Most travel agencies are honest and reputable. Using a travel agency not only has the advantage of taking care of all your travel planning for you but it also there when you need assistance during your trip.
A good indicator of an agency’s reliability is if it is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). ASTA has strict rules and regulations regarding a travel agent’s membership. If, by chance, you do have a problem with the agent or agency it is by far easier and more likely you will have your problem resolved with an ASTA travel agent.
In addition, reputable travel agencies list all of their contact information. If an online agency only lists an email address this may be a red flag. A reputable agency will have not only an email address but have a mailing address and a telephone number where you can reach a real live person to talk to in the event you have questions or concerns regarding your booking.
Hidden fees may not be evident with agencies that are not reputable. A trustworthy agency will spell out all the fees and surcharges involved with your vacation booking. You should get all the fees in writing. Be wary of too good to be true low rates for a vacation. This could be a lure to get your business and then you have the extra fees presented to you after it is too late.
A reputable agency will go above and beyond to satisfy your needs for your vacation. If needed, a reputable agent will make sure handicap access or other disability accommodations are available, to make sure the trip is enjoyable. A disreputable agency is only interested in collecting your money.
Another factor to consider is if the agent provides some sort of travel tips and guidelines to make your trip enjoyable, especially if you are planning to visit an international destination. Before traveling to a foreign country one should be prepared to deal with that country’s culture and have some sort of understanding on the do’s and don’t s to not only to make the trip more enjoyable but to also as a safety factor . A good agent will alert the traveler to dangers as far as weather or crime to prevent injury or worse.