Did you know that 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018 was supported by tourism sector, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council? This data makes it evident as to how crucial this sector is for India’s economy. Likewise, it won’t be surprising if this sector is major contributor to many other countries across the globe. In such a scenario when there are umpteen options available, it can be confusing as to whether to plan a trip on your own or take help of a travel agency. This can be a major point of contention, especially for amateurs like me. But let’s say, for now, you decide to go with a travel agency. How do you select a travel agency among all this chaos and confusion and the umpteen offers they throw at you? Let’s try and figure out how to select a travel agency for first-timers.
What’s Your Style?
Having a rough idea of what kind of a traveller you are, helps. It is a no-brainer that to understand that, one needs to have travelled a bit. Even if you haven’t, I guess we all have a fair idea of what kind of a travel experience we would like. For instance, are you someone who likes minimum hassle and wants everything properly laid out? Or you are someone who wants to do most of the things on your own and then it doesn’t matter if things get messy or you have to face something which you had not expected. So depending on that, you can zero in on a travel agency. There are travel agencies catering to various kinds of travellers these days. All you have to do is search and voila! You will find one. Even if they have tour packages, you can get a customized tour, based on your preferences and style. You can learn more about travel hacks for amateurs here.
To Spend or Not to Spend Is The Question
Deciding on a rough budget for a trip before approaching a travel agent is a good idea. Some travel agencies include a lot of things in their itinerary and so the cost of the trip goes up. Some may cover less things and keep some optional, where you can have the chance of saving money. Some travel agencies cater to a certain class and that may or may not fit your budget. While selecting a travel agency if you are an amateur can be a little tricky if you have not thought of the budget. That is where you will come to know how many travel agencies can suit your preferences. Ultimately, its our money and we need to decide to use it wisely and where we want to spend it.
Research, Research & More Research
If you have some travel agencies already on your mind, researching about them on sites like Tripadvisor can prove to be helpful. Some websites have extensive reviews and are very useful. Flight bookings are a major aspect of your overall tour experience, more so when travelling internationally. Further, if you know someone who has a good experience of travelling, you can ask that person too. That’s actually the best way to go about it. They can also give you some extra tips which we may not know. Researching extensively about a travel agency and the place you want to go goes a long way in ensuring that you select the best available option which will be in sync with your travel style and budget.
Get in Touch
The best way to know if a travel agency can possibly live upto your expectations are to call and talk to the people at the travel agency and get quotes from them. Getting a prompt response from them in the form of an email or a call in accordance with your requirements is a good starting point to consider a travel agency. On tour experience can be really amazing but those good vibes start from the first time you call them and how they respond to your queries. if the agency representatives don’t respond to your emails or aren’t giving satisfactory answers to your doubts, well, then you might as well bid adieu to them!
Go with Your Gut
Eventually, it all boils down to your gut feeling. What will happen actually on the trip is an entirely different story through. But if you feel like it, then go for it. All depends, as mentioned above what kind of an experience you are promised, overall. Here are a few questions to consider before you take a final decision –
- Is the tour itinerary as per what you have visualized?
- What is the payment mode?
- Are they asking to pay the entire amount at one go or in instalments?
- If you are traveling to a foreign country, are the visa fees included?
- Are there any tips for extra charges for the porterage or the tour manager over and above the tour cost?
- Are the entrees to all the sightseeing spots included in the tour cost?
- Is there any discount or an offer?
All said done, selecting a travel agency for amateurs or first-timers may not be as complicated as it seems! All you have to do is just go with the flow and have a fair idea of what exactly you want! Most importantly, you are sure to have a great time exploring and knowing about some amazing places around the globe!
Happy Traveling !