If you want your next vacation to go off without a hitch, hiring a Travel Agent near me is probably a good idea. Besides putting your mind at ease, they’ll take care of the little details. Hotel rooms? Booked. Dinner reservations? Made. Tour tickets? Purchased. Travel agents also help travelers who have special needs, such as kosher meals or accessibility accommodations.
But before you choose an agent, do your homework. Interview several to find out if they understand your style of travel and are available when you need them. You can also check their credentials online. Look for the American Society of Travel Advisors’ consumer website to see if they adhere to the organization’s code of ethics.
You may also want to search for an agent by zip code or a specific destination, like “Costa Rica” or “Napa Valley”. This will give you results of agents in that area who specialize in those destinations and can help you make the right choice.
Another thing to consider is how much a travel agent gets paid for booking your trip. The truth is, some agents get very little commission for their work. Airlines have cut back on commissions, and cruise lines often have non-commissionable fees (NCFs) that add up quickly.
That said, a great travel agent can still save you time and money by finding you the best deals. And they have a network of other travel experts they can tap for advice when you need it. So is a travel agent worth it? We talked to former and current agents Katelyn O’Shaughnessy and Erina Pindar to see what it really takes to be a successful one.