This week has been a challenging week in Cheyenne for the Travel Agency Industry. Many have been affected by the actions of a local travel agency here in Cheyenne, including Miles to Memories, LLC. My heart goes out to all those affected by his actions.
With news like what happened here in Cheyenne, people get more and more skeptical about going to agents, but you shouldn’t be! There is still a lot of great benefits that come from working with a local travel agent. However there are a few things you should look for before you hand over your vacation dreams to someone else! Here are some things you consider:
1. Ask for references from friends who have travelled through an agency or have a trusted friend in the business. Also feel free to ask the agent for references as well.
2. Do not feel like you have to settle for the first agency you talk to. Go with someone you feel like you can build a lasting relationship with. Remember you want someone who wants to take a genuine interest in what you are investing your money in and designing the vacation for you, not pushing the vacation that pays the most commission.
3. Always make sure you get a detailed explanation as to their fee’s upfront.
4. Do not be afraid to ask for a couple of quotes. If something seems off, ask why!
5. Outside of a service fee, your payments should be made by the agent directly to a supplier and a receipt of payment should be given to you from the supplier that includes your confirmation number. The agent should also go through final payment dates and any other pertinent information you need to know at the initial booking.
6. Do not be afraid to ask for certifications, associations and if they carry Error & Omission Insurance.
I have worked hard since July to establish my reputation as a vacation planner. I am forever grateful for all of those who have put their trust in me, recommended me to their family and friends and helped me to grow both through Miles to Memories, LLC. As I continue to pursue my Masters in Tourism Management, I am continuing to grow as a professional and what it takes to be a leader in this industry.
I came across this article Choosing Travel Agents sometime last year while researching a project. I decided then that this was the type of vacation planner I wanted to be. Not tied to a commission or a supplier, but committed to my clients. Individuality, transparency, reliability, creativity, and a genuine interest in my clients are the foundations on which I built Miles to Memories, LLC and will continue to grow it.