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16 Things Travel Agents Want You To Know

Everything you need to know about planning your dream trip.

1. For the best deals, book your flights as early as possible.

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Darren Wright, a spokesperson for Flight Centre, told BuzzFeed it really does make a difference.

“Airlines release their forward schedules usually six or eight months out. They put those destinations on sale quite aggressively so they can start filling up their seats quickly. The fares slowly progress up as the planes start to fill up.”

2. And book accommodation ASAP too.

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“A lot of the budget and cheaper accommodation fills up very quickly," said Darren.

3. Be flexible with your dates to get the best deals.

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Plane ticket and accommodation prices are affected by supply and demand, so not only the season but also the day of the week you're travelling on will influence the price. Generally speaking, Monday-Thursday will be cheaper, especially for popular weekend destinations like beach resorts.

4. Ask for quotes on multiple flight and accommodation options.

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Even if you've left it to the last minute, shopping around will help you find the right fit for you at the best price.

5. Figure out your budget and be up front about it.

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A travel agent can help you find what you're after within your budget - or tell you what's realistic for the amount of money you want to spend.

6. Beware of hidden costs.

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“Low-cost carriers have low fares, obviously, but a lot of the time you’re just paying for the flight. You have luggage, meals and other services added on after that," said Darren. Another thing to keep in mind is whether meals are included in accommodation or activities, as that will affect your overall costs.

7. Ask a travel agent about options and deals you might not have access to as an individual customer.

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"Travel agents see everything a customer sees in the digital world, they also have access to individual deals at their back end," Darren told BuzzFeed.

8. Ask to speak to someone who has been to the location you want to go to.

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Travel agents get to go on three or four trips a year, so chances are they've been somewhere you're thinking of going, or can you refer you on to a colleague who has.

9. You might even find someone who specialises in that area or type of holiday.

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Which means not only can they give you the best advice, they probably have stronger relationships with vendors and might be able to get you better deals.

10. Travel agents can do all the planning for you, or just give you tips on your itinerary.

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You can ask them for however much or little input you want.

11. When researching yourself, make sure you read reviews that match your own expectations.

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What is great to one person is an awful experience for another, so keep an eye out for reviewers who have similar interests, tastes, budgets, and travel goals as you do.

12. If you want to do a big trip, ask about a continuous or "thru" ticket rather than a round-the-world flight.

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The former can be more flexible and cost-effective.

13. Don't try to change your sleeping patterns before you go away.

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You're better off getting plenty of rest and leaving your first day in a new location low-key so you don't get run down at the start of the trip.

14. When travelling somewhere for the first time, find local, short tours and do them during the first couple of days of your stay.

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They'll help you figure out where to go and what to do.

15. In popular cities, staying outside the central area can be cheaper and also give you more of a ~local~ experience.

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Find places that are close to public transport and you'll get the best of both worlds.

16. And always travel light.

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“My biggest insider tip is pack light and carry-on only… you can move through airports a lot faster," said Darren. "[Plus] if you’re happy to travel light, you can usually get a much cheaper ticket.”

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