Dot Your I’s And Cross Your T’s

When Selecting A Travel Consultant

You're ready to travel, you selected your dream destination and now it’s time to make your arrangements… Now What??? If you are brave at heart, then the next logical step is to self-book. If you’re an old (no pun intended) pro, then move forward but proceed with caution. If you are a novice, are planning an international trip, a very expensive trip, or the trip of a lifetime, I recommend using a travel consultant. For those of you lacking the chops to self-book, no worries, there are many travel consultants willing to help; you just need to know where to find them. Let’s begin with what qualities you should look for, then we will move into how to find them...fair enough? 


Traits to look for in a travel consultant:

Must have the heart of a teacher

Is a communicator

Is a good listener


Detail Oriented

Is Qualified and Accredited

Got all that? Now let’s go find them!

  • 1.   Ask for referrals from your friends, family members, and coworkers. Ask those who travel frequently who they use, and why. Referrals are the best way to find a good travel consultant. If possible, find a local travel consultant, someone you can actually meet with. If this is not possible, arrange for a conference call or even Skype/Facetime call to get to know the him or her.
  • 2.  Pay a visit to your local travel agency. Call in advance to make an appointment with a consultant that is familiar with your chosen destination. When you arrive, check the vibe of the office. Listen to what is being said. You can tell a lot about an agency and its consultants by the way you are greeted and how existing clients are handled. Many travel consultants today are independent contractors and work with larger, "host" agencies. Look for consultants who are affiliated with agencies that are members of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), IATA (International Air Transport Association), and/or CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). Memberships in these trade organizations demonstrate the travel agency's commitment to customer service through strict adherence to these organizations' codes of ethics.
  • 3.  Check online for verified reviews and recommendations. Some travel companies have a list of their qualified travel consultants and offer client reviews of these consultants. Some other online resources include but aren’t limited to:

  • Virtuoso - a luxury consortium and is a very good resource to find verified reviews and recommendation for participating travel advisors.
  • ASTA - to check a travel agency’s membership and find a consultant
  • Google reviews - type in the travel consultant’s first/last name, add “travel consultant” thereafter and hit search button. You may need to dig into page 2 or 3 if his or her name is common.

We live in a time of transparency and if someone is not good at their job, odds are, you will hear about it in conversation and definitely online. For the most part most we opt for a personal recommendation when choosing someone that will be doing a service for us. Personally I think it best to do all three; ask for a recommendation, visit a local travel agency that has the pertinent qualifications, and search online for what those outside your circle may be saying. Might seem like a lot of work but remember, you cannot get your time or money back once you embark on your journey.

Do you dot your I’s and cross your T’s?

Marian Blessing

As a travel consultant for 30 years, Marian experienced first-hand, the positive impact traveling had on her and her clients. A problem she frequently encountered was women wanting to travel but not doing so due to the lack of a travel companion. In search of a solution, Marian created a local community where women could connect, establish friendships, and travel the globe together. The success of Marian’s local group led to the founding of WanderDivas, an online travel community for women.

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