Today with the internet, there are lots of options – too many options. Many of my clients come to me after being overwhelmed with all the travel offers online. The internet has been great to get information on just about anything. In addition, you can now have control over booking your own vacation – my question is do you really want to? Are there great rates out there – yes. Are they exclusive to whatever site or cruise line you call directly – no. Many travelers think that by calling a cruise line directly they would save money, but I’m about to shatter that myth.
The real question any traveler should ask themselves is – what is the most important to me on my vacation? A Travel Planner will ask you several questions about what you like and don’t like. We will customize your vacation to your needs as well as get you the best price. This is what we do for a living – so our knowledge and resources are extensive. I’m sure in your everyday job, whether at the office or at home, you have become somewhat of an expert. Why risk the precious few weeks off you have to an online site or calling a cruise line directly – they will offer you only what you ask about directly – whether it is right for you or not. After all, they aren’t going to tell you about the competition! A Travel Planner will give you choices and options you did not know about, while giving you the most competitive rates out there.
Let’s use a cruise as an example. Believe it or not, the most important part of planning a cruise is not getting the lowest price. The real goal should be to get the right cruise for your personal needs at the best available price. Together, we will discuss your cruise preferences, including onboard activities desired, the differences between ships, and our personal experiences with the ships. We will ask questions which can decide which cruise line is better for you. If children are traveling, what are your expectations for the kids clubs and crew? What about a special occasion cruise for two? Which ships will pamper you more, and provide a more comfortable environment for your special getaway? How about the ships Spa? What is more important to you, food, shows, shipboard amenities, classes, etc? Ultimately, do you have the time, patience, knowledge, and desire to spend on the phone or on line researching these important questions between the many cruise lines?
I get asked about special prices all the time. Any price a cruise line offers, we have access to. Since Elite Travel Planners is part of Cruise Planners, Inc. we have the best pricing available due to our volume with each cruise line. Plus, any client of ours will also get an onboard amenity in their stateroom for any 4 night or longer cruise. In addition, we have rates only available to us! Sure, the .com sites can have great rates, but I caution you on what you see. Usually when a traveler asks me about a lower rate they found online – they don’t realize that port charges or taxes haven’t been added into that rate. And don’t forget about the .com site fees. We do not charge fees to book cruises or vacation packages with us.
Another thing to watch out for – and you wouldn’t know until it is too late, is that you have been quoted a rate for an obstructed view – sure you have a window, but there’s a lifeboat in front of it! I’ve also seen a room be quoted online as an oceanview – but when my client told me which room, I let them know it only had two portholes – not the big window in the other oceanview rooms they were expecting. Another cruise line features bunk beds in their least expensive category. Although this type of Stateroom may be fine for families traveling with children in a second room, I don’t believe that a Honeymoon couple, or the couple on a romantic getaway trying to save a few dollars will be very happy.
And what about booking a hotel or resort for your travel. How old/new is that resort? Is there construction or renovations going on? What is the location, is the surrounding area safe, and are there restaurants close by? Peace of mind is why you use a Travel Planner. We look at the little things that can make or break your trip. And that is at no cost to you.
The reason there is no charge for planning your travels is that we are compensated by the cruise lines. Hotels and Tour Operators for providing personal, detailed service to you. In addition, we do all the research for you, including comparing rates on different sailings, securing the perfect Stateroom, assisting you with excursion information, finding the right resort or hotel and much more. Unlike many others who will give you a booking number and bid you a fond farewell, we will print your E Documents (which most cruise lines have turned to) and either hand deliver or mail them to you along with detailed information to help ensure smooth sailing.
Our goal as your Travel Planner is to deliver specialized, personal service to you, while offering you the best rates for land or sea travel! We are a voice on the other end of the phone. Should anything go wrong, you can reach us. We offer peace of mind while you travel. That is why you use a Travel Planner.