Read Miss Cindy’s tips on how to become a travel agent that people refer to their friends!
As a Travel Agent, it is especially important to be thorough and pay attention to detail. How would you feel if you got to the airport and your travel agent had not informed you that you needed a visa to enter China and now you are not allowed to board the flight?
Here are my suggestions to keep organized as a leisure travel agent:
- Take good notes – when you are speaking with a prospective client, take good notes as you are discussing their vacation. Get all pertinent information such as:
- Legal names as they appear on passports
- Travel Dates – are they flexible with these dates?
- Number of people in the party (any children under 18 years old?)
- Hotel preferences – always get two!
- Car rental – always ask if they need a car. Qualify them regarding size of vehicle.
- Also date your notes
- Start a paper file for each package you book. Keep a paper trail of deposits, final payments, invoices, cancellation policies of the tour company or cruise line.
- Go over cancellation policies: This is extremely important! Each tour company or cruise line will have cancellation policies in place. It is your responsibility to go over them with your clients. You may even have them sign something stating they understand and have read them. The closer to departure they cancel, the higher the penalty. Once a deposit is taken, all cancellation policies go into effect.
- Offer travel insurance! In most instances, personal health insurance will not cover you when you leave the United States. Should you need to be hospitalized on your vacation in Mexico, you will need to pay for it on your own. Taking out travel insurance will give you coverage for health issues, lost luggage, delayed flights etc. If someone declines the insurance, document that it was offered and declined. This will be of great help in the future should something go wrong on the clients vacation.
- Make a spread sheet to track your packages. Headings should include:
- Name of client
- Tour company/Cruise Line booked
- Advised passport, visa info (if international trip)
- Deposit due date
- Final payment due date
- Travel insurance offered – if no, waiver signed
- Cancellation policies shared with client
- Thank you note sent upon return
- Follow up phone call upon return