For those of you who don’t know; at night I am a wannabe Photographer/Blogger but during the day I am a Travel Consultant. I personally don’t deal with public enquiry anymore but I thought it is time to educate the masses on holiday booking etiquette. I will impart this knowledge by explaining why we ask you these three questions.
What is your budget?
Now contrary to popular belief, this question is not asked to steal your hard earned savings. It asked as a benchmark so that we know what we can quote you on without causing cardiac arrest. I don’t understand why people get defensive when you ask them how much they would hope to spend on their holiday. Surely you know in the back of your head what you can afford?
Where would you like to go and when?
This seems like a question with a very straight forward answer. (you are sitting in front of a travel agent after all.) In a perfect world maybe. We, however, do not live in a perfect world. The most common answer is “I don’t know, where is the cheapest?” Now keep in mind that you did not give us a budget, so what exactly is cheap for you? R60 000 per person? Maldives. R20 000 per person? Mauritius. R15 000 per person? Thailand. R12 000 per person? Zanzibar. See how quickly this turns into an evil cycle of quoting and re-quoting? And PLEASE if you only have R12 000 per person, never EVER demand a quote for December. It is NEVER going to happen. Yelling and telling the agent that the price is ridiculous will not solve the fact that travel in December is stupid expensive.
Have you received any other quotes?
This is usually the question where you stare at your travel agent as if they have just secretly told you that they planted bombs in your plane. We know you are shopping around, pretending you are not makes you look a little dodgy. If your travel agent has this information he or she will know exactly what not to quote you on. Clearly you are not happy with what you have been given so far, so be honest and give your poor agent all the information you have collected so far. Chances are they use exactly the same wholesale supplier where your previous quote came from, and if you don’t tell them you will end up with the exact same options.
In summary your travel agent can not do their job if you do not answer their questions.