Travel Agents – Your Key to Great Vacation Experiences
Are you dreaming about a vacation? Do you have a special occasion, like a milestone birthday, anniversary, or graduation in the near future that you want to celebrate with travel? Not for sure where to start your planning or even where you want to go for your vacation or celebration? Maybe hiring a Travel Agent in Indianapolis is your key to a great vacation or celebration!
A Travel Agent, really? You might think Travel Agents are no longer in business or are no longer relevant because of the internet. If you were alive 20 years ago, you could easily find a Travel Agent in any city or town. All you had to do was visit the local Travel Agency at their place of business and work directly with one of the Travel Agents to book your vacation. You would walk in and the walls were filled with brochures and magazines that would inspire you to travel before you actually put money down.
Today, while you may not find a Travel Agency located in a building or strip mall, many Travel Agents and Travel Agencies work from home or remotely. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there close to 67,000 travel agents employed in the United States as of May 2019. And, the brochures and magazines are now on virtual brochure rack.
What does a Travel Agent in Indianapolis do?
What does a Travel Agent actually do? The work of a Travel Agent varies depending on what they specialize in. However, the main job of a travel agent in a traditional travel agency today is to plan, book, and assist customers with their vacation needs and travel tips along the way. Travel Agents work as an agent of the customer to help ensure their vacation is stress-free and as memorable as possible. Travel Agents do all the detailed work before, during, and after your trip, so you don’t have to. They provide a professional service known as personal vacation planning services.
Most Travel Agents today specialize or focus in one area of travel, destination, or experience. Very few are known as general Travel Agents helping customers with any travel arrangement. Some Travel Agents focus on business travel, helping businesses or organizations with the travel needs of employees or managers.
Others focus on leisure travel. These agents help couples, families, or small groups with cruises, resorts, Disney, or tour vacations. Some agents just handle airline tickets or travel protection, also known as travel insurance. While other agents may focus just on Disney World vacation planning.
Today, Travel Agents do different things and no two agents do the exact same thing. That is why it is important you choose the right Travel Agent when planning a vacation or celebration trip. Choosing the wrong one can make a huge difference in the experience you end up getting when you travel. Sometimes it may make sense to hire a different Travel Agent for each trip, depending on where and what you want to accomplish on your vacation.
Who Should use a Travel Agent in Indianapolis?
Travel Agents are not for everyone. Some people prefer to do all the research and manage every detail about their vacation. If you are that type of person, then a Travel Agent may only make you frustrated. However, if you like the idea of having someone handle all the details of the trip and to make sure you are getting the most out of all your vacation dollars, then a Travel Agent may be the perfect fit.
If you are new to a travel product (cruise, Disney, or tour) or to a destination, a Travel Agent will be worth the hire. However, if you wanting only airline tickets, or just a rental car here in the US, then it normally is best to do it yourself and book directly with the airline, rental car company or hotel chain. With so many options for booking domestic trips, many times, it is easier to do it yourself. That being said, if the destination is Hawaii, New York, or Vegas, most Travel Agents can be of assistance.
If you are not sure if you should use a Travel Agent or not, give one a call and and ask. Or book your next trip with them and find out for your self.
Why Use a Travel Agent in Indianapolis?
Booking a vacation often proves to be extremely stressful, time-consuming, and ends up being a grueling undertaking. You can spend countless hours online searching for the right vacation deals, bouncing from one website to another in pursuit of the perfect price and perfect destination. This kind of process often causes anxiety and added stress:
For most individuals planning a vacation on their own, it will take them more than five hours to search and book a vacation online. Since most individuals only take one or two vacations a year, a more realistic range of 10–20 hours is what can be expected when planning a vacation (including flight research, hotels, and activity research).
In some extreme cases, for those focused on every detail, it can take 40+ hours. And, then on the other end of the spectrum, there are those that simply wing it and don’t plan anything beyond flights and hotels.
To avoid the stress, hassle, and save your precious time, why not turn to a Travel Agent? With countless choices for cruises, resorts, flights, hotels, car rental, and tours it’s time to dump the DIY approach. There are simply too many travel products, destinations, and choices available for you to decipher on your own, you need a professional Travel Agent to help you cut through all the choices and someone that will work for you! Not convinced, here are 10 reasons to use a Travel Agent:
Ten Reasons to Use a Travel Agent in Indianapolis
1. Convenient One-Stop Shopping – Travel agents can take care of every part of your vacation needs including airfare, lodging, ground transportation, and entertainment. Who wants to be the one to show up at an airport in the middle of the night and not have a way to get to your resort that is 30 minutes away??
2. Consumer Advocate – As part of the CruiseOne franchise, we have substantial buying power that our suppliers don’t want to lose. If you are unhappy, we can work on your behalf to see that things are rectified.
3. Expert Guidance – Travel agents can help you get where you need to go and provide tips to make your vacation great. That way you won’t be surprised when you show up in Rio in July and find out that it’s winter there!
4. Save Time – Let us do all the research and planning to make your vacation fantastic. Have you ever Googled “Mexico vacation” and found millions of websites? Yeah, we can help narrow that down for you!
5. Choice – Travel agents can offer you different options and price quotes from suppliers so that you can choose what works best for you. And those choices won’t include planning your honeymoon at a resort where the one pool was filled with screaming kids, or where your restful vacation is spent in New Orleans during Mardi Gras!
6. Less Stress – It can be stressful to plan a vacation if you’re looking for lots of adventure, and your traveling companion wants plenty of time to relax, and the kids are looking for nonstop fun. We can find the perfect balance so that everyone is happy, while you go play catch with your son in the back yard!
7. Updated information – Travel agents attend seminars, webinars, and go through training so we are constantly updated with vital information and changes in the travel industry. Have you ever showed up for your beachfront hotel, only to find that a bigger one was built in front of it and now blocks your great view?
8. Travel Documentation – Travel agents can make sure that you have the proper paperwork so that you don’t get to your destination and find out you really did need that Visa!
9. Save money – Travel agents are aware of the current promotions our suppliers are offering
10. Excellent Customer Service – When you work with us, you won’t spend hours on hold waiting for someone to answer your questions, and you will always know who will answer the phone. Plus, when was the last time you received a birthday card or handwritten thank you card from the online site you booked your vacation through?
Where to Find the Best Travel Agent in Indianapolis
Unlike days of old where you could pick up the Yellow Pages or just drive down the street to find a travel agent, now you have to look a little harder to find one. However, the best travel agents should not be too difficult to find and pick out.
The best way to find the best travel agent in Indianapolis is to turn to the web. It sounds odd that someone who doesn’t want to plan or book their own vacation using the internet would use the internet to find a travel agent, but that is the world we live in today!
Go to your favorite web browser and type in one of the following phrase(s): Best Travel Agent in Indianapolis, Travel Agent Indianapolis, Travel Agency Indianapolis, Indianapolis Travel Agent, Indy Travel Agent or Travel Agent near me. As long as you type in Travel Agent and Indianapolis in some variation, you will get some results. While many travel agents don’t call themselves travel agents, google and the major web browsers still call them Travel Agents so using this term will get you the most results.
Your search results will more than likely be a mix of google ads, local business (also knows as the google three-pack), and various websites. Pay close attention to Google’s three-pack to see what businesses are listed there. These Travel Agents or Travel Agencies have their own Google My Business profile and are more than likely not just a hobbly Travel Agent; there are a lot of hobby Travel Agents in Indianapolis. From there you can click on any business name that looks interesting to you to see their full profile. The more a Travel Agent has this filled out, the greater the chance they are serious in the Travel Space.
In addition to the Google three-pack, check out the reviews on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and the BBB. Take a look at who is listed, how many ratings they have, what their star rating is, and then what are people actually saying about their experience with that Travel Agent or Agency. Make sure to look at the dates of the reviews. It is important to see reviews that are recent. This shows the Travel Agent or Agency is currently active.
Many Travel Agents get in the business and then leave when things get hard or life gets too busy. Compare their ratings and review with others. Finally, check to make sure that the ratings and reviews are consistent across all the other review sites. Quickly the best Travel Agents in Indianapolis will begin to appear.
While you are online, also check out Facebook. You can ask in a town Facebook page or just ask, “What Travel Agent to you recommend?” You will find many other people know of or have used a Travel Agent before. Your friends on Facebook will be more than happy to recommend them to you. And, just like the Google three-pack, check out their Facebook page. Check to see if it is complete and if they have pictures of their recent trips? Is there a picture of the agents? Does their Facebook page have reviews or recommendations on them? See how old their latest post was. Most Travel Agents hang out on Facebook.
The best Travel Agents or Travel Agency are also on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media channels. Check out all their profiles. There should be a consistent and up to date message on each of the social media channels.
Lastly, ask your friends or family if they know any Travel Agents and if they were happy with them. Word of mouth referrals is the biggest way Travel Agents get their business. Since they provide a very personalized service, the best Travel Agents are worth mentioning to others.
Qualities of the Best Travel Agent in Indianapolis
Now that you have identified a few Travel Agents in Indianapolis, the next step is to narrow down the list, looking for the best Travel Agents in Indianapolis. When you are looking for the travel agent in Indianapolis you need to look for several redeeming qualities. The 14 qualities of the best Travel Agent are as follows:
Part of an Agency – Your travel agent more than likely will be part of a Travel Agency or part of a larger travel organization, as a Franchise or consortium. While truly independent agents have for flexibility, they normally lack the training opportunities or direct access to suppliers. Make sure you ask your prospective Travel Agent that you want to hire if they are independent or part of a larger organization. Then, ask them why.
Insurance – If a Travel Agent is a serious agent, and not just a part-time, hobby Travel Agent, ask them about what type of business insurance they carry. The most typical type of insurance the best Travel Agents hold is Errors and Omissions insurance. This just shows you how serious they are about their business.
Reviews – It was mentioned before about review, but make sure you actually read the reviews. What do the reviews say about the Travel Agency and are there reviews about the specific Travel Agent? Do you see both good and bad reviews and for those that are bad, does the company or agent respond to the reviews? These are good to determine if there really is a person behind the brand or agency.
Work Experience -Somebody with practical knowledge of seven years or more in the travel area is usually a lot more proficient than an individual who is rather young in the sector. Ask how long they have been a Travel Agent. Ask what types of products they sell and what type of clients they serve. What you are looking for is if they are considered as travel experts in their industry.
Travel Experience – Besides work experience, does the Travel Agent you are looking to hire actually have travel experience? Have they traveled to the destination you are looking to go to? Have they experienced the products they are selling (eg. cruise, Disney, resorts, etc.)? Do they have pictures they can share that are from their personal travel? If they have not traveled there, what type of training have then done on the destination, or do they have a network of other Travel Agents they can talk to about it? You will be looking for personal experiences that will make your trip even better, so a Travel Agent that travels should make your trip magnificent.
Certifications – Your travel agent must be certified from some travel body or affiliated with the right organization. Live by the mantra, that says that: “a certified travel agent is the right travel agent”. There are several certifications a Travel Agent can receive. Make sure to ask them if they have a certification from one of the following organizations: American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), The Travel Institute, Cruise Lines International Association, or Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The Best Travel Agents will have at least one certification if not multiple certifications.
“A certified Travel Agent is the right Travel Agent“
Local – There’s no substitute for the personal touch received from a highly regarded Travel Agent in your area. Often the best experiences with Travel Agents in Indianapolis are one-on-one. (Note: not all agents work in an office, but home-based agents can and do regularly make personal visits). Just because a Travel Agent is local doesn’t’ mean they can work with clients outside of the local area. So, if you are traveling with a family that lives in other areas, most Travel Agents can assist you.
Destinations Sold – There are so many destinations around the world to travel to. The best Travel Agents have experience selling travel for the destination you are looking to travel. Travel Agents have many opportunities to get certification on specific destinations from various organizations. Not only will the best Travel Agents in Indianapolis have experience selling or being certified in the destination you are wanting to travel, but they will also have first-hand experience themselves.
Products Sold – Similiar to destinations, there are so many travel products (e.g. cruises, all-inclusive resorts, car rental, hotels, escorted tours, etc) that a Travel Agent can sell. Make sure you understand what products they specialize in or have experience in selling. Look at the Travel Agent’s website or social media posts to help determine what they sell. As mentioned earlier, not all Travel Agents will sell every product or may only sell categories (e.g. river cruises, barges, etc). The best Travel Agents will have deep knowledge in one or a few of these products. The more specialized a Travel Agent is, the more knowledge they will have around the type of product you are wanting to experience.
Suppliers Used – Not all travel suppliers are available to consumers via the internet. The best Travel Agents use a combination of common suppliers and suppliers that only work with Travel Agents. There are many suppliers that only work with Travel Agents and by only working with a Travel Agent will you get access to their travel products. Additionally, the best Travel Agents will have a strong relationship with travel suppliers. These relationships are normally based on sales volume for the Travel Agent or Agency. The stronger the relationship the more support and pricing incentives may be available to pass on to you.
Services Offered – What vacation planning services does the Travel Agent offer? Not all Travel Agents offer the same type of services, so asking what services they offer will be a great thing to ask and understand. The average Travel Agent will more of a booking agent instead of a Travel Agent providing professional vacation planning services. The best Travel Agents will offer services such as quotes, price monitoring, travel document distribution, gifts, travel guides, Disney fast pass planning or other services that add to your experience. The best Travel Agents should enhance your experience. If they don’t then why use them?
Service Pricing – A new trend with Travel Agents is to charge a fee for their personal vacation planning services on top of the commission they get from the supplier for booking your trip. These agents can charge a few dollars to hundreds of dollars for each reservation. If they do charge, make sure you understand if there are any additional fees when working with them (for example booking fees, services fees and cancelations fees). The best Travel Agents will make sure you are aware of any fees they may charge or will not charge a fee at all.
Booking Process – Booking with the best Travel Agent should be seamless and easy to do. The best Travel Agents will have various ways to communicate with them (phone, email, social media, chat, etc.) and have various ways to book your vacation. The best Travel Agents should be responsive and easy to get a hold of. And, they should be nice to you. When you read reviews, see if you can find anything being talked about how easy it is to work with them.
Travel Insurance – The best Travel Agents will always offer Travel Insurance, also known as Travel Protection. Not only will they offer it, but they will have various Travel Insurance Products available, either from the travel supplier, independent policies, or from their Agency, The best Travel Agents want to protect their clients financially, so the best Travel Agents always offer Travel Insurance.
Using the right Travel Agent for your next vacation is important and we hope you use some of the points mentioned above to assist you in finding the best Travel Agent in Indianapolis. Finding the best Travel Agent in Indianapolis is not hard, it just takes a little work and diligence before you do. The best Travel Travel in Indianapolis will make an already exciting time even better. We hope this has helped to do so. Enjoy your travels!!
If you are looking for the best Travel Agent in Indianapolis, check out one of the Travel Agents at Magnified Vacations CruiseOne. With over 7 years of experience helping families and couples in the greater Indianapolis area with their personal vacation planning services, they are ready to book your next vacation of a lifetime.