If you think that travel agents are only good for booking your trip and making reservations, think again. Travel agents bring a wealth of knowledge to the table that can improve almost every aspect of any trip you need or want to take.
Many travelers get surprised or shocked by local customs or practices. This lack of knowledge can lead you to unintentionally offending local residents. Travel agents can help you get up to speed on the local customs and traditions at your destination.
Dress codes vary considerably from place to place, both in formal and informal settings. In France, for example, face veils are not legal and restaurants the world over often impose dress codes. A good travel agent will help prepare you to manage dress requirements.
Embassy Locations and Numbers
While many people travel without incident, problems can crop up that require assistance from your government. If you lose your passport, have a serious injury, or run afoul of local laws and ordinances, the embassy is your go-to resource. Travel agents can supply with both the location and numbers for your embassy wherever you’re heading.
If you, or a member of your traveling group, need special accommodations, such as wheelchair accessible lodgings, it can make for a very long and complicated process to make arrangements yourself. Your agent can call ahead and make sure to book you with hotels or services that can meet these needs.
The restrictions about what travelers can and cannot take onto a plane, as well as in what quantities, and weight limits for baggage can complicate the packing process a great deal when a long trip is in the works. An agent can offer insight into what items you can comfortably leave at home and purchase at your destination.
Limited Legal Advice
Many items that are perfectly legal in one country may be illegal in another, and vice versa. While it’s always a good idea to look into what you cannot bring to another country or back from another country, a good agent can fill you in on some of the common items that will get you into trouble. Your agent should also be able to give you an idea about what items you need to claim at customs when you return.
While many agents will provide some or all of this information as part of preparing your trip, you can always pick their brain for more specific advice. Like most professionals, agents are happy to share their expertise with an interested audience.
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