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:: What's New
1000’s of the very best Iranian businesses and professionals at your fingertipsSaturday, August 09, 2014
“Iranian Everything” app is up and running, and is being downloaded at incredible rates, by Iranians in the US and elsewhere. The lists of Iranian travel agents and travel agencies, and other Iranian businesses and professionals are now easily accessible on any smartphone (i-phone or Android). Download it for free at Google Playstore and Apple store.
 
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:: Message from the Editor

Traveling to Iran? Europe? Taking a cruise? There are many reasons to use a good travel agent for your next trip :

1. Convenient One-Stop Shopping

Travel agents can handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging, ground transportation, activities, tours and more.

2. Consumer Advocate

If you should have a problem during your trip, travel agents can act on your behalf to see that proper restitutions are made.

3. Expert Guidance

Travel agents are experts in helping travelers get where they need to go and in helping to create possibilities most people never would have dreamed were possible.

4. Save Time

Avoid the headaches and let the travel agents call around and do all the time consuming work of planning a complex itinerary.

5. Choice

Travel agents offer you an array of options and price quotes from a variety of travel suppliers, giving you the upper hand when making your final travel decisions.

6. Less Stress

Planning a trip can be stressful. There are so many options and details to worry about. Travel agents do the work, resulting in less stress for you.

7. Updated Information

Travel agents are constantly communicating with the travel community, thus giving you the most up to date info on airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, travel visas, and other travel services to consider as you plan your trip.

8. Customer Service

Travel agents offer that “personal touch” to your travel planning experience- Offering help and advice that a website cannot provide.

9. Travel Documentation

Travel agents can help you to prepare and organize any necessary documents that you may need in order to travel outside of the country. They can direct you to your local passport office, and they know where you need a visa, as well as any other documentation that you might need along the way.

10. Travel Expertise

Many travel agents are considered experts in the area you are traveling to and have probably already been to your chosen destination.

:: Travel Agent Spotlight

Soheila Jaster
Strawberry Point, IA

Booking travel arrangements can be a mystery to some of us. Should I use a travel agent? Is there really a difference between using an agent and booking it myself? What information do I need to know? All of these are valid questions to those of us who are new to booking these services or simply looking for a better way.

I sat down with Soheila Jaster, a professional Travel Agent with over 10 years of experience, to get the real deal on travel arrangements.

Q. Explain the difference between using a travel agent and booking your own travel.

A. The difference is experience. There is no substitute for a good travel agent; however you must know your travel priorities; whether it be cost, routing, seat preference, etc. Travel agents no longer make commissions once offered by all airlines, therefore they must charge for their professional services. Large companies usually have in-house travel specialists who have travel agent backgrounds, though up-and-coming companies can still benefit from using outside travel agencies. The Internet has a lot to offer but it is also time consuming and for the discerning traveling executive, not cost effective.

Q. What is key in organizing travel?

A. Knowledge is key for properly organizing travel. Flying into the closest airport for a meeting may not be the best option if one has too many connections. Residing in the closest hotel to the meeting could be in a bad neighborhood. Travel agents know the ins and outs of all this stuff. Travel agents also usually have upgrade coupons and get the best rates on rental cars.

Q. What is your process for organizing travel arrangements?

A. I have always used a client profile which includes these preferences:

First class vs. coach

Aisle vs. window

Cheap vs. direct

King bed vs. two doubles/queens

Mid-size car vs. full/luxury

Smoking room vs. non

I save each of these profiles so that I never have to ask their preferences again.

As far as organization, I almost always begin with booking the flight first. With no plane tickets, there is no trip. With flights, hotels and cars, you're always at an advantage the earlier you book them simply because of availability.

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" "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”"
-Mark Twain

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