Planning and booking all aspects of your holiday can be a daunting prospect. With so much to do and often so little time to do it all, many people turn to travel agencies to fulfill these tasks on their behalf. Sadly, there are many travel agents that aren’t completely legitimate, fair or organized. Lion Sourced are here to help with a list of traits to look for during your quest for the perfect agency.
In any good relationship, honesty is key. If this is your first experience with a travel agency, ask them a question or two that you already know the answer to – See if they give you a truthful response. A great question you can ask them is ‘Is there a surcharge for your service?’. The reason behind this is that 99% of travel agencies charge a small amount for their work and don’t just work on commission for generated sales. If they answer with ‘Yes’ and a detailed description of this fee, chances are they are worthy of your trust.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people that simply walk into their nearest agency and assume they’re getting the best possible deal. Search online for reviews from previous customers. Think Google Business, Trust Pilot, Facebook and any other you can find. Filter out companies with terrible reviews and don’t be tempted to use them, even if there’s an exclusive ‘deal’ on the table.
When you have questions, or it’s getting closer to the date of your vacation, getting a response from your travel agency is all-important. This one is pretty straight forward to decipher – When you call them, do they pick up straight away or ring you back much later? Do they email you with information regarding the holiday package you are interested in? If the answer is no, the red flags should certainly start to raise.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying ‘If it’s too good to be true, it probably is’. A lot of low-tier travel agencies will offer ‘amazing deals’ but many leave you with no support. If they’re only making a small amount on holiday sales, they aren’t likely to be employing sufficient staff to deal with requests from customers. Don’t always dive head first into the cheapest option – unless you’re happy to receive no support from the agency themselves.
Is the company in question posting regularly on social media? Might sound like an insignificant point, but there’s a reason we ask. Deceitful and untrusted companies tend to post sparsely on their pages to avoid backlash from outraged customers. Check the comments, pictures they’re tagged in and other people using their business hashtag. Most people will tend to be vocal when they’ve been ripped off, so finding unhappy clients is never too difficult.
Website Once Over
Head over to the official company website and check for these:
- Clear contact information displayed on their home page, footer or dedicated contact page.
- Are prices clearly shown or do you have to search deeper for them?
- Legitimate reviews displayed directly from a website such as Trust Pilot.
- Updated information covering the company policy, their practices or what they’ve been doing to ensure customer satisfaction.
If you can find a few of the points mentioned above, chances are you’re on to a winner. Most reputable companies will keep their website up-to-date, as this will help them to garner new customers through searches and other means of promotion.
Lion Sourced understand that completing the steps above might seem like a tedious task, especially when you’ve got a holiday to prepare for. However, we would highly recommend making use of at least two, as this will greatly help your chances of finding the perfect travel agent that you can continue to work with in the future. Once you’ve found ‘the one’, all holiday planning will be a walk in the park!