How to check if a travel agency is legitimate

If you visit your local travel agent or book with an online travel agent, it’s typically a genuine and honest transaction. Using a travel agency is a quick, easy and straightforward way of organising your next adventure. However, it is important to make sure the agency you use is legitimate.

TMB not only want to ensure you have a safe trip but also would like to advise travellers on how to plan a holiday to make it as enjoyable as possible. Here are a few simple steps on how to check if a travel agency is legitimate.

Check that the travel agency is licensed

Make sure the company you are booking with is licensed before you make any payment. This peace of mind is priceless and ensures you can put your feet up before you even reach the airport.

The Irish travel agents association require that their members are licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation. This is a guarantee that consumers are protected by adequate bonding.  All travel agents trading in the Ireland are required by law to be licensed and bonded to buy or sell trips overseas.

Check the value for money

Ultra-cheap holiday packages can cause some people to question an agency.  Although travel agencies often offer incredible deals and discounts, it is worth looking at finer details when you see prices well below the norm.

Make sure the location of resort, flights, amenities, transfers and anything else that may be included match up to what you are looking for. A quick google search or look on Tripadvisor will give you a heads up to the quality of the resort, area, etc.

Phone a friend

If possible, find someone you know who can recommend a travel agent. Maybe a friend or family member have used an online agency they can recommend or perhaps they have used the travel agency you are considering. This will provide a first-hand evaluation which is the single best way to get a feel for any travel provider.

Make sure you’ve got the right paperwork

When you have booked and paid for your holiday with an agency you should receive a confirmation document immediately. This should outline your travel arrangements and the money you have paid.
A great way to check if a travel agency is legitimate is by checking that the company names on the paperwork match with who you have paid. There’s no harm in double checking your bank account and credit card statements for names and amounts paid.  Keep all documentation relating to your holiday booking on file in case they are needed in the future.

Travel health

For travel health tips and advice call into your local TMB travel health clinic and speak to one of our qualified professionals. Our experts will offer you travel advice and guide you through the health and safety requirements for your trip.

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