Traveling to Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some people, while for others it is a regular occurrence due to having business or family ties in Japan. Either way, when traveling to Japan on business or for personal reasons you want your Japanese trip to be the best it can be.
Experienced world travelers know that finding a good travel agent to help you plan your trip is a smart way to ensure that it will be a success. No matter how many Japan guidebooks you have read or Japan tourist brochures you have flipped through, none of these valuable resources can keep up with the ongoing changes in the travel climate of Japan.
With thousands of travel agents to choose from, you will want to find just the right Japan travel agent for your trip. It is important to know which qualities and characteristics for look for as you plan your trip.
To help you choose wisely, here are 7 qualities and characteristics of good Japan travel agents to help you plan your upcoming trip:
1. Belongs to a good network of air carriers, tour operators and hotel partners:
Travel agents these days are connected and networked in a way that they could not have been before the age of the Internet. However, having a computer and an Internet connection are not sufficient qualifications for being a travel agent that can get the best deals. For starters, good agents belong to networks of airlines, tour operators and hotels that offer them (and their clients) the best rates.
2. Speaks both English and Japanese:
It is a huge benefit if your agent can fluently speak your own language, as well as Japanese. This way, they can handle your planning needs while staying in touch with their own network of operators in Japan on a daily basis.
3. Is knowledgeable about your travel insurance options:
You may or may not require travel insurance, but it is a good idea to find an agent who can offer you travel insurance coverage options and who can competently recommend a customized plan if asked.
4. Has offices in your home country and in Japan:
Many of the larger agent networks have offices internationally. Once you have actually arrived in Japan, it would be convenient if your travel agent's company had offices in Japan that you could call for help or advice in a pinch.
5. Has personally used the services they recommend:
Travel agents who actually have been on the tours and use the carriers they recommend are the ones you can trust. They know from experience what they are talking about.
6. Regularly travels within Japan:
Your agent will be able to give you the best recommendations if he or she actually travels within Japan at least 2-3 times per year him or herself.
7. Keeps themselves up-to-date on the latest Japan travel trends:
Good travel agents specialize travel in certain parts of the world or certain countries. Rather than finding a jack-of-all-trades travel agent, find one who has the time to study, connect and stay up-to-date with what is going on in Japan.
Look for these 7 qualities and characteristics in a Japan travel agent. Be bold and ask the agents you interview their qualifications and background before agreeing to work with them.