7 Travel Agent Tips I Wish That I Had Listened To

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Written By LoydMartin

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Never stay at the best property first

My agent helped me plan a Hawaii vacation. She advised that I should not choose the most luxurious property. Any other property will make you feel inferior and you may be disappointed when you return.” Her advice was invaluable as I Travel Agent later booked a family holiday to Fiji.

Our first visit was to DoubleTree Hilton’s Sonaisali Island. This island is just a 2-minute boat ride from Viti Levu. The resort was a paradise on an island, with easy access to Nadi to visit the capital and its many attractions. Sonaisali boasted a swimming pool, beachside bures and offered paddleboarding lessons as well as horse riding on the beaches. The staff was very friendly and enjoyed beach volleyball. They called their matches Fiji versus either the Australians or the Italians depending on who was playing. As reinforcements, they would pull out waiters or cooks if they were losing.

Book Early Morning Flights

My travel agent recommended that I book early morning flights. I didn’t like the idea of flying early in the morning so I ignored it for years. I thought it was a bad idea to get up at 4 am and drive to the airport in darkness. It was simple logic. Flights departing before 8 a.m. have a lower chance of being delayed than those leaving later in the morning.

One morning, I regretted not following the advice of the agent. We live an hour away from the airport and had booked a mid morning flight. However, our taxi driver got distracted in rush hour and we missed our plane. We didn’t have a flexible fare but had pre-paid for the rest of our holiday. So we went to the airline desk to purchase new flights for our family. Double fares were a costly travel error that I regret not making again.

Always Travel on Tuesdays

Midweek is the best time for travel because it is cheaper and less crowded. For leisure travelers, Friday is the best day to travel. Business travelers tend to fly Mondays and Fridays. As a travel agent, a friend suggested Tuesdays as the best day to travel. While I cannot say that I would have considered having a day off for travel, I will. We have all experienced packed-to-the-rafters flights, where it’s impossible to wedge your carry-on into the overhead lockers, and it takes an eternity to disembark. This problem is less likely on Tuesdays.

Incorporate a Completely Different Outfit into Each Other’s Suitcases

A companion can carry your luggage so that you don’t lose it. Like playing Russian roulette, checking in luggage is like taking a gamble. Check-in is when you say goodbye to your bag. The luggage carousel will bring your bag to your destination. You get to the point where everything is broken. Everyone else has their luggage taken away, leaving you staring at empty spaces. This sinking feeling will be felt by most travelers at least once in their lives. It happened to me in Cairo six months ago when I was pregnant. The airline claimed they would find and send the luggage. However, we weren’t staying at a hotel. Instead, we were taking a trip along the Nile. I was offered clothes by passengers, but none of them fit my large baby stomach. I was able to get my luggage 10 days before the end of the trip. There were several intermediaries who asked for bakeesh (a tip/bribe). I wish I had listened to the travel agent and packed at least half of my clothes in my partner’s luggage.

Today, I travel solo, but I am careful to not lose my luggage.

Keep Prescription Medicine In Your Carry-On

This is a tip that a travel agent gave me and I have followed since. I was on a China tour and witnessed the fate of a woman who packed her medication in her checked luggage. The airline then lost her bag. After several days of being without her blood pressure medication for a while, her head started to throb and she felt dizzy all the time. You should be aware that your trip could be ruined if you lose your high blood pressure medication, thyroid medication, or any other prescription medications. It is important to have these medications on board the plane.

Do not underestimate the importance of medication

In the event of delayed flights, the same agent suggested that you pack extra medication. I decided to pack some extra medication in case of delayed flights. It was a new airline that flew out of Chengdu. They did not offer reciprocal airline flights, and the next service was only a week away. We were able to stay in a hotel and enjoy the extra week off work because we weren’t having to return for work. I wish that I had paid more attention to the travel agent’s advice. I cut down my remaining pills by half in the hope that half-dosages would be enough to maintain my good health. It was stressful, but it was something I could live with. Today, I keep duplicates of my prescriptions and extra tablets. While it’s not always possible for scripts to be filled abroad, it’s always possible.

Never book with a travel agent who has not been to your destination.

I was a teenager when my son told me that he wanted to backpack through Europe. To help him plan, I took him to a youth specialist in travel. Many of the young agents had traveled for many months or years around the globe backpacking. Their top tip was to find a travel agent that has traveled extensively in the destination you’re visiting.

Years later, I was planning my first trip from Australia to the U.S. Five weeks of internal flights took me between major cities, ending in Huntsville (Alabama) for a conference. I typically book online, but this trip was more complicated than that. I called my local travel agency and was disappointed by the price. The agent had never been to New York.

Recalling the youthful, well-traveled agents who specialized in travel, I visited their offices for a quote even though I was the oldest person to enter their offices without a teenager. I called the American agent who was most familiar with the country. They sat me down with a young man, whose father was from the United States. He saw his father often, but each trip was used to see a different part of the States. His trip cost was lower and, in retrospect, I can see how his careful planning saved me a lot of grief.

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