Travel Tip: Check your Travel Agents Credentials!
I am constantly surprised by the number of “Travel Agents” I encounter in online forums who book travel without having the first clue about the destination or product.
The most common question I see is “I had a client ask me about ____________ destination. I don’t know anything about ____________ destination and I need recommendations”. Then there are a hundred replies “Do the training”, or “refer them to someone else”, or “you should specialize”. Don’t work with this travel agent!
You are about to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on your vacation! You deserve a highly trained, experienced professional.
For this very reason I am constantly training … DAILY.
I have time set aside in my daily schedule to learn something new everyday. Yesterday I spent an hour on a webinar with Shore Excursion Group and ShoreTrips to learn more about shore excursions for popular cruise itineraries worldwide. Today I will be training with Royal Caribbean on their recent updates.
I also specialize in certain “niches”. The world is a big place and the travel industry can be very complicated. If it were easy you wouldn’t need a travel agent, but alas, it’s filled with fine print. Agents who specialize can truly help you maximize your experience.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The travel industry has a lot of training available. If you’re looking to book a particular trip with your Travel Agent, ask to see their credentials! There are industry credentials like a CLIA membership, or IATA affiliation; there are travel company credentials for in house training like “College of Disney Knowledge”, or “Princess Academy”; there are specialization certifications like “Wedding Specialist”, or “Certified Cruise Counselor”. Not everything has a certificate or needs one, but your travel agent should be able to show you something.
For instance: Is an Alaskan Cruise on your travel bucket list? Did you know that Princess Cruise Line has been the industry leader for Alaskan cruises for 40 years with amazing land & sea packages that include their own private wilderness lodges in Denali National Park, Mt McKinley and more?
Before you work with a travel agent on your Alaskan Cruise ask to see their Princess Cruise Line credentails!
Here’s mine: I have achieved the highest rank available in the Princess Academy – “Commodore”.
I’m proud to say that “Cruising” is one of my “niches”. I have several certifications in the cruising industry from a variety of cruise lines and even the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). CLIA has 411 ships currently in it’s association worldwide!
It’s ok to ask your travel agent to prove they have the education. Have you ever been to a Doctor or Lawyers office? Did you notice all the diplomas and certificates on the wall? A professional Travel Agent will also have a LOT of certificates.