Tips For Selecting A Virtual Travel Specialist


Tips For Selecting A Virtual Travel Specialist

Gone are the​ days of​ relying on​ your neighborhood travel agent or​ spending the​ first day of​ your vacation hunting for a​ local outfitter or​ guide. Reliable travel specialists are located in​ virtually every corner of​ the​ world and can now be accessed on​ the​ web.

Whether you​ are searching for a​ tour operator,​ travel agency or​ outfitter,​ the​ following tips will help you​ weed through the​ plethora of​ travel specialists hawking their wears online.

Websites
The design and content of​ a​ company’s website speaks volumes about the​ way they do business.
· A travel specialist’s website should provide information that is​ useful,​ informative and fun.
· The contact information,​ including a​ phone number and an​ email address,​ should be easy to​ locate.
· The site should also include all relevant information,​ such as​ the​ cost of​ an​ excursion,​ maps and directions. And,​ for those engaging an​ adventure specialist,​ a​ packing list,​ either directly in​ the​ content or​ in​ the​ form of​ an​ FAQ (frequently asked questions).

Visible track record
Great website but how do I know they can deliver? Assessing a​ travel specialists credentials is​ not as​ difficult as​ it​ sounds.
· Many industry associations and tourist boards list members and accredited agencies on​ their websites.
· Check references,​ read testimonials from previous clients,​ pose questions on​ a​ travel forum.

Knowledge and experience
Nothing can be a​ substitute for knowledge and experience.
· Determine the​ agency or​ outfitter’s knowledge of​ your travel destination as​ well as​ the​ type of​ adventure you​ wish to​ experience.
· Find out how long they have been in​ the​ business and whether they are accustomed to​ organizing tours for singles,​ families or​ seniors.

Location of​ the​ outfitter
If they are not located in​ the​ country you​ will be traveling to​ you​ may also wish to​ understand:
· Who will sort out any problems,​ accidents,​ or​ emergencies that may arise during your holiday?
· When was the​ last time they biked down that country road?
· Or how they will obtain a​ refund for the​ boat tour that was cancelled due to​ inclement weather.

Client service
If communicating with the​ specialist is​ a​ challenge there is​ a​ good chance your trip will turn out to​ be a​ disaster. Select a​ specialist that is​ committed to​ organizing quality trips and returning satisfied clients.
· How quickly does the​ agency or​ outfitter respond to​ your emails and telephone calls?
· Are they eager to​ assist you​ with the​ planning of​ your vacation?
· Do they go the​ extra mile to​ customize your itinerary?
· Does the​ proposed itinerary reflect your interests?

Cost vs Value
Get more than one proposal and compare.
· Find out what is​ and what is​ not included in​ the​ price.
· Determine the​ location and quality of​ the​ accommodation.
· How many meals are included and whether they are buffet or​ a​ la carte.
· Is the​ trip fully guided or​ will you​ be touring on​ your own?
· In addition you​ will want to​ know what,​ if​ any,​ sightseeing is​ included and whether you​ will have any free time.

Conditions
Make sure to​ read the​ fine print before you​ commit. the​ terms and conditions should clearly spell out your responsibilities as​ well as​ those of​ the​ specialist.
· What is​ the​ company's policy on​ reservations,​ deposits and cancellations?
· Can a​ tour or​ excursion be cancelled for a​ lack of​ bookings?
· Who is​ responsible for additional payments in​ the​ event of​ a​ currency fluctuation?

Where to​ get the​ lowdown on​ travel specialists,​ guides,​ and outfitters:
Washington Post
Condé Nast Traveler
Epinions.com
The Thorn Tree Travel Forum






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