If you’ve every wondered what working with a Travel Agent is like or if it’s the best decision for you, I encourage you to give this post a read. After all, a Travel Agent can be a great asset to you and your family, especially when you’re new to vacation planning. But, I also understand that it’s not for everyone.
The Travel Business is a fascinating and complicated business, especially post-pandemic. But, we get so excited to help you make your dreams come true that we sometimes forget to tell you these most basic things.
The reason my Clients trust in my judgement is that I believe in full disclosure. So, before you hand over your trust (and money) to someone, there are things that you should know.
Travel Is In High Demand
If you’re reading this in 2023, you may have noticed that Resorts are filling up quickly and popular destinations, including Theme Parks, are extremely busy.
Well, for me, not being able to travel anywhere, immediately followed by a high risk pregnancy, forced me to stay local for a couple years. As a result, I had a lot of pent up energy and desire to travel again.
The past few years have been rough on everyone. So, now that everything is back open, the Travel Business has been busier than ever. In fact, my personal sales for 2022 were higher than they had ever been.
What does this mean for you? It means if you have specific dates or Resorts in mind, you’re going to have to book early. Affordable on and off-site accommodations are booking up quickly.
Travel Costs Are Increasing
Unfortunately, when there is a high demand for anything, prices increase. And the Travel industry isn’t exempt from this.
The problem is that there are more people wanting to travel than there is supply. Flights have less routes. We had a long period of time when Theme Parks and Cruise Ships lowered capacity. And travelers who aren’t yet ready to get back on a plane, or can’t afford to fly, are booking up all of the available rental cars.
There are discounts and ways to go about lowering some of those travel costs. But, for the Travel industry, as a whole, prices have increased everywhere, not just in the Theme Parks.
Room Discounts Aren’t Unlimited
Maybe this has happened to you before. You’ve heard that Disney released a brand new room discount. Your preferred Resort is showing there are still rooms available. So, why isn’t the discount showing up?
Well, the reason is simple. Room discounts aren’t unlimited. Hotels and Resorts set a certain number of rooms aside to be booked at a discounted price. Once those rooms are booked, no more discounts will be given at that Resort.
So, what do you do?
Well, you can look for discounts at another Resort or you can pay full price. You never know, someone may cancel and you can get that discount after all.
“Slow” Season In The Theme Parks Isn’t Really A Thing Right Now
Despite rising costs, people are traveling more than ever.
The term “revenge travel” is gaining steam. And it’s the reason so many people are traveling now. Not only is there a higher demand, so many more people working remotely. So, it’s the perfect situation for someone who likes to travel.
That’s one of the reasons I love my job. During one of my vacations last year (yes, we took 2!), I was still booking clients and answering questions, even though I was in another state. Since all I need to work is my phone and computer, I can work from anywhere.
As a result, we’re seeing bigger crowd levels during times they’d would typically be lower. But, if you still want to avoid the craziest crowds, I suggest avoiding holidays, summer, and anytime there is a school break.
We Won’t Book Your Trip and Leave You
Remember how I said I’m all about full disclosure? Well, here’s some hard facts.
We don’t get paid until after you’ve traveled. So, we want to keep you happy. Because it doesn’t matter how much work we’ve done. If you cancel, we don’t get paid.
So, if that means you’re calling from the Parks to help cancel a dining reservation or asking me to make sure your Genie+ is set up correctly, that’s ok.
After all, isn’t that why you booked with a Travel Agent to begin with? So, someone will be there to help you when you need it.
If You Book On Your Own, We Can’t Really Help You
Companies like Disney and Universal Studios take your privacy very seriously.
The very first thing they look at is if we are the Agent assigned to your reservation. And even then, there are things they don’t discuss with us.
So, it doesn’t matter to them if we have your permission or your confirmation numbers. If you book on your own, these companies aren’t going to give us any information regarding your trip or allow us to modify anything.
I don’t mind answering a few questions to help you out. After all, that’s exactly why this link exists. But, aside from answering a few questions, that’s all I’m really able to do.
Transfer Your Reservation
For Disney, specifically, if you booked less than 30 days prior to contacting me, you are in luck. There are a few stipulations, like you can’t have a trip paid in full and you must have booked directly with Disney. If you booked through somewhere, like Costco, you don’t qualify.
But, if you meet all of these conditions, I can transfer your reservation.
It’s important to note that the transfer does not go through right away. Cast Members have to physically transfer a Reservation to a Travel Agent. So, how long before the transfer takes place depends on how many Guests are ahead of you in line.
We can discuss your options. But, if your trip is quickly approaching, it may be best to finish the trip yourself and contact us the next time you want to travel.
But, if all goes well, I can make sure your package is the best option for your family, apply discounts, and set up your My Disney Experience account so you’re all set for your trip.
I Work WITH You To Plan Your Dream Vacation
Being the Google queen that I can sometimes be, I’ve read many times that one of the disadvantages to using a Travel Agent is that you’re not the one planning your trip. Whether intentional or not, this statement makes it seem like you have no say in what’s booked. You just have to trust what they book and hope for the best.
While I can’t speak for anyone else, I can tell you that I don’t work like that.
I want to get to know you
The reason I ask you for as much detail as possible is so I can get an idea of who you are and what you’re looking for. The more information you provide, the better your trip will be because it will be customized to your family’s specific needs and wants.
I’ve gotten comments that say their neighbor or coworker stayed at a specific Resort and said it was amazing, so that’s where they want to stay.
If you recommend a place like Animal Kingdom Lodge, I’m going to tell you it’s amazing (it really is!). But, if you’re spending a good portion of your trip in Magic Kingdom with a toddler that you want to take back to the room for naps, I’m going to recommend a Resort closer to Magic Kingdom. Why? Because your needs and wants are different than what your neighbor’s was.
But, at the end of the day, it’s your trip. So, if you still want to book Animal Kingdom Lodge, that’s what we book.
My job is to make sure that you have the help you need, when you need it.
I absolutely advocate for you when it comes to saving you money, getting refunds, etc. But, if you’re more comfortable booking things on your own, like Dining Reservations, that’s ok.
In reality, the only things that your Travel Agent must do for you is handle payments and make changes to your Package. If you decide to change things like your Resort, travel dates, or ticket options, that is something that I will need to handle on my end.
But, as far as handling the details that really make your vacation come to life, your vacation is never out of your hands.
Ready to book your magical vacation?
Planning a trip can be overwhelming. Don’t do it alone. Get a helping hand.
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