ten reasons to use a travel agent
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TEN REASONS THAT TRAVEL AGENTS ARE BETTER THAN THE INTERNET
While you might put travel agent right up there with VCR repair man and video store clerk on the list of jobs that have gone the way of the Yellow Pages, there's a reason you still see them wedged into strip malls between your dry cleaner and the new VaporZone. Turns out that -- even in a world where everybody coordinates their own vacation plans -- travel agents account for about one-third of the travel industry's revenue. Seriously, in 2014. Who knew.
Not only can they do things the Internet can't, but they also still collect a lot of their fees from vendors, which means... best part, they don't even charge you! Which is why we've compiled these 10 reasons you might want to go old-school and let a travel agent plan your next trip.
1. They know whether you're actually getting a good deal.
Since 90 percent of the airline tickets you buy are for a domestic flight to see your parents, your knowledge of the relative value of a flight to London is, how shall we say, limited. A travel agent, however, books, like, 74 of those a day and will know immediately if the $600 whatever website told you is a "smoldering price" is actually reasonable.
2. Travel agents know where to go in a city, or know someone who does.
If you don't happen to be headed to one of Thrillist's 30 cities, it helps to have a reputable resource available who knows the best restaurants, dive bars, or cockfighting arenas without having to sift through a thousand ridiculous reviews about how the waitress didn't bring the table enough bread. Since they book trips all the time, TA's know this stuff like the back of their hands. And if they don't, they're one call away from getting you an answer.
3. They can track when it comes to flight delays/cancellations.
Try calling a website when your flight gets cancelled and the line to rebook stretches through the terminal. Even if you get through to the airline directly, they still don't have a clue who you are. Call your travel agent, though, and they'll get you squared away on another flight while you get squared away at the airport bar.
4. They can actually get you seats together, on the same flight, for the same price.
Rather than spend a week on a group text trying to coordinate your big Splashin' Safari Water Park Summer vacay, only to book your flights separately online and find you're all sitting next to different people who clip their toenails (and paid different fares), a travel agent can get your entire group the same ticket price, with seats together, on the same flight.
5. They can get you VIP status without being a VIP.
Restaurant supposedly booked for months? Yeah, that's no issue for a travel agent. Need a table at the hottest club in Sioux Falls? They've got more promoters on speed dial than a South Beach swimsuit model. Thanks to the relationships they maintain across the tourism industry, they can also score you tix to special tours, private tastings, and other events the Internet doesn't even know about. Or, if it does, has hidden so deep it'll take you hours to find out about them.
6. And speaking of hours on the Internet, TAs do all the research for you.
Websites don't seem to understand that when you say "search nearby airports," it doesn't mean "I'm totally fine with being the guy who asks my roommate for a ride to an airport 75 miles away so I can save $45". Travel Agents know your airport preferences, and won't tease you with cheap flights that involve leaving and returning to airports that're in different states. Unless you want them to.
7. They get better prices, first
That $49 one-way flight your email update indicated was a "fresh new deal" was actually available to your travel agent last week, because they have better relationships with airlines and wholesalers. Which also means their prices are... ready for this... usually better than online. Especially for complicated or premium fares.
8. They do more than book flights.
That African safari looks like a great time, but you do realize it requires a lot more legwork than just pressing "Buy Now" on the roundtrip ticket to Kinshasa, right? In addition to visas, you'll likely require a series of semi-crippling inoculations before you go, too. Unsure where to go for either visas or shots? Well, lo and behold, guess who can set both of those up for you?
9. They have Southwest's prices too.
Fun as it is planning your flight, calculating baggage, seat selection, and water fees, then repeating the whole process on Southwest.com to seeing if it's cheaper, a travel agent can do the comparison shopping for you. And he or she can do it with any other airline that doesn't play the online search engine game.
10. No-hassle 24-hour changes
"Non-refundable" on your online reservation -- be it a flight, hotel reservation, Duck Tour, whatever -- usually means you have 24 hours to make changes without penalty. Most people don't realize this. Yes, even a "non-refundable" airline ticket can be changed. The only catch, you have to actually call and deal directly with the airline. Or, instead of spending hours on hold listening to "all agents are currently busy", you can let your travel agent happily fix the ticket. Your call.
Escaping with a good book sometimes is considered a luxury reserved for travel. Whether relaxing after a day of sightseeing, lounging poolside or passing time at the airport, consider these titles for your next trip.
“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed
It’s an oldie but goodie and on just about every reading list when you Google “best travel books.” This memoir chronicles Strayed’s journey as she hikes 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail not long after her mother dies, her family scatters and her marriage crumbles. She set out with no experience or training, and forged ahead on a formidable journey that ultimately healed her.
“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins
The author of “The Girl on the Train” is back with another psychological thriller that will hold your attention throughout a long flight or car ride. A single mother and a teenage girl are found dead in a river just months apart in this twisting plot that unfolds through the eyes of more than a dozen narrators, shifting back and forth in time. Is this town the “perfect place to get rid of troublesome women”? One thing is for certain, this book may result in missed meetings, skipped excursions and excessive excuses for “staying in.”
“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert
There’s something satisfying about reading someone’s journey about finding themselves while traveling … while traveling. This book offers just that, as the author takes you on her trip through Italy, India and Bali as she works to find herself after a divorce. The best thing about this book? You can probably borrow it from a family member or friend.
“36 Hours” by the New York Times
If you’re looking for some true travel inspiration – and advice on how to make the most out of a quick trip – this guidebook will help you plan a weekend in many cities across the United States and Canada.
For those more inclined to listen than read, be sure to pack your earbuds for these travel-focused podcasts.
Zero to Travel
Host Jason interviews people who live amazing travel lives with inspirational stories to remind listeners that they can do anything. He also dishes out plenty of advice on how to make a life of travel.
We thank Partner for Travel for bringing this special list to our attention.
.The other day I was planning a Family Vacation for parents and three children ranging from 9 to 15 and they asked about the Caribbean. I have planned many Dream Vacations there in the past and have personally visited many of the islands so I was glad they contacted me.
With children since they do not consume alcohol I normally recommend that they go to a destination where there are several fine restaurants as well as a great children's program and great sightseeing.
The first island I would recommend is Aruba. I have been there several times and love their many fine restaurants. They have both "high rise" and "low rise" hotels, all with great beaches. If you love watersports this is the place to go.
I then thought of Grand Cayman which has "Seven Mile Beach". Again watersports are plentiful and you just have to "swim with the Stingrays". There are several hotels which have children's programs which teach the children about the ocean and how coral formations make this location a great diving site.
For those who do not want to spend for Passports, I always recommend the US Virgin Islands. Having traveled to all three, St. Thomas; St. John; and St. Croix you have complete variety. St. Thomas is active and has great shopping. St. John is for the "quiet getaway" and St. Croix is probably the one which is least visited.
How about the Bahamas and Nassau. You can't beat the Atlantis Resort for children's activities. From their "Swim with the Dolphins" program to their amazing waterpark. While not too much to see on the island you could spend the entire dream vacation on the resort and never get bored.
OK so you want all the activities, the beach and the ALL INCLUSIVE features. There are two I can highly recommend. The first is Jamaica. There are more tours than you can ever take in a week and the beaches are fantastic. You will find the Beaches Resorts by Sandals in both Ocho Rios and Negril. These properties have been voted Number One in the Caribbean for about 14 years in a row. You cannot go wrong but plan your dream vacation well in advance since the rooms with the best values sell out fast and there are not many which will accommodate a family of five.
The second is Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. While there is not much to do for off resort activities, this is the best value in the Caribbean. While I only recommend resorts with at least a four star rating, there is a resort for every budget.
We at Dream Vacation Travels have visited all of these islands and more and would recommend that if you are thinking of vacationing during school vacations, holidays or the peak summer period that you contact us well in advance.
1. Life is a wonderful gift. It really is, and as you travel and experience more of the world and life, you often become overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for all the beautiful moments you enjoyed and people you have shared them with. More often than not, this is a realization that you can experience and take action from now while you are still alive with energy rather than stacking up regrets by the time you are unable to travel. Rather than waiting until you’re saying “I wish I had”, live so you can say “I’m glad I did”. Make that Travel Bucket List and start checking them off by filling out your travel request today at www.dreamvacationtravels.com/forms.
2. Learn more about the world by experiencing it. There’s concept, and then there’s experience. When you travel, you may notice that some of the things you have heard about the world end up being very different than what you were indoctrinated and conditioned to believe. Many of the initial myths that get dispelled are often about traveling itself. Where you once may have thought it was too expensive and dangerous, you may realize how you can actually save more on your lifestyle expenses traveling the world than you do living at home, especially given the low airfare we can provide you with. You may also realize how kind and friendly strangers can be. Beyond that, you have the whole world to learn about with every place you discover, every person you meet and every culture you experience.
3. You will find a new purpose. Traveling is an amazingly underrated investment in yourself. As you travel you’re exposed to more new people, cultures, and lifestyles than you are living in your homeland all the time. With all the newness in your life, you’re also opened to new insights, ways of seeing the world and living, which often gives people a new purpose for their lives. If you’re feeling stuck on what your purpose is, what you want to do with your life, the career or educational path you want to pursue, go travel…you might just be surprised about what you discover as a new sense of life purpose and direction.
Whether you be planning a honeymoon, a senior trip, a cruise, an escorted tour or a personally designed trip by our professional and knowledgeable agents do as much research on your own as you wish then click below and contact us.
At Dream Vacation Travels we bring you 10 reasons why you should always contact us and use our services—and this year more than ever.
1. Buying travel is a unique purchase, because you are buying both a product and a service.
We know how to sell both parts—the airline and resort and cruise line that best match your needs, and the service that you deserve
2. We trained to take a critical look at each piece in your trip puzzle.
We make sure each piece meets your specific needs, so you’re happy with every penny you spend.
3. We can make sense of the multitude of offers from cruise lines and airlines and hotels.
This year travel companies are offering more brands than ever before in history—on land, in the air and on the seas. We ask a lot of questions to find the right cruise or tour for you. We decipher the subtle differences and choose the one that fits your requirements for this unique trip.
4. We save you time and money.
We base their business on commissions. The time and money you spend with us will be returned to you many times over in the form of perks, upgrades, convenience and great service.
5. We are your advocate.
Whether you need an upgrade to an ocean view or a ticket out of harm’s way after an earthquake, we will be there for you, intervening with suppliers on your behalf.
6. We are certified and are the experts.
Like a doctor or an accountant, we will ask the right questions, listen to your answers, understand your pain, and offer expert advice to guide you in making one of your most important decisions—how to spend your invaluable time off. Because there are no do-overs for a vacation gone wrong.
7. Knowledge is power.
From the visa and passport requirements to the name of the maître d’ at the best restaurant in town, we do research and look for that inside information that makes your trip perfect.
8. We have your back.
When things go wrong, we know whom to call to get it fixed on the spot. If your flight is canceled, just have a seat and pick up the phone while the rest of the passengers are lined up trying to rebook. Didn't get the room category you booked? No need to argue with the front desk. One call will hopefully get it corrected.
9. We are your personal shopper.
Over time we get to know you and your family, your likes and dislikes. You are so much more than a sale to us—and we provide the human connection that makes every transaction more pleasant and meaningful. Plus by supporting local businesses, you support your community.
10. We can offer customized experiences that no one else can.
After 33 years in the business, we have the connections to arrange for the side trips, the special passes, the upgrades and little touches that are not available to the general public. Because in this wide and amazing and wonderful world, you just don't know what you don't know. So ask someone who does—call us today at 860-887-6481 or complete the trip request form on our website www.dreamvacationtravels.com/forms
The million-dollar question! More and more couples are choosing to get married in a far-flung destination, and it can be an absolutely magical experience….or not. There are some important things to consider before deciding on a destination wedding, and your answers to the questions below may help you figure out if it’s the right option for the two of you:
Dream Vacation Travels has worked with several future brides and grooms over the years in planning their special event. From providing "Save the Date" cards to coordinating all of the travel arrangements to obtaining a negotiated group contract to holding the hands of the bride and groom through every step of the planning process. We take pride in Turning their wedding dreams info lifetime memories.
If you had a Destination Wedding please share your comments below!
It is hard to believe that our country today is less than 250 years old. At Dream Vacation Travels we talk about turning "Travel Dreams into Lifetime Memories". Today as I get ready to travel to Bristol, Rhode Island to view the oldest 4th of July Parade in the United States, it brings back memories of my childhood and the parades I participated in. As a three year old I would get up early every morning and my mom would turn on the radio to "march time", 15 minutes of John Phillips Souza marches. I would pick up a flag and parade in circles around the kitchen. I didn't realize how during my life I would become addicted to parades. At age 6 my father took me on my first airline flight to my aunts in Philadelphia to view the "Mummers Day Parade". How I remember to this day all the string bands and the excitement of children, including me, watching the bands go by. As I grew up if there was a parade nearby I would be sure to travel to see it. In High School I joined a band and when playing a tuba did not work, I took up the drums and marched at all the football games. In college at Northeastern I continued to march and made several lifelong friends who were members of the band. Yes today is the 4th of July in Bristol and it will no doubt bring back more memories.
What memories do you have of your childhood or of a trip with your family. Yes life is made up of special memories and we hope to be able to help you make future memories with your travels.
Once upon a time ...
If you would have ever told me 33 years ago when I started in the travel industry that one day I would have to learn how to design a website and write a Blog, I would have thought you had too much to drink the night before. Yet it is the technology of today that we have to learn to survive. Whether you found www.dreamvacationtravels.com as a result of a recommendation of a friend or by a Google Search, it is important that you learn that our slogan of “Turning Travel Dreams into Future Memories” is what we are all about. Now that you found us take the time to look around. We are the “small guy” in this industry but we will take care of your next vacation better than any of the “big boys” and especially the internet. All we can ask is for the opportunity. I would invite you to come back often and to visit our FACEBOOK page www.facebook.com/dreamvacationtravels We have a passion for travel and working with others to fulfill their dreams.
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