But do you really? Here are some real client examples
I received a call from a groom who researched and selected the place he wanted to go; he just needed help with the details. I put him with one of our advisors and she immediately saved him over $700! During their first conversation, she discovered that he is a military reservist and therefore eligible for a military discount through the supplier. This young man had already talked directly to the resort company and they had not told him of the discount available.
Then, while checking package options, she further discovered a “Stay 6 nights, get the 7th night free” offer. Again, the resort company did not tell him that he could have 1 more day of honeymoon for the same price. Our agent then discovered that the airfare was a little lower for the return on that later date, so more savings.
All told, this young couple saved almost $1,000 for 7-night stay versus the 6 nights they priced on their own. Little did they know, they also received a special gift at the resort as our clients. Yes, the benefits keep stacking up.
Know the lingo for the best choices
The advent of computers has placed so much information at our fingertips, but with that convenience can come confusion. Another example of “why use a travel advisor” relates to new cruise clients.
Two couples were referred to me as they were considering their first cruise. We talked about the various destinations, cruise lines and ships, and a result of learning their interests and objective for the trip, I suggested several options.
Like many first-time cruisers, they were thinking “let’s get the least expensive room because the room won’t matter much”. [I can’t tell you how many times we hear this from novice cruisers]. Upon investigation, I found that for only $10 per person they could upgrade from a partial window view (blocked by a lifeboat) to a balcony room if they were willing to be flexible on exact location.
Cruise lines often have what we call guarantee pricing. This means that you are guaranteed to have at least the room category reserved, but if you do not specify the exact room, you may get a complimentary upgrade to a better spot.
After considering these possibilities, they opted for the balcony guarantee for $1.16 per person per day additional cost. Shortly before the cruise, I was notified that they have been given rooms on one of the best decks, in a prime location and a larger room than booked– fantastic! It doesn’t always happen, but it is fun when it turns out this way.
A stateroom guarantee option is not something that these novice cruisers knew to request. But through the knowledge of an experienced advisor, they spent an extra $10 and received several hundred dollars’ quality improvement. Not a bad exchange!
Along the vein of “why not book on the internet”, a year ago I put together an intricate itinerary for repeat clients who are doing a last-minute trip to the Orient. Of the five countries in which the cruise was stopping, a visa was required for three, but two of the three countries issue visas at point of entry. One country, however, requires a visa issued in advance of the trip. Since they were leaving in less than a month, the time to get this accomplished was short.
The client had already checked out the requirements, too, and was concerned about whether the trip could come together. Not to fear, though, since I knew what the requirements were, could email her the forms, and recommend a Visa expediting service to get this done quickly.
Further, I have information on the airports through which they were traveling, coordinated with the airline for wheelchair assistance (she has a bad hip and walking long distances is difficult). And since I know what beverage is their favorite, they will find it waiting for them upon arrival at their room.
The next time you want to take a trip, let us know. Even if we can’t save you money, we will work hard to get the best value for you while saving you time and effort, thus assuring you have the trip you desire. Email at [email protected]