Dealing with a Travel Agent Expert is something that, naturally, comes with a lot of questions. Here are a few of our most commonly asked questions about working with the Travel Agent Experts affiliated with Smart Traveler.
We're here to help you, assist you, facilitate as easy of a transaction as is possible for the exact travel services you desire - we are here to set your mind at ease!
If you don't see your question here, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you, and we WILL have the answer to ANY travel related questions!
There are no fees for any services we provide. We are paid by the travel suppliers - airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, hotels, etc.
In most cases, the cost is same whether you book through us, direct with the resort, or with an online booking engine. When it isn't the same, we are cheaper!
The advantage of using Travel Agent Experts is that we help you plan a stress-free, surprise free vacation without charging you for our expertise!
With us, you get exceptional, expert personal assistance before, during,and after your vacation
Your individual travel budget is important and we strive to get your dream vacation within the budget you've set!There's no pressure to go above and beyond what you're comfortable with. You can't enjoy your vacation when you're stressed out about paying for it.
We provide honest advice about all travel suppliers and destinations to help you choose the perfect vacation for YOU!
You also benefit from our extensive personal connections and sales volume, which carry a certain weight when dealing with ANY of the suppliers listed on our websites. We have an easier time getting you perks like upgrades, additional inclusions, often lower, proprietary rates - it's easier for us to get to "yes" for YOUR travel needs and budget!
Here's what the experts say...
"Why do I still like agents? A competent travel adviser can be your greatest asset when you're planning a trip. Good travel agents have an edge over almost any other seller of travel. They know what you want. They speak your language. And they're there for you when you run into trouble."
- Christopher Elliott, ombudsman,National Geographic Traveler magazine.
"It's clear agents can likely save travelers big money and help set a realistic itinerary. Even where they weren't cheaper, the agents competed with what we could find on our own. And we were impressed where they did save us money, in particular with hotels."
- Jane Hodges,Wall Street Journal
- "Having a travel agent advise you is now more important than ever," as fees, surcharges, and other travel restrictions have become more confusing for consumers. "Travel is on of the most complicated purchases."
- Henry Harteveldt,Travel Analyst Forrester Research
No. Never. Period. We have access to all the best pricing for all the travel suppliers we represent. Plus, we can price-match online booking engine pricing when comparing apples to apples, and sometimes when comparing grapes to wine!.
In other words, we can often find discounts, promotional offerings and proprietary rates that are not available to the general public.
Ideally you should set a budget and share it with us, so that we can give you a realistic, fun, and memorable vacation for a price you are comfortable with.
No! The price, deposit. Paymenttype and fonal payment requirements are all dictated by the travel suppliers we book for you. Deposit rates vary based on the supplier, based on the price of your travel services, the advance booking and the time you are traveling.
The deposit is made directly with the resort or tour operator, on your behalf, by your Travel Agent Expert. At no time does your Travel Agent Expert, Smart Traveler, or any company or individual associated with Smart Traveler or any of its companies charge your credit card. This way, you are assured that your deposit is applied directly to your vacation at the time of booking. All payments are made directly to the supplier.
Because you don't pay US for your vacation, there is no risk of losing your vacation through us.
When making your reservations, you provide us with your credit card information for booking. In turn, we provide that information to the travel supplier(s) you have chosen (cruise lines, resorts, airlines, etc.). They, and they alone, charge your card.
This way, you are assured that every payment you make towards your travel is applied directly to your reservation(s).
Oh yes, unfortunately too often. And with the aftermath of the Covid-19 virus looming, it is expected that travel supplier failures will increase. Your travel arrangements can be a significant investment of your time and money, and to best service you, our company insists that every customer purchases travel insurance to cover their entire travel purchase. We have had this policy at Smart Traveler since 2002 - just after 9/11. This will add an additional 3-7% or so to your final cost, depending on your age(s) and trip cost, but, in these uncertain times, it will add an absolute layer of security to assure that your vacation is truly fully protected from most any issue, FINANCIAL or MEDICAL, that could occur before, or during, your trip - giving you the ultimate level of peace of mind, and, therefore, total enjoyment of your vacation! In many cases, the savings we find for our customers will pay for the travel insurance, and the insurance we offer is through a highly rated 3rd party - Travelex Insurance - and is the best value travel insurance in the industry.
We NEVER recommend getting travel insurance from the same travel supplier that your travel services are provided by - meaning they are self-insuring - because if they go out of business - who are you going to collect from? No one, of course.
So, you will ALWAYS get a quote from our Travel Agent Experts that includes insurance, and that insurance IS NOT OPTIONAL when booking with us You will also always get the highest quality service, best possible price guaranteed, and, again, the ultimate level of peace of mind!
(Quick note - IF you have an in-force Annual Travel Insurance policy with a major A rated insurance carrier, we will waive this requirement. Coverage must be effective at least 14 days past your scheduled trip return date.)
Although we cannot apply for passports or visas for you, we will absolutely advise you of what is needed for your chosen travel arrangements and guide you to acquire the necessary documents.
EXPERIENCE! Each agent has their specific area(s) of expertise, and we match the right agent to the needs of YOU, our customer! No matter the request - Europe Ocean Cruise, African Safari, Disney World Family Reunion, Hot Air Ballooning through France, All Included Resorts, Weddings at Sea, Himalayan Trekking - we do have an expert that knows YOUR particular requested type of travel BEST!
Our Travel Agent Experts work directly with each client to ensure that you have the best information and resources before, during, and after your vacation. We are not a call center like all other large travel sellers, where "making a sale" is the priority for the $10 an hour order takers! They are sales people, not travel agents - we are Travel Agent Experts!
It all stems from our founder's lifetime of experience in the travel industry, starting in 1972 in a family travel business that was begun in 1935 and has been online since 1995. With the changes in selling travel that have occurred over nearly 50 years in travel, we remain strong by providing one thing better than the others - SERVICE!
With the EXPERIENCE and SERVICE we provide, all our customers become SMART TRAVELERS!