Ask what your travel agent can do for you

If you’re still a year or two away from going on holiday in a private jet, don’t worry! With the right information, even cockroach class can be fun. Anesta Vermaak, a travel agent, helped us compile a list of things you didn’t know you could ask your travel agent.

Information about your destination

Many companies use an in-house travel service to take care of local and international travel arrangements on behalf of employees. While these helpful ladies and gents make business travel a lot easier, many people don’t know that they can also help you navigate the tricky terrain of international travel with greater ease.

Your travel agent can help you with the following information:

● Visa information and assistance with applications
● Transport options to and from the airport
● Local language
● Tipping customs
● Local weather
● Foreign currency conversion
● Safety concerns such as government-issued travel advisories and warnings
● Health precautions
● Electricity guide (including the types of plugs you’ll need. Crazy travel hair is a real problem.)
● Special events
● Good buys
● Tourist attractions

Meal requirements

“Feel free to advise the travel agent if you have any meal preferences, especially for babies and children,” Vermaak says. “While not all meals are available on all flights – especially not on domestic flights – we can try to get something as close as possible to what you need.”

Seat preferences:

Whether you are travelling economy, business of first class, your travel agent can request a seat on your behalf.  If you’re a window man, ask for a window seat. If you’re not too keen on climbing over sleeping Arabic businessmen to get to the loo, ask for an aisle seat. Vermaak advises that pre-seating is not always permitted on all classes of travel, but there’s no harm in asking your agent to try.

www.seatguru.com is a great site to help you find the best seats.

VIP meet and assist service at the airport
Did you know that you can skip the airport hassle when you land? We didn’t! Apparently, you can pay for someone to meet you at the aircraft, fast track you through immigrations control and baggage claims! The service includes:

● Meet and greet at aircraft door
● Luxury airside transfer to terminal
● Assistance with immigration
● Assistance with baggage retrieval
● Accompany through customs
● Accompany to awaiting transfer

Special medical needs assistance

If you have a medical condition, let your travel agent know before your flight. Your agent can arrange everything from a wheelchair to special permission to take medication onto the flight.

Forex can be arranged on your behalf and in special cases even delivered to you.

Travel insurance can be arranged for all destinations.

If you’re ever in trouble while abroad, your travel agent will put you in touch with the South African embassy. You’ll be able to apply for emergency travel documentation and receive any help you might need. In case of international emergency, the South African embassy is your safest bet.

 

Bon voyage!

 

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