Despite the increase of travelers creating their own itineraries and booking their own hotel, airline and tours, travel agencies are still a popular choice, especially for complicated excursions. However, there's another reason that a travel agency is important and that's for specialized travel, such as a gay or lesbian vaction. You can book this type of travel on your own, but often working with a professional will give you the exact gay and lesbian vacation experience that you're looking for.
You'll be excited to learn that travel agents exist for gay travel, lesbian travel, and a combination of both. Once you find a gay and lesbian travel agency that you think you want to work with, how do you determine that this is the one for you?
Has the travel agency posted its certifications?
This is basic for every travel agency, and it should not be ignored for a gay and lesbian travel agency. For example, is the agency a member of the American Society of Travel Agents? How about the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association?
Can the agency be easily contacted?
These days, with the popularity of the Internet, not all travel agencies are brick and mortar. However, if it is a location that you can walk into, does it have a professional website? More importantly, is the address and the telephone number of the location listed on the site?
An online site should not be disregarded. Companies that conduct all of their business online are perfectly acceptable today. However, it is paramount that it has a professional Web site and the ability to be contacted by e-mail or live chat at the very least.
How long has it been in business?
Experience is a great thing with any travel agency. The more trips that a travel agency has booked, the better able it will be to give you the experience you expect.
However, energetic and enthusiastic gay and lesbian travel agencies should not be overlooked. If it has a goal to provide the gay and lesbian community a service that it sees lacking, or if its employees are excited about implementing ideas for gay and lesbian travel that have not been tackled before, this is good news for you. Take a look at the agency's philosophy and determine if it will benefit you.
What is its approach?
This ties into its level of enthusiasm. Your first encounter with any travel agent will begin with preliminary questions. How does the gay and lesbian travel agency approach these questions? Is it interested in what you want, or does it have its own agenda?
It's fine for an agency to suggest ideas, and an enthusiastic agency will do just that. But if this is all that an agency does, it may mask a desire to do little more than sell products. A good agency will look at what you want and then help you get there with a few suggestions of its own mixed in for you to consider.
What is out there in travel opportunities for me as a gay or lesbian?
That's why you came to a gay and lesbian travel agency, right? The agency should have information on gay and lesbian cruises, tours, bed and breakfasts, hotels, and more.
A gay and lesbian trip gives you the opportunity to connect with the gay and lesbian community. What better way to get the process started than by visiting a gay and lesbian travel agency?
Does the agency offer ways to save money on travel?
Even if you have a ton of money to spend, chances are you would still like to hear about the deals. A good gay and lesbian travel agency will have enough knowledge about the industry to offer you the latest money saving opportunities in gay and lesbian travel.
Do the agents you are dealing with have good heads on their shoulders?
That perfect trip you want to take may not be so perfect when it actually happens. So how does the travel agency respond to emergencies? What happens if your name isn't on the list for that awesome gay and lesbian cruise you booked? What happens if you miss your flight?
A good gay and lesbian travel agency will be there with you every step of the way. It won't take your money and then pretend you don't exist anymore. You should be able to contact your travel agency for help if something goes wrong.