Columbus travel agents give tips on booking vacations
Who we talked to
Why should people plan a trip through a travel agency?
Patti Cash: "They should use us to take advantage of our expertise. We can guide our clients and get them the best rate. We'll be there if any problems arise."
Robin and Susan Schneider: "If something goes awry, we're here to straighten it out. We can find lower rates and save you money. We've often been to places you want to go, so we know the ins and outs."
Kim Davis: "We're very competitive in prices and packages, so we're some of the first to get any specials. Also, the customer doesn't have to pay immediately. We also can void tickets within 24 hours."
How do you charge?
Cash: "Our services are free. We get paid by the tour operator or the cruise line."
Schneider: "Most travel agents have a charge for airline tickets. Our fees are all up front. We'll give you the cost, and if there are any fees, we'll tell you what they are."
Davis: "If they're booking a package, we don't charge. If they're booking just an airline ticket, we charge a $25 service fee."
How far in advance should people plan trips?
Cash: "Six to nine months, but for certain destinations, you might want a bigger planning window. It's never too late to try to book a trip."
Schneider: "Generally, two to three months, except for holidays and special events. We'll do last-minute plans, too."
Davis: "It depends on the destination, but generally, at least six months."
What's the one travel tip you always give customers?
Cash: "Consider purchasing travel insurance for the unexpected, and don't forget to pack a little extra patience!"
Schneider: "Pack everything you absolutely need in your carry-on. If you're traveling internationally, confirm your return three days in advance. Travel insurance is very important, in case of illness or injury."
Davis: "If you're traveling with someone, pack some of your stuff in their bag and vice versa, so if anything gets lost, you have some things for everybody. We also recommend travel insurance."
What's one place you recommend everyone should visit and why?
Cash: "Alaska. It's awesome, and it makes you feel somewhat insignificant in the scope of things."
Schneider: "Washington, D.C., - it's awe-inspiring. Also, Alaska. The people are wonderful and fascinating."
Davis: "Hawaii. The scenery is just beautiful."