What’s the Deal With Travel Agents?
Travel Agents… we often get asked, are we for them or against them? Well, effectively I suppose we are one so we best be for them hey, BUT we believe that there should be conditions. A code of conduct, if you will, that all travel agents should abide by but sadly so many don’t. So how do you know you are booking with a good travel agent?
Well, here is Australia Travel Agents are not regulated in anyway and sadly there is a dark side to our travel industry as with most industries these days. A Travel Agent earns their coin from the sales commission on each tour/hostel booking that you make with them. The more you book the more commission they get and some travel agents literally dictate to tourism operators who are bullied into paying them as much as 45% commission! This hugely devalues the experience that you are purchasing whether it be a hostel bed or a tour of a lifetime.
By driving down the price that the operator receives per bed or adventure ticket, bad travel agents are driving down the quality of service that you receive. Tour Operators are unable to innovate, Hostel Owners are unable renovate and both are unable to invest in making their products better for you!
Here are Mumma Bear’s Top 5 Tips on How to tell if you are booking with a bad travel agent!
- If your travel agent puts pressure on you to buy ‘right now’ and you feel like you can’t leave their shop, chances are that you are booking with a commission driven BAD TRAVEL AGENT
- If your agent pushes you to book one tour without giving you any other options, chances are that you are booking with a commission driven BAD TRAVEL AGENT
- If your travel agent is rude and not customer service driven, chances are that you are booking with a commission driven BAD TRAVEL AGENT
- If you know from your own research that what your travel agent is telling you is wrong, chances are that you are booking with a commission driven BAD TRAVEL AGENT
- And if your travel agent can’t answer your questions or know where to find the answer, BOOM you’ve guessed it, you are booking with a commission driven BAD TRAVEL AGENT
So how do you find a good one?
Well… this is where we could bang on about BARE TRAVELS and how awesome we are BUT that would be totally unawesome and we would be guilty of not giving you the honest advice that we have promised; and quite honestly Mumma Bear does not believe in a one shoe fits all way of doing things. We are all very different and our travels should be too!
Here is a growing list of Australian Travel Agents based right here on Aussie soil. These guys know their stuff and Mumma Bear can personally vouch for their integrity and passion for booking the right tour for the right person.
Now without further ado and in no particular order, we give you our most beloved travel agents…
Stu and Marnie have been the backbone of backpacker travel bookings in Melbourne and most certainly not because they have a chain of high-street shops or pestering ticket touts but because they have always put quality over quantity. Their cute and quirky shop in St Kilda has a relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to get some good travel advice whilst your in Melbourne.
These ladies are the new kids on the block and they are a breathe of fresh air for an online travel shop. Lisanna and the team are oozing with passion for what they do and have a great grasp on how to get the most bang for your dollor whilst here in Australia.
Fellow pome (that’s what Aussie’s call us Brits) Sam at RatPak is also a bit of a new kid on the block but like most brits he’s been around and knows a thing or 2 about good customer service. Sam’s rebel travel agency is all about sticking it to the man and being independent of the vanilla mainstream. He’s an all round top geezer who knows his stuff!
You’ve guest it, the larger than life soul behind Monni Travels is Monni herself. Now it’s not just because we love a bit of girl power but when it comes to intuition you have to admit that we are all over it and Monni is power house in this regard. This girl stood up to the man very early on in her travel career and most certainly does not shy away from a challenge. If you want a travel experience that’s larger than life, Monni is your girl!
Ezy has a big heart and a massive personality to match. Her baby business competes with some of the most competitive travel agents on the market in the busy city of Cairns. She is a fellow Mumma who looks after her travelling ‘kids’ as she affectionately calls her travelling customers. Ezy and her team can help you book an adventure of a lifetime and/or help you find farm work with good employers in Queensland.
Yep you’ve guest it again, the lady behind Georgie’s Getaway is Georgie herself. A foster mum and general miracle worker this girl doesn’t miss a beat. Originally from the States this chic is a go getter with a ginormous passion for travel. She loves personalising travel plans and passing on her top tips.
Christina and the team run a great little Information Centre in the heart of Townsville. They can help you with local and national travel plans and when it comes to getting some help booking your Magnetic Island adventure there is nothing that these girls don’t know.