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How not to get hooked to a scam travel agent and choose the best group tour

Albina PanchenkoNews
How to choose a tour operator

In recent years, group tours have become very popular. Because many people simply do not have time to organize their own vacation, they turn to special agencies for help, which are ready to do everything for them for relatively little money.

However, due to the active emergence of new companies in this market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to choose a truly responsible travel agent. As a result, hundreds of negative stories appear on social media about people's vacations being ruined. And there are many reasons for this: bad hotels, poorly designed itineraries, terrible transfers, etc.

To prevent this from happening to you during your vacation, read the effective life hacks for choosing travel agencies. It is important to note that even the steps described below do not guarantee you positive cooperation with travel companies. Being careful and reading all the terms and conditions of the contract carefully is the best thing you can do.

How not to get hooked to a scam travel agent and choose the best group tour

Choose the type of vacation

This is the first and most important step. People often go to travel agents without understanding how they want to spend their vacation. This leads to the following problem: you immediately sign a contract with the first company that offers you something interesting. This way, you don't see alternative options, you don't compare offers from different organizers, and you may regret not giving yourself some time to think about it.

Before looking for a travel agency, decide where exactly you want to go, how long the trip should last, what kind of transportation you plan to use, and what activities you want to fill your vacation with. For example, it can be a sightseeing trip to several European countries, a short trip to one specific city, or a several-week seaside tour. It all depends on your personal preferences.

How not to get hooked to a scam travel agent and choose the best group tour

Compare similar offers

Once you have a clear idea of what you want from your vacation, search for similar offers on the websites of several travel agencies. See what they offer, on what terms, and for what prices.

Carefully read everything that concerns the area of responsibility of the travel organizers. Even if at first glance all the tours you choose seem to be similar, the payment may include completely different things. For example, some companies do not include the cost of museum tickets, hotel transfers, and even room reservations. So you need to check these points first.

Many tour operators don't list all the conditions on their websites, so you should call them. In order not to forget anything, write down the questions you would like to ask in advance. Don't be afraid to ask again and carefully observe the reaction to your words. Representatives of unreliable companies often react aggressively to attempts to find out the details of the tour or talk over customers without letting them say a word. This should be a red flag for you.

How not to get hooked to a scam travel agent and choose the best group tour

Don't be fooled by the "best" price

Some tour operators sometimes use marketing tools to lure customers with the "best" deals. At first glance, these are budget options for rather expensive trips. Companies explain such a low price by saying that they have exclusive agreements with hotels, have found cheaper transportation, or simply charge a lower percentage of the cost for their services.

But very often all this turns out to be an outright lie. Tour operators simply exclude excursions to the main cultural, historical and architectural sights from the trip plan, accommodate clients far from interesting sites and provide poor quality services. This can turn your vacation into a living hell. So don't just fall for these budget offers, but study them in detail and only then make a decision.

By the way, when estimating the cost of a tour, calculate how much excursions or museum visits will cost if you organize them yourself. This price will not always be much lower than the one offered by tour operators. Take this into account when planning your trip.

How not to get hooked to a scam travel agent and choose the best group tour

Say "no" to extras

Tour operators always offer a large number of additional services that seem to enhance your vacation. For example, they can organize a transfer from your place of residence to the tour start point, arrange for a few more excursions that are not included in the main program, rent accommodation if you decide to extend your trip by a few days. But all this, of course, is for an additional fee.

Do not forget that such companies always take a commission for their work. And this is not surprising, because this is how they make money. Therefore, it will be much cheaper for you to organize all these moments on your own.

However, if you trust the chosen travel agent and do not want to waste your time planning any details, then feel free to ask the organizer of your trip for help. They will be happy to solve any issues for you.

How not to get hooked to a scam travel agent and choose the best group tour

Pay attention to the commission

It's no secret that all tour operators receive a commission for organizing travel. However, some go further and negotiate with specific restaurants, hotels, and shops to give them a portion of the profit for tourists brought to them. But business owners are not stupid. They raise prices for their services in order not to lose income. So before you buy souvenirs in the "best store in town" or have lunch in a "unique restaurant," find out if you are overpaying. It's easy to do - just open the Internet and compare prices.

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