Finding an experienced travel agent who can customize the ultimate luxury vacation for you can be an impossible mission. But don’t worry… it’s Vacation.com to the rescue! We want to make the trip-planning process easy for you; so, we’ve provided a few helpful ways to find a good luxury travel agent. From getting good referrals to asking the right questions to finding the real pros, here’s a list of tips and tricks to find the best luxury travel agent for your upcoming trip.
Ask for Recommendations
We’ve all secretly followed our family and friends on social media and “liked” those Instagram-worthy photos or video that inspire us to travel. Take the extra step to see if your family, friends, or work colleagues have used a luxury travel agent, and if so, ask for that person’s info. Of course, you can only really do this with people who have similar tastes and budget restraints as yours, otherwise an agent might assume you want a different kind of vacation than you actually do – like your ideal dream luxury vacation in Eastern Europe rather than an all-inclusive getaway in the Caribbean.
Shop Around for the Perfect Match
Don’t settle on finding one travel agent that a friend may have recommended. Go the extra mile and create a list of potential candidates to ensure find the best match for you. It’s like dating in the sense you have to ask the right questions in hopes they deliver the right answers for the perfect relationship. Remember to look for someone who can guide you through the trip planning process, find the right destination (if you haven’t decided that yet), and customize an itinerary to match your standards in luxury travel. The key is finding someone who is truly unbiased in what they sell, and equally as important, someone who will be looking out for your best interest.
Interview Travel Agents & Ask the Important Questions:
Is the agent a member of ASTA?
This is probably one question that you should ask any travel agent to determine if you’re working with a credentialed travel specialist affiliated to an organization that protects your interests. The American Society of Travel Agents is the premier industry organization for agents and has a code of conduct that all members must follow—a code that offers significant consumer protections. ASTA also keeps a registry of members, so it can be a good source if you’re not sure which agent or agency to choose.
ASTA also keeps a registry of members, so it can be a good source if you're not sure which agent or agency to choose.
Do you have affiliations and relationships with luxury travel brands?
Independent travel agents are often connected with larger networks of agents. For example, Vacation travel agents are part of Travel Leaders Group, North America’s largest travel agency company. As part of this extensive network, our travel agents deliver a high-touch, personal level of travel expertise though our more than 7,000 company-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Clients receive one-on-one service while having access to VIP and or luxury travel experiences worldwide.
How many luxury vacations booked?
As part of the interviewing process in searching for your luxury travel agent match, you have to know whether they’ve actually booked a high-end vacation and their track record. A good travel agent can find the perfect luxury resort by simply learning about you, regardless of the destination. And they’re always going to have more tips and connections if they’ve visited the specific destinations you’re interested in visiting, or if they’ve frequently booked luxury vacations that are similar to what you want.
Have you booked other luxury experiences to my dream vacation destination?
This question will give you a good idea about their experience level. It’s a good way to gauge if a travel agent has extensive expertise and knowledge about particular destination of interest. And it’s also a way to determine if a travel agent understands your idea of what a luxury vacation should be. Remember luxury is different things to different people. It can be an outdoor adventure with family at a luxury safari camp, a couple’s trip to a luxurious beachfront resort in St. Tropez, an all-inclusive overwater bungalow experience in Mexico, or quick solo getaway at a high-end hotel such the SLS South Beach. Making sure you’re both on the same page will ensure that you get the dream luxe vacation you deserve.
How many agents are in your agency?
Always have a backup plan! A single travel agent can do an amazing job booking a complex itinerary. However, you should ask about their team if you need a backup or an additional agent to aid in your planning, depending on the number of people involved and the level of detail necessary to customize an unforgettable luxury experience.
... ask about their team if you need a backup or an additional agent to aid in your planning...
How long have you been in the business?
It’s a valid question, right? Your dream trip is not the time to give an inexperienced budget shopper their first shot a customizing a luxury vacation. One of the main benefits of working with a travel agent is having instant access to a person with years of experience and being able to tap into their knowledge gained from their extensive travels around the globe. The ideal travel agent will put your mind at ease when you can trust them, and you know they possess the criteria to tailor a unique luxury travel experience based on your requests.
Are there any fees?
Many travel agents do not charge any fees for their consulting and travel planning, while others charge a manageable service fee. If you select someone who does, you should know that the service generally pays for their expertise, which they use to secure the best luxury experiences and special upgrades. So, it’s worth it! And those who charge fees upfront may also apply it to the cost of your trip.
What happens in the case of an emergency?
In the off chance that an emergency arises, such as an illness or a tropical storm, or even if your luxury suite looks nothing like the one on the website, and the manger is missing in action, you’ll want someone available 24/7 to answer the phone or send a text. Your ideal travel agent match should be accessible to you before, during and after your vacation -- so they can help you no matter what.
What’s their favorite vacation style?
Do you want to go a day-long wine tasting tour in Bordeaux or take a 10-mile hiking trek in the Dolomites? Are you one who prefers sitting with a novel along the Thames River? Your agent doesn’t need to be exactly like you, but if you have high expectations and luxurious tastes, then it helps to find an agent who shares your passions.
Following these steps and asking these important questions will help you find a luxury travel agent, who you not only trust, but feel confident they have the expertise and knowledge to craft the luxury vacation itinerary that will create unforgettable moments that will last a lifetime.
Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with a luxury travel agent, who can customize the dream trip itinerary that you deserve.