Planning a trip today can be confusing and time consuming. A travel agent not only arranges the various modes of transportation, but a travel agent also may be able to save you money with early booking discounts, special fares, hotel deals and travel advisories.
Benefits of Using a Travel Agent:
Save Money! – Strong working relationships with travel suppliers and the latest in computer reservations technology enable travel agents to access the most up-to-date information on how to get you the best value.
Traveler Advocates – Travel Agents adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and your best interests are their first priority.
Convenience – Travel Agents offer one-stop shopping for all travel arrangements.
Service – Travel Agents are knowledgeable and active in the industry. They are continually learning and training through a variety of resource materials to equip them with the tools necessary to offer the highest quality of service.
Agents Will Go the Extra Mile – Agents work for you and will do everything they can to meet your travel needs. Some agents literally go that extra mile to help their clients.
How do you find a good travel agent?
Choose one like you would a doctor or lawyer. Get advice from friends and relatives who use an agent they trust. Since travel choices are personal decisions that reflect individual desires and lifestyles, you will want to visit or call several travel agencies to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider everything from the appearance of the office to the travel agent’s willingness to listen and answer questions. The best agents want to establish a long-term relationship with a client, not just make one sale.
What special services do travel agencies offer?
As the travel industry grows more competitive, travel agencies increase the quality and type of services they offer. Travel agents can arrange all types of domestic and international travel, from hotel and resort accommodations to air and ground transportation, including car rental needs and tour packages. They can provide assistance with travel insurance protection, passport and visa applications, inoculation procedures and other foreign travel requirements. Many have toll-free phone numbers and offer meeting planning and incentive travel services. Some travel agents maintain automated individual profiles that include the client’s frequent flyer number, airline seating preference, smoking or non-smoking designation and other specifications for a custom-designed trip. Arrangements can also be tailored to suit business and vacation objectives, personal interests and budget concerns. Although most travel agencies provide a wide range of services, some agencies may specialize in areas such as family travel, group travel, adventure travel, ecotourism, the mature market, incentive travel or travel for the disabled.
How do I know if my travel agent is well trained?
Ask about your travel agent’s professional background. Many have been trained in business management, travel and tourism or geography. Others have supplemented their agency experience with extensive education and training courses. Some travel agents are Certified Travel Counselors (CTC), having completed an educational program with the Institute of Certified Travel Agents.
Agents are the only unbiased professionals who can sort through nearly 100,000 daily changes in airfares alone. Experience, constant industry interaction and computer reservations systems make travel agents the only source savvy enough to engineer a relaxing trip out of the fluctuating complexities of travel offerings. So, save yourself time, money and frustration.
16. THE EFFECTS OF TRAVELING AREN’T JUST SHORT-TERM
Aside from making you happier in the short-term, traveling can make you a much more contented, happy and relaxed person in the long run, too.
15. NEW EXPERIENCES GIVE US MOMENTS TO REMEMBER
Recalling memories of happiness can sustain a feeling of contentment long after the moment has passed, and new experiences are memories that can stick with you forever
14. YOU’RE MORE INTERESTING
Making someone laugh is an easy way to instantly bump up your self-esteem, so hold on to those embarrassing memories — no matter how much they might make you cringe.
13. GET A VITAMIN D BOOST
A beach break is a great way to relax and enjoy the health benefits of a warm climate. Admittedly, this is more of a short-term boost, but a healthy glow makes everyone feels better and lasts for a few weeks after your trip is over.
12. EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION
Travel presents ways in which we can further our knowledge and education. Learning makes our brains more active, which psychologists have found increases our level of happiness – particularly when learning something we find enjoyable.
11. GETTING SOME ‘YOU’ TIME
Having a moment to take advantage of peace and quiet and to simply ‘be’ allows us to let go of stress and tension and just enjoy being in the moment — a key focus of meditation and a practice you can take home with you.
10. DETOX FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s liberating and allows you to better enjoy the ‘here and now’, which nicely ties into the point above.
9. YOU MAKE NEW FRIENDS
When people are away from home, there seem to be less boundaries to cross and making friends becomes much easier, whether it’s a local curious to know where you’ve come from or a fellow travelers keen to have someone with whom to enjoy a beer or share a taxi.
8. BEING AWAY MAKES YOU APPRECIATE FAMILY AND HOME
Being away from things we often take for granted — family, close friends, home — makes us appreciate them more. Calling home isn’t a chore, but something to look forward to.
7. HAPPINESS IS INFECTIOUS
When the locals are happy, smiling and friendly, it has an immediate knock-on effect.
6. FIND YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE BY DEALING WITH UNEXPECTED SITUATIONS
Even if you plan your trip to the letter, things can take a surprise turn. Whatever happens, there is a way around the problem and knowing that you can deal with these situations is a big boost to self-confidence and therefore your happiness.
A relaxing vacation not only has the power to serve up delight while it’s underway, but, thanks to eager anticipation, it can boost vacationers’ happiness levels weeks and even months prior to its fruition.
Travel makes us happy, because it offers us the opportunity to step outside our well-worn, self-constructed, realities and provides a platform to explore and practice our ideal visions for ourselves — who we might be if we weren’t married to our fears and anxieties about safety, security and status.
3. TRAVEL REMINDS US HOW UNIMPORTANT MOST THINGS ARE
The more you see of the world, the more you realize how tiny your own corner of it is in the grand scheme of things. That doesn’t mean that your world isn’t a big deal to you, but it’s helpful to remember that very few things really matter forever and ever. You are small. This is small. So no matter how much you mess it up, it’s not really so bad. That perspective is a key tenant of sustainable happiness.
2. TRAVEL HELPS US AVOID DYING
I’ve never heard of any research that links globetrotting to length of life, and I’m not actually suggesting that racking up frequent flier miles will help you extend your life. What I am suggesting is that travel helps you use your years on Earth to live. The cycle of living things is: birth, growth, dying, and death. Stagnation is an illusion that is often just a convenient cover for dying. Travel keeps you growing and blossoming. It doesn’t prevent death, but it helps us avoid meeting it with a basket full of regrets.
1. TRAVEL! The only thing you can buy that will make your life richer.
”sitting in the background, just watching life go by in a country very different to my own and knowing that the feeling and experience will make me richer than money ever could.”
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