In the era of the internet there are a lot of savvy search engines and searchers. Everyone becomes a professional doctor & a professional travel agent because they can google it or book it through Expedia. Just as there is value in going to a doctor for an official diagnosis. There is value in going to a travel agent. Most travel agents become specialized in specific destinations. When they do, they have to spend a lot of time there, research the destination, try different experiences that they normally wouldn’t do all in the effort to be an expert. Most time there services are complimentary. Occasionally there is service fee for planning depending on the destination and the detail. Most Disney experts don’t charge for making dining reservations and setting your itinerary.
Before you contact a travel agent be sure to have a few specific things to give him or her:
1. The destination that you want to travel to. If you know of a resort that a friend stayed at that you would like priced out all the better.
2. Dates that you want to travel. Specific dates or month & # of nights. “Sometime in the fall” isn’t a good response. This could mean anytime September-November depending who you talk to.
3. A budget. Your idea of inexpensive and your agents idea of inexpensive could be off by a $1000. Know what you can afford to spend and adjust your want/need list to fit it.
4. Know who will be traveling with you. Vacation pricing can vary depending on the age of a child or # of adults.
Here are some things that you should expect from your travel agent:
1. To be knowledgeable about the destination.
2. To be professional. Return calls and emails in a timely manner. Within 24 hours unless it’s a holiday or weekend is acceptable.
3.To keep your information confidential. To only give information out that is necessary to third parties. To keep your credit card information in a secure database.
4. To make your vacation special.
Here are some things your travel agent should expect from you:
1. To Honor their time. Most agents are commission based. Don’t make up a dream vacation for them to plan if you don’t have the budget or any intention of taking it. If you would just like an idea of how much something would cost so you can plan for the future. Let them know up front. They will be able to give you a great over view vs. specific information.
2.To know that their magical powers have limits. They may be able to get you a table at Cinderella’s Royal Table at the last minute but if you show up at your resort at 6am because you drove through the night, they probably won’t be able to get house keeping to move any faster to get your room ready.
3. To be able to pay for your trip. They can only push back payments so far before your vacation is cancelled. They don’t have control over cancellation policy.
If you would like complimentary travel planning services, Magical Vacations by Me offers it for their clients. Contact us to be put in touch with one of our amazing travel agents so they can help you plan your next magical vacation!