So you want to start planning your trip. You have done all the research and are ready to book you tickets, but something in the back of your head is telling you that maybe you should google search for a local travel agent to book this trip. Probably because it is costing a lot of money and you don’t want to make an accidental mistake like buying a non-refundable ticket to the wrong island in Hawaii. Then there would be nobody to blame but yourself.
Travel agents in Ontario are regulated by TICO. Travel agencies and agents registered with TICO can be found through their website at TICO.ca. If an agent is not registered, then you should be cautious about using them to book your travels. A registered agent will have your back in a crisis, because they have the know-how and hook-ups and will have the detailed information about your trip so they can trouble shoot as needed while you’re on vacation.
Besides the more troubling parts of traveling like cancelled flights and natural disasters, travel agents do other great things for us:
They know when you should travel. Not only do they know the best times of year to visit each destination, but they know the best time of day or year to do different tours like visiting the Vatican or getting a gondola tour of the Venetian Canals. Sometimes knowing the best times to go means less lines, more attention and best of all, better prices. Having the inside information from a licensed professional means that they can book you tours through reputable companies so you not only get the most out of your money, but you can get the exact type of experience you’re looking for.
Upgrades and add ons. The cool thing about dealing with an agent who has been there and done that, is that they can do things like- call your hotel ahead of time and see about getting you an upgrade at no extra charge or extra onboard credits for your cruise vacation. They will even know how best to transfer from the hotel to the airport, or from the hotel to each tour, these costs can add up and having the professional map it out for you, will save you big.
Travel agents have experience in different areas, and no two are created equal, so you may want to do your homework and find an agent who has relevant experience to the trips you enjoy taking. Agents get paid either a flat rate paid by you, above the travel price, or they get paid commissions by the hotel, airline, cruise line or resort. Travel agents won’t book your trip based on commissions, good travel agents will work for you, and match you with the best trip. So find an agent and plan on!