any travel agent, you should know some basic yet fundamental things that will determine whether or not to hire their services. Here are some questions to ask for making a better decision.
What are the best destinations in regards to my interests?
When planning a trip, you should have a list of things that you would like to do in your new city or country. For example, in Kenya, you may want to visit the sandy beaches or hike Mt Kenya or imply go to Safaris and nature adventures. Once you have identified what you would like to do, ask your travel agents for the best destinations keeping in mind the amount of time you have and the budget you are working with. Make sure to counter check these destinations later to gauge whether or not they are suitable for you.
What can I do to save some money?
A good travel agent should be able to help every traveller, even those on a tight budget. Always ask if there are deals or packages that you can take instead of the suggested ones in order to save money. If you are travelling alone, ask if they can put you ina group which is usually cheaper due to cost sharing. Other cost saving ideas including travelling at specific times of the year, which may be low seasons for that particular country.
What does the price include or exclude?
Your travel agent will give you a quote for the whole package they are selling you. Before making any payments, always be clear about what these fees cover. Ask whether there will be airport transfers to and from your hotel. If you are visiting lakes or water bodies, are the boat rides included? What of the meals? Is it full or half board? Does the fee cover the safari drives? Be thorough about the payments to avoid getting stranded when you arrive.
Will the travel agency provide any insurance?
Make sure you ask the travel agent if their company offers any form of insurance during the time of travel. For example, if your luggage gets lost during a transfer from one hotel to another, or if an accident were to occur, would you be repaid for the loss or not? A good travel agency always gives its clients an extent of insurance.
How can we keep in touch before my arrival?
Ask your travel agent to give you a mode of communication that they can be reached through always. Although there might be time differences, a good travel agent will provide a line that is open 24/7. Always check out their website as well and try to vet their authenticity using your instincts and online reviews. If a travel agency has too many negative reviews do not take your chances, just try to find one that has positive feedback.
What are the documentation requirements of the country?
Lastly, ask whether you need a visa or not for your hoped destination. If the answer is in the affirmative, ask if the visa has to be applied from your home country or if you can get it on arrival. Ask for the prices and duration of time required for application. Also, ask if there are other requirements such as vaccines, proof of travel insurance etc.
Other questions you can ask include
- Have you ever been to the destination? If so, what was your experience?
- What are the top things I should carry?
- How is the weather generally like?
- Can I get additional day tours?