When on the phone with tour operators, establish relationships with as many inside personnel as possible. Don’t just make a booking and move on, but endeavor to establish a professional working relationship, and request the same reservationist by name each time you book with the operator. While most tour operators no longer have outside sales reps, the reservations staff and inside reps have a lot of knowledge and expertise. Slowing the process down and getting to know them, when appropriate, can be a worthwhile exercise. It is easier with some tour operators than others, but in a pinch, a crisis situation or when something goes wrong, it helps to have that little bit of inside edge that a relationship with a sales representative or a reservationist can give you.