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What Your Travel Agent Knows That You Don’t: A Guide for Women Who Want to Do It Themselves

by Harlequin Ultimate Guides

What Your Travel Agent Knows That You Don’t is a mini-guide targetted to women travellers, both experienced and inexperienced. But the information here is very basic, and the veteran world traveller won’t find much of use. By and large, the book suffers from trying to be too many things to too many people, making the end result a gloss on planning travel, rather than an in-depth guide.

The information on negotiating the best rate at hotels and using airline consolidators for reduced tickets is good; as is the final chapter on healthy travelling. But most of the book is common sense, with information easily gleaned from the travel section of local newspapers. The section on passports, for example, has information on where to apply for one in Canada and the U.S., but no advice on what to do if your passport is lost or stolen abroad. Even such a basic rule of travel as taking a photocopy of the identity page of your passport to aid in quick replacement is not mentioned. And the section “Priming your Credit Pump” suggests paying down your cards as much as possible but says nothing about advising the credit-card company that you’ll be abroad. Since these accounts are monitored by computers, any change in the customer’s patterns, like foreign transactions, can result in the card being frozen. As well, most of the agencies and helpful phone numbers listed are for the U.S. and won’t benefit the Canadian traveller, and there are few tips for the solo traveller.

Some chapters, such as “Where the Action Is” (on trendy foreign vacations), could have been cut to provide more space for in-depth analysis. This type of information dates quickly and, again, is best covered by newspapers.

For someone getting their feet wet as a traveller this book might be useful as a starting point, but more research will be needed for a safe and well-planned trip.


Reviewer: Susan Hughes

Publisher: Harlequin


Price: $6.99

Page Count: 192 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 0-373-80510-1

Released: Mar.

Issue Date: 1997-3

Categories: Health & Self-help