A Travel Agent’s Pre-Departure Tips

As a travel agent, I’m always prepping my clients before their trip. After all, many people have no idea what to do in order to get ready for a trip and it’s my job to make sure that they’re comfortable going on their own without having instant access to me. For each client, I go over some specific points that I hope they’ll remember once they leave my office. Here are my tips for making sure your trip is smooth and without any surprises!

1. Call your credit card company and bank before you go.

You can place a note on your account stating that you’re out of the country so your account won’t freeze if you make any purchases while abroad.

2. Call your cell phone company to find out how you can avoid international data charges.

If you have AT&T, you can actually purchase an international data plan for a month for $30, added right onto your bill. Check out what options your company has for you.

3. Give a list of contact information to your friends and family – this means your hotel phone number and address.

4. Be prepared to pay for WIFI, especially at an all-inclusive resort.

5. Something that many people don’t realize is that some countries have an entry and departure tax.

In the Dominican Republic you must pay $10 per person in order to obtain a tourist visa and enter the country. In Costa Rica, before heading out, you must stop at a certain desk in the airport to pay the $29 departure tax. These can be paid for in US dollars and cash is best since using a credit card could result in extra fees.

6. Bring a pen for the immigration forms on the airplane so you don’t have to worry about asking other passengers to borrow theirs.

7. Keep your documents ready.

Be prepared to know what your hotel address and phone number is (or whoever you’re staying with), how long you’ll be staying, and if you’re bringing anything questionable.

8. Make copies of your passport – one for each piece of luggage, one emailed to yourself and one with family or friends.

9. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your return date – SUPER IMPORTANT!

10. Check if you need a visa before you book your ticket!

I have gotten countless calls from people who don’t even consider getting a visa before booking their trip, and next thing you know they’re scrambling to get their India visa just a few weeks before departure. DON’T BE THIS PERSON!

Do you use a travel agent to help book your trips? What tips has he or she had for you? How do you prepare when going abroad/

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