Tag Archives: United States

How to Finding the Right Travel Agent

Planning a fulfilling vacation can be a challenging task; however, the introduction of several travel websites, have seemingly made it much easier for people. While numerous people opt to choose their destination and make all the bookings online, it is needless to say that even the best laid plans with regard to a self-booked holiday may go haywire and lead eventually to sheer disaster, due to reasons such as insufficient research, etc. In such a case, you not only end up ruining all your fun, but also your time and money. The best way to avoid this unpleasant, unwanted situation is to hire a good, reputed travel agent who will be able to help you plan your entire trip, and also make sure that it is completely free of hassles.

Some people think that planning a vacation on your own helps save a substantial amount of money, as it automatically eliminates the use of travel agent, the so-called middleman. While this might hold true in certain cases, we say that planning your vacation via a travel agent can actually help you obtain better, cheaper deals, thus, saving you from breaking the bank. An experienced travel agent will also be able to aid you in designing a feasible and practical itinerary, and provide tips with respect to choosing accommodations, renting private vehicles, and so on. Plus, you will get personalized attention while planning your vacation, as all your queries will be addressed then and there. However, it needs to be remembered that there are several traps out there in the market and so, it becomes extremely important to make a good and a wise choice from the countless travel agencies that are there.

Do In-depth Research
With numerous established travel agencies and many more coming into existence each day, it may become rather confusing to choose the ones that suit your needs. Adequate and in-depth research is the solution to this problem. Use the Internet, inquire with your friends and acquaintances, and refer to local magazines and newspapers. If you know people who have hired any travel agent in the past, it is also a good idea to get in touch with them, and inquire about the services offered, money charged, priority given to customer satisfaction, and so on.

Narrow Down Your Search Results
Shortlist the ones that best suit your needs and demands and only then, go ahead and contact them. Your narrowed down list should depend on several criteria such as the services offered, the overall experience, the money charged, the location of the agency, and so on. No matter which of the above parameters (or others) you lay most emphasis on, do not forget to check the agent’s reputation and goodwill in the market.

Pen Down Your Expectations
Before going out to search for an appropriate travel agent to help you plan a perfect vacation for you, it is vital that you know exactly what you want, or what kind of services you expect from the agency. Unless you are absolutely sure about your own needs and demands, it will be very difficult to find the right travel agency. Note that some travel agents specialize in organizing some specific kinds of vacations, such as family tours, pilgrimages, wildlife safaris, etc. So, it may also be vital to recognize the exact nature and purpose of your holiday, before starting with your quest.

Check if the Agency is Registered
You have conducted an in-depth research and have shortlisted some of your prospective travel agents, it is now time to check which of them are registered with the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). ASTA is an organization that regulates the practices and activities of travel agents throughout the United States. A registration with ASTA indicates that a given travel agency has a good market standing. On the contrary, if it is unregistered, it indicates that either the agency holds a bad reputation or it is a completely new establishment that lacks adequate experience and knowledge.

Get in Touch and Ask the Right Questions
After checking the registration details, you can now get in touch with the agencies that you feel are the best for you. These days, most travel agents have their own websites, and you can contact them via email; however, speak to them or meeting face-to-face is a much better idea. It is essential that you ask the right questions like how the agency obtains discounts from travel providers, or how they earn their commissions, etc. A good travel agent will be more than happy to answer all your queries satisfactorily and patiently. It is best to stay away from the ones who avoid answering your questions, or are not patient or courteous enough.

Review the Written Agreement Carefully
First and foremost, making a written agreement with your travel agent is very important. It not only binds both the parties on certain terms and conditions, but also ensures that complete transparency is maintained in the entire dealing. When your travel agency makes an agreement, it is very important that you read and understand it properly. If you have any doubt, it is advisable to even consult a contract attorney and get the agreement reviewed. Look specifically for restrictive clauses, and inquire if the agency can amend some of them, according to your convenience. Moreover, ensure that the agency provides you with a written agreement before you make any payments so that you can rethink on your decision, if required. Do not hire an agency that asks you to pay before making an agreement, or does not make a written agreement at all.

Let the Agent Ask You Questions
While conversing with a prospective travel agent, it is essential that he/she gets to know about your needs and expectations. For this, it is obvious that a good travel agent will ask you certain questions about your travel destination, the duration of your stay, your overall budget, and so on. You, on your part, will need to be as frank and honest as you can so that he/she gets a clear idea about the kind of vacation you are looking forward to. Remember that an experienced travel agent will always ask you questions, and tell you what is possible and what is not. Avoid the one who does not do so.

Ask for Personal References
In order to confirm that you are about to hire a right travel agent, do not hesitate to ask him/her for references of previous customers. It is an extremely good idea to contact some of these people personally, and ask them about their experiences with the agent and the agency’s services. While a good travel agency will have nothing much to hide, and will happily provide you with personal references, the one that hesitates or avoids doing so, should not be hired.

Best Vacation Spots in the US

Visiting selected holiday spots in the United States is an experience of a lifetime! The US is amongst the top tourist destinations in the world. And this is a well-known fact, probably from the time when tourism statistics evolved and the activity of tourism was termed as an industry. America has been a vital contributor in world tourism to say the least.

From the hot west coast to the cold east coast, everything is worth enjoying, and needless to say, there’s ample for everyone in the family to enjoy! The United States enjoys a vast stretch of coastline, comprising exotic beaches, vibrant nightlife, and sumptuous food everywhere. It also has deserts spread across a large area in various states, it has large forests full of wildlife and surprises, and last but not the least, the Grand Canyon! The list of special features of America seems to be endless. So I would directly come to the focus of our discussion and acquaint all the enthusiastic tourists with some of the best vacation spots in the United States.

Best Vacation Spots in the US


Situated in the northern part of the country, this is another destination that qualifies amongst the best vacation spots. Numerous beautiful lakes, small islands, and world-class cities, are some of the features that constitute this state. Michigan is also furnished with some of the best getaways in the world. Some of the best tourist places in Michigan are Drummond Island, Holland, Detroit, Grand Haven, and hundreds of lakes that include Lake Superior, Lake Arrowhead, Crooked Lake, Big Glen Lake, etc. With half of it covered by forests, this is a great destination for hunters and nature-loving enthusiasts. There are thousands of miles of beaches for those who love sun and sand. The lakes provide an opportunity for those who love fishing. Because of its position related to the Great Lakes, and the many underwater ship wrecks that have been protected for viewing, Michigan is also the perfect destination for scuba diving. There is the Detroit Institute of Arts, besides the zoo and many museums that are popular attractions.

Rightly named as the tropical paradise of America, Florida, situated in the south-east of the United States, has a lot to offer to all visiting tourists. Sunny climate, hundreds of miles of beaches, and people lost in pure enjoyment! This is the typical picture that comes to mind when one thinks of Florida, and that is exactly what you will find when you visit this state. It is also amongst the best vacation spots in the US for couples, besides being the top destination state for tourism. Some of the best places in Florida include Miami, Tampa, Amelia Island, St. Augustine, Everglades, Pensacola, etc. All the beaches in Florida are simply the best, however, to name a few, South Beach, Daytona Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Palm Beach are some of the best. There are numerous amusement parks all over, and the ones that should be visited are SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Universal Orlando Resort, and of course the largest vacation resort in the world, Walt Disney World Resort. Tourism is at its peak here especially in the winter months.


If you want to visit the best casinos and hotels ever, then Las Vegas is the perfect destination for you. Filled with numerous casinos, bars, and hotels, this is the ideal destination for the best nightlife. The main place to eventually go to is the Las Vegas Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard). This 4+ mile stretch of road is home to some of the biggest hotels, casinos and resorts in the world. Every 15 minutes, there is a trolley service that runs the length of the strip for those who want to sit back and enjoy the view of this amazing road. It stops at all the main hotels and casinos. Las Vegas is only second to Macau in terms of world’s highest-grossing gambling center. The major casino and resort attractions in Lag Vegas are The Bellagio, The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, The MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, The Luxor Hotel and Casino, Casino Royale, Circus Casino, Flamingo Hilton Hotel, Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, New York Casino, Palms Casino, Paris Las Vegas Casino, Planet Hollywood Casino, The Bellagio Casino, and The Rio Casino.


Maui is one of the biggest islands of Hawaii. Just like we all know what Hawaii has to offer, Maui is all of that and more. The beaches are a divine treat for tourists. One has to drive on the Hana Highway, which is along the east coast of Maui and passes through some amazing scenery like beautiful mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. There are numerous black sand beaches too that one can see on the way. If you want to experience the thrill of seeing an area that has a volcano, then Haleakala National Park is the place to go to. Of course, this is a dormant volcano, so there is no danger around whatsoever. Surfing and snorkeling can be enjoyed at almost any beach that you choose to stay at. There are also quite a few cruises that can be taken to enjoy the sunset or for whale watching. Lahaina is the area you need to visit where you will find the streets filled with shops and restaurants, to add to your excitement. Kahana, Napili, Kapalua, and Kahului are other spots on this beautiful island that can be visited and are popular tourist destinations.


The Yellowstone National Park is located in the state of Wyoming, and is believed to be the oldest national park in the world. It sits on the Yellowstone Plateau at a height of around 2,400 meters above sea level. Spanning an area of nearly 3,500 sq. miles, it consists of everything from mountains, volcanic lava, lakes, rivers, canyons, forests and grasslands. There are hundreds of species of birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles in this park, besides the 1,700+ species of trees and plants. Activities that can be enjoyed in this park are hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and of course sightseeing. The north entrance of the park has the Heritage and Research Center, which houses the Yellowstone National Park’s museum collection, archives, research library, archeology lab, and herbarium. Travel by road inside lets you experience the beauty of the lakes and numerous waterfalls. During the winters, there are guided tours on snow coaches and snowmobiles. Major part of this park lies in Wyoming, with 3% and 1% extending to Montana and Idaho respectively.


For an experience of one of the most modern cities in the world, a visit to New York City is a must. Over 50 million tourists visit this city every year, and it goes without saying that the city has a little of everything to offer. For sightseeing, there is the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden. The city has anything and everything one needs, from restaurants, to theaters, some of the best hotels, pubs, bars, etc. If you decide to come here, then the places you cannot afford to miss are the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Broadway Theater, Times Square, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, American Museum of Natural History, Grand Central Terminal, and Madison Avenue. Also, depending on which time of the year you are in this city, there is the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Halloween Parade, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Tribeca Film Festival. For a good view of the harbor and Statue of Liberty, a free ferry ride can be taken from lower Manhattan to Staten Island. There is also a New York Dinner Cruise which can be enjoyed overnight. Also available is a 15-minute helicopter tour of the city.


Atlanta is the capital city of the state of Georgia. For the best food on the planet, you need to go to Buford Highway, with food choices ranging from Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Cuban, Korean, and Ethiopian. Then there is the largest aquarium in the world, the Georgia Aquarium, spread over 20 acres of land. Close by is the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Dome, the Centennial Olympic Park, and the CNN Center. Depending on when you visit, there are numerous event festivals like the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Music Midtown, Inman Park Festival, and the Southeastern Flower Show. Don’t miss going to The Varsity, which is the largest drive-in restaurant in the world. Other exciting places to go to are the Center for Puppetry Arts, Fox Theater, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, National Museum of Patriotism, Stone Mountain Park, Zoo Atlanta, Chastain Park Amphitheater, Callanwolde Center for Fine Arts, Museum of Design Atlanta, and the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, to name a few. Again, lots to see here, so plan a longish trip accordingly.


Los Angeles, also popularly known as L.A., is the most populated city in the state of California. It is also known as the City of Angels. If you plan to visit here, make sure your holiday is not a short one, because there is so much to see here. There are more than 800 art galleries and museums in the county, notable ones being the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the world’s richest art institution, the Getty Center. Parks that should be visited here are the Griffith Park and the Exposition Park. Los Angeles is home to Hollywood, and is the entertainment capital of the world. It leads the world in television and stage production, motion pictures, video games, and music recordings. For music lovers, there is something for everyone, from rock to jazz. Places that should not be missed are the Nokia Theater, Staples Center, and the LA Convention Center. You’ll find everything here from music, food and drink, to great sightseeing, and the main places to go to are Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and West LA.


New Orleans is a major port city in Louisiana. You can enjoy everything from restaurants, sightseeing, nightlife, arts and culture. Make sure you take a riverboat ride down the Mississippi. New Orleans is famous for the carnival, also known as Mardi Gras. One of the largest music festivals in the United States, the Jazz Fest is held here too. There is also the Essence Music Festival which sees artists performing from all over the world. For the best hotels, pubs and nightlife, you need to go to the French Quarter, also known as the Quarter or Vieux Carré. Here, you can enjoy the Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and the French Market too. Some places worth visiting are the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, Storyland Amusement Park, Tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, Esoterica, the Superdome, St. Louis Cathedral, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. A holiday in New Orleans also offers things like streetcar rides, walking and bicycle tours, casinos, antique shopping, and even carriage rides.