Friday, January 15, 2010

Fun and Fabulous Friday - Words from a Travel Agent


Our resident travel agent stopped in to answer our questions.

Enjoy!


When I was in college, I used a travel agent once to book my flight home. I know you book hotels, but what else do you do?


In addition to booking hotels, I sell the following:

-All-inclusive packages

-Bed and Breakfast

-Cruises

-Car rentals

-Tours/excursions

-Convention space

-Reserve/block rooms for destination weddings/renewals/anniversaries/reunions, etc.



Why should we use a travel agent, when we can book our honeymoon on Travelocity or another online source? Money is pretty important to us. What if the online source is cheaper?



It also goes by the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” On-line travel engines do not sell the product, they sell the price. And, there’s nothing worse than entering your honeymoon suite with roaches and stained linen on your beds due to booking a hotel based on the price and not on what was recommended. You can never be too sure in trusting on-line reviews.

Travel engines are not always cheaper either. As travel agents, we are well connected. And by working with an agent that’s in good standing with many vendors, they are most likely to offer you a better deal with better perks. Remember, price does not always outweigh value, especially not on your honeymoon.



How much do you cost?


I do not charge a service fee for trips that are paid in full. If a payment plan is arranged or assistance is needed with booking air or car rentals, then a $15 service fee is implemented.



Can you get me any deals? Better than what I can find online?


Yes, I receive promotions daily. Another good thing about working with an agent is that sometimes promotions are only offered to agents working with honeymooners. They are not always released to the public in order to reserve space for those celebrating special occasions.



Do you have an office? Frankly, I’ve traveled all over the tri-state area looking for wedding vendors. I’m tired.



Clients are welcome to my home office anytime located in Baltimore County (Windsor Mills, MD). Or, I am available to meet with couples within a reasonable radius.



I’m not really sure what I’m doing. Right now, I am just looking online. Can I meet with you anyway?


Sure, it’s my job to guide couples in the right direction. Prior to meeting, I suggest couples calling me first to make sure we both at least have an idea as to where they would like to travel.



I am having budget concerns. The wedding has gone over budget and I don’t have a lot of money to spend on a honeymoon. Can you help?


Most certainly. I not only assist couples in planning honeymoons based on interests, but based on budgets that are fitting to each individual couple, also.



Do you specialize in any particular destinations? What if I decide to go to a location where you do not specialize?



Yes, my agency specializes in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the U.S. Although, one of the great things about working with a certified agent is knowing that they are well-connected and knowledgeable about the world, even though they don’t specialize in that particular destination. I am still able to tell you several do’s and don’ts about certain destinations. I also network with a number of agents and vendors. I can assure you that I would not send a couple on their honeymoon without knowing that it is securely planned and reserved through credible service providers.



What if something happens on the honeymoon – like I get mugged? What do I do? Do you offer travel insurance (or work with a company that does).


This is a good point. I strongly encourage you to read my blog, “When Tragedy Strikes: How to Safely Plan Your Dream Honeymoon”. Safety is key and knowing what to do and what not to do is even more important. I always review and discuss the latest events taking place at couples’ desired destination prior to making reservations and departure. This is why it’s important to purchase travel insurance in case of emergencies.

In extreme emergencies, remain calm as much as possible. Locate a local emergency official as soon as possible. Afterwards, notify your hotel’s security, and then contact your agent to assist in contacting emergency contacts, such as insurance carriers, medical providers, even family members. Travelocity and Expedia can’t do that for you.




I spent thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to make sure that I had a “green wedding”. It is really important to us. I want to make sure that our honeymoon is also “green”. We want places which offer organic food. We want to stay in sustainable locations powered by wind or solar. We want a really natural experience. Can you help?





Sure. Eco-friendly or “green” honeymoons are all the rave right now, and many hotels and resorts are on board. Selecting a location that concerves energy via solar power and uses organic linen is not such a hard task anymore. Check out the following “green” locations that made Island magazine’s top list for 2009:


    • Deer Run Bed & Breakfast, Big Pine Key
    • Milia Mountain Retreat, Crete
    • Turtle Island Resort, Fiji
    • Paradise Bay Eco Escape, South Long Island, Australia
    • Ibo Island Lodge, Mozambique

Thanks to Loren Adams of Destinations Reached Travel Consulting Service.


Bon Voyage!

1 comment:

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Everyone has their favorite way of using the internet. Many of us search to find what we want, click in to a specific website, read what’s available and click out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it’s efficient. We learn to tune out things we don’t need and go straight for what’s essential.

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