If you're planning an expensive vacation, you need to know the advantages of using a travel agency.
Step 1: Find a travel agent Find a travel agent through ASTA -- the American Society of Travel Agents. Search the internet for ASTA certified members in your area.
Step 2: Know about the one-stop-shopping advantages Know about the one-stop-shopping advantages beyond booking services, such as offering more flexibility in canceling and changing flights.
TIP: If your flight is canceled, you can call your agent and get quickly re-accommodated.
Step 3: Visit travel agencies Visit travel agencies to determine whether they match your individual travel needs and lifestyle. Consider such factors as senior citizen advantages, family travel, ecotourism, and adventure travel.
TIP: For specific recommendations as well as travel warnings, pick an agent who has been to your destination.
Step 4: Ask about fees and check for complaints Be sure to ask the travel agent upfront about additional service fees, and check for complaints against the agency at the Better Business Bureau.
Step 5: Find a cruise travel agent Find a certified cruise counselor through the Cruise Lines International Association, or CLIA, website. Enjoy your trip!
FACT: Since the mid-19th century, guides have been taking visitors through Paris' sewers, one of the city's most popular tours.