Do you need a travel agent? There’s not really a blanket answer to that question as it depends on many factors, including your travel needs and your own personality type. I am giving you the tools to cut out the middleman and, in a sense, be your own travel agent. But do you really want to do that? Some people do and some don’t.
Many people work with travel agents because they want someone else to take care of all the details. So if you don’t want to deal with the hundreds of minor details that can pop up before, during, and after your trip, then by all means delegate the task to a competent travel agent. But planning and knowledge are two different things; so remember: Just because you delegate trip planning to a travel agent, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also educate yourself about the logistics of accessible travel and the accessibility of your destination. No matter who makes your travel arrangements, you still need to know your rights and understand the process.
I recently spied an advertisement in a national disability magazine that didn’t even list a phone number, company name, or address. The only contact information for this company that touted accessible tours of Ireland was an e-mail address.
After a little investigation I learned that this individual was ill equipped to organize accessible tours, as the agent wasn’t even aware of the accessible transportation situation in Ireland. The big tip off should have been the lack of contact information. Skip over any advertisement that just doesn’t have a professional look. The same goes for websites.
Soon your list of candidates will grow and you’ll be ready to begin the interview process. Before you pick up the phone, remember that it’s important to ask all the candidates the same questions. Try to talk to at least five candidates. Even if you absolutely love the first candidate, continue to call everyone on your list. You nev er know; you may just find somebody you love even more.