Secrets to Picking a Competent Travel Agent

Competent travel consultants know what you want, they speak your language, and they’re there for you when you run into trouble when you are planning a holiday. How do they know this? Firstly, they listen in a way to understand your travel needs and they help when something goes wrong. They should ask many questions to find the best option for you.

As self-booking options increase, the need for travel agents seems to be getting less. Some say that travel agents are obsolete. Yet there are more unhappy travellers than ever. Why is this so? It is not always possible to get as much information from an online booking site as from a travel consultant. Nor is it generally possible to get “human” assistance should something go wrong from a “portal”.

Buyers of travel products have expectations that cannot be met by all booking sites. It is difficult to have an informed 2-way conversation with a website, although there are more chat options coming available.

A competent travel consultant will fill in the gaps. Sometimes the traveler may not know what questions to ask. The competent travel consultant can simply explain.

So how does one find a competent travel consultant? Look for certain traits!

Competent travel consultants are:

Good listeners and seek to truly understand the needs of every individual traveller. They will ask about interests and tastes to better tailor your holiday.

Experts and have good product knowledge as well as a robust back-up plan for finding information

Honest and to not have favourites in the travel business

Good communicators and explain all the tour inclusions, exclusions and costs up front – no hidden fees

Available when you need them both during the planning process and the travel

How do I find these things out?

The best way to discover the competency of a travel agent is to talk with him/her. This can be arranged either face-to-face, online chat, telephone etc. During the discussion you will form an opinion about him or her. Most of all, look for someone who you can relate to and work with, particularly if things go wrong. The travel consultant has no control over the flights, accommodation or tours but a competent travel agent will actively help in all situations.

Competent travel consultants are here to stay. Only the incompetent travel agents are obsolete because of the online booking systems. It is up to you to discover a travel consultant who listens to your needs and meets them as well as keen enough to help you if needed.

David from Davids Tours listens to peoples travel dreams and makes them happen. The special tailor-made tours for small groups with special interest are a great addition to travelers. For more information contact David through

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11 Point Checklist for All Travellers

As more people travel, we hope that unwanted incidents do not happen. However, we live in the real world and know that from time to time our plans need to be changed due to factors out of our control. Here is a list of precautions that can be taken to minimize risks

1. Book your travel plans with a reputable travel consultant who is available should you experience challenges. Make sure that you understand that itinerary and that you have been given all the documents.

2. Always check the travel advice on your government’s website or other reputable site. Check visa requirements prior to travel and check travel alerts before you travel.

3. Register your travel plans with appropriate authorities prior to traveling and provide family or friends with detailed travel itinerary in case of emergency.

4. Buy a comprehensive travel insurance policy for the entire duration of travel. Some governments officials say “If you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford to travel”.

5. See you doctor or a travel doctor for information about vaccinations. Take you detailed travel itinerary with you for the consultation so that informed decisions can be made.

6. Check your passport that you have at least 6 months validity form the planned date of return. Check the passport validity rules of countries that you are traveling as they may have different requirements. Check the implications of dual citizenship.

7. Make sure all visas are in place, in all countries that you plan to visit.

8. Make at least two copies of all travel documents. Take one copy with you and ask a friend to mind the other copy at home. These documents can also be stored in a safe cloud or other online storage place.

9. Understand health and hygiene of the countries you are visiting. Ask your travel agent about safe food and drink.

10, Obey laws, traditions and expectations of the countries that you are visiting. Understand that expected behaviour (attire and photography, particularly) at religious sites, military sites (usually no-go) and other important places.

11. Celebrate your journey with your friends and family at home. Take lots of photos and videos to remind you of the experience. Use phone, Skype or other online option at free Wifi places.

In summary, when you travel to new places you will find many differences. These difference are what makes travelling interesting. However, keep safe and follow the simple guidelines and you have already managed many of the potential challenges.

David from Davids Tours listens to peoples travel dreams and makes them happen. The special tailor-made tours for small groups with special interest are a great addition to travelers. For more information contact David through

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Questions to Ask Your Travel Consultant

Travellers have access to many professional travel agencies. Each travel agency cannot be an expert at all things relating to travel. Choosing the right travel consultant is important as they will be arranging your holiday. You need to have confidence that the travel agent has your interests at heart. Here is a list of questions that will help you find the travel agent that will help you.

1. What is your main expertise? Do you specialise in my kind of travel? Do you have access to great deals in this area? Where d you get support?

2. Do you recommend any airline? Do you have any favourite airlines, tour providers or cruise companies? Do the airlines and travel companies send you information on monthly deals?

3. How long will it take for you to get back to me, after I give you the information that I have collected for my trip?

4. Do you provide access to your travellers during their travel? How? What plans do you have in place in exotic locations? Are you available “out of hours”?

5. What is the average response time to emails, phone calls and other methods of contact? Like Skype, Viber etc.

6. Can I meet you? Face-to-face? Chat room? Skype?

7. Can I read any testimonials from previous travellers?

8. How often did they communicate with you and did they have any problems on their travel?

9. How do you add value to travel plans? Can you give me an example?

10. Do I need travel insurance? Can you arrange it? What insurance companies do you access? Where else can I arrange travel insurance?

11. Do I need vaccinations if I travel to a particular country? Who can arrange them?

12. Have you travelled to any of these destinations? What is special about them? How do I stay out of trouble?

Of course there are many more questions that you can ask your travel consultant. You do not need to ask each one of them but the list to help you formulate your important questions. Write them down and have the conversation as soon as possible. Understand, that the travel consultant will also need to ask you a lot of questions to fully understand your travel needs. Good travel consultants research.

The successful journey to travelling starts with you. Then together with the travel consultant plans are made and you then get to experience the wonders that you have chosen to experience.

David from Davids Tours listens to peoples travel dreams and makes them happen. The special tailor-made tours for small groups with special interest are a great addition to travelers. For more information contact David through

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Why You Should Travel Solo

You want to travel but your friends don’t have the time, the money or simply just don’t share your fascination with the world. So what are you meant to do? Stay at home, wait until one of them changes their mind or just go anyway?

It may seem like a scary concept but travelling solo is actually on the rise for women, and there’s never been a better time to just get up and do it. If your friends are all coupled up and your partner hates flying then there’s absolutely nothing to stop you from travelling alone.

Solo travel really does broaden the mind and allow you to live your life day by day, enjoying each moment without having to worry about the next. It allows you those moments of solitude to just be, and those feelings of anticipation and excitement as you enter a country for the first time, never cease to amaze.

So, why go solo?

One of the biggest reasons that women travel is because they enjoy time by themselves, others are because they have decided to be brave, want to follow their own schedule and want to meet new people as they do it.

Travelling solo isn’t just about the external journey, getting from A to B; it’s also a voyage of personal discovery, and you really get to know yourself inside out when you’re alone in the middle of nowhere with no one else except you to figure things out. You’ll find out what really makes you tick, you’ll overcome your fears and you’ll find out what truly makes you happy as you spend hours contemplating life on the road.

Travelling is food for the soul and allows you to get back in touch with who you are no matter what stage of life you are in. It puts everything into perspective and makes you appreciate the smaller things in life (like hot water), and you’ll soon realise what you can live without, and how many pairs of shoes you really need. It’ll teach you to be self-sufficient and to look after number one. You’ll become so resourceful that you will even amaze yourself. You’ll soon realise what is important and what isn’t and you’ll come back with a new perspective on the world with more meaningful relationships and possibly even a few romantic ones.

Travel is ageless, no matter how old you think you are, and gives you an education about the world that you would never discover from text books. You’ll learn about the country’s history and traditions and immerse yourself within the local culture, and the more you learn, the more you’ll start to see the world in a completely different way to the image that’s portrayed.

You’ll soon break down any barriers you ever had about talking to random strangers. Travellers are one big community and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make new friends. Even if you’re an introvert, travel brings you out of your comfort zone and you’ll find yourself relating to people from all different backgrounds, cultures and ages, building up your own couchsurfing network of people around the world.

Do you need to be the most confident person in the world? Absolutely not. Travellers come in a variety of shapes and sizes; shy, funny, loud or just odd. The best thing about travelling alone is that you get the chance to start over; you can define yourself, be who you want to be and no one is any the wiser. If you leave a shy wallflower, you are guaranteed to come back with more self- confidence than you ever thought you had, and be ready to take on the world – literally!

You’ll discover the beauty of being comfortable in your own skin and that alone is priceless. You’ll soon be pushing those boundaries, trying new activities, and staying in places that you never thought you would. And the best part? You’ll be so flexible travelling solo that you can change your plans at the last minute, stay longer if you want to or go on a mini-adventure with the group of girls you met the previous night. You’ve got the freedom to do whatever you want!.

In fact, travelling solo is just so awesome that once you’ve tried it, you’ll wonder why you never did it sooner!

What if you’ve never travelled before?

Travelling alone to a country for the first time may seem a little daunting, but the reality is that it really isn’t as frightening as you may think. Many people choose to travel solo for a variety of reasons but the biggest one has to be for the freedom of being able to go wherever they want and meet whoever they want.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while and just need that extra push to do it.
Well, here’s a few reasons to take that plunge:

You feel like you’re stuck in a rut.
You have a friend abroad who keeps telling you to come and visit them.
You’ve just been made redundant.
You want to see the Seven Wonders of the World.
You received a windfall and prefer to spend it on creating new memories.
You’ve just split from your partner.
You want to follow the sun around the world.

There are so many different reasons so grab that opportunity and seize the day. The hardest thing about solo travel… is making the decision to do it!

“In each of us dwells a wanderer, a gypsy, a pilgrim. The purpose here is to call forth the spirit. What matters most on your journey is how deeply you see, how attentively you hear, how richly the encounters are felt in your heart and soul.”
– Phil Cousineau, The Art of Pilgrimage

If you love these tips on solo travel, there are plenty more at Girl about the Globe, a travel resource site for solo females. Sign up today ( )

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Travel, Why?

Travel can become an all-consuming thing for many people. While some people travel annually, others look forward to less frequent travel. It seems that almost everyone enjoys travel. Having travelled to many places with work and for pleasure, I could easily just keep on traveling. Have you ever wondered why this is so? Here are several reasons people give for traveling.

To see new things and to enjoy new experiences. No matter how many times we see a sunset, especially a sunset in an unfamiliar place like the Austrian Alps or Western China it is enjoyable. To see Alaska, the Taj Mahal in India, Macha Picchu, the Northern Lights, or Route 66 for the first time is amazing.

Experiencing new cultures is a reason for some traveller’s decisions. It is impossible to know how many cultures exist in the world today, but what we know is that there are many cultures. Learning about them increases our understanding and appreciation of our culture. When planning a cultural vacation, confirm that you will meet authentic locals along the way. Perhaps you can learn a little of the language of the country that you are planning to explore.

Some people travel to celebrate a life event or someone else’s important day, like marriage, or birthdays. A short trip to Singapore or a cruise in on one or Europe’s rivers are great places to celebrate. Don’t be afraid to enjoy life’s precious times anywhere in the world.

Traveling to enjoy food from different cultures motivates some people. Imagine tasting Philly Cheesecake in Philadelphia, palak paneer in India, French croissants in Paris, or fresh bread-rolls with salami in Italy. The foodies have so many choices.

People are at different stages of their life journey. As travel becomes more affordable, there are more people traveling to discover themselves. Looking to understand who they are in the stillness and quiet of a new place drives some intrepid travellers to places like India and other parts of Asia.

Reconnecting with families is a prime reason for travel for many people. Make visiting family an invigorating experience especially when discovering your genealogy. Take plenty of photographs of your loved ones when you travel to create lasting memories.

So what kind of traveller are you? What motivates your travel decisions? What holiday destination do you find dream about? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to plan your holiday to places and events that change your life. What are you waiting for? Go see your travel agent and see the world!

David from Davids Tours listens to peoples travel dreams and makes them happen. The special tailor-made tours for small groups with special interest are a great addition to travelers. For more information contact David through

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