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you know you should have used a travel professional whenHere’s a blast from the past– My Vacation Lady posted this blog back in the spring of 2007 — 8 years ago.  People were starting to shop online and book their travel online and we named 10 reasons why you should use a travel professional:

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent
This was taken and edited from an editor’s letter in Travel Agent Magazine – March 5, 2007

1. You’ve Googled “Mexican Vacation” and came up with 17.8 million responses. Need a little help editing those choices?
2. Remember when you used that obscure web site to book your hotel, and when you got there, you spent your beach vacation overlooking a parking lot?
3. Did you really mean to spend your honeymoon at that resort whose one tiny pool was filled all day with screaming kids?
4. Who knew that when you booked that “villa” in Tuscany, it would be a small room with a kitchenette and no air conditioning? Funny, it looked much better on your computer screen.
5. No one explained to you that in July, it’s winter in Rio, and so you showed up there with nothing but Hawaiian shirts and swimsuits.
6. How about the time you needed a restful vacation and ended up in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and someone threw up on your shoes?
7. Yes, I guess that hotel must have used a telephoto lens when they took a picture of those guest rooms that you saw on the web site.
8. I suppose contacting the Attorney General to resolve the fact that the Internet site has billed your credit card three times instead of once is the only route to take at this point.
9. It was definitely odd that there were no cab drivers at the airport at 3am when your plane finally landed in Costa Rica, but booking a transfer to your very remote hotel would have been a good thing to remember when you booked your airline ticket and hotel on line.
10. Oh, no one told you that the flight had a 12 hour layover- and it was going to be overnight? Oh, they didn’t tell you that the connecting flight was in a different airport, either?

It’s funny how much things have changed in 8 years and still have stayed the same.

Let me add something that just happened recently.  A newly referred client wanted to go to the Riviera Maya for a week in August to take the honeymoon that they never took.  She wanted an adult only all inclusive resort for the week with nonstop flights from Philadelphia for a budget of $3000.  After filling out My Vacation Lady’s new client questionnaire (so that we can get an idea of their past travel style and preferences), we saw that the resort that they had been to twice and loved, was an adult only all inclusive in Jamaica.   After a couple of emails back and forth, we found out that she checked an online agency and was overwhelmed with all of the choices.  She found many in her price range.  We asked which ones and found out that 2 were very moderate (not in the least comparable to the Jamaica resort that they loved).  The 3rd one was one that we currently have clients in and we do recommend it frequently but it was over their budget with my trusted travel suppliers.

So we took a look at the online agency that she priced this resort out with and found something very interesting:

  • we were pricing non stop flights from Philadelphia vs. a connection going down to Cancun and 2 changes of planes coming back from Cancun to Philly
  • their price didn’t include transfers- ours did
  • their package needed to be paid in full at the time of booking- ours didn’t.
  • they wouldn’t be able to get a cancel for any reason travel insurance (they are traveling in hurricane season).  We could offer it a very modest price.

What else can we do?

  • We would be contacting the hotel on their behalf to alert the hotel that they are VIP clients with some special requests
  • We would provide a destination guide on what there is to see and do in the Riviera Maya
  • We would provide excursions that can be pre-booked (using US $ and are through reputable tour operators)
  • We offer 24/7 customer support in case of an emergency through our trusted travel suppliers and my office.

If price is the most important to you and you don’t care about service, expertise and more, than please feel free to book online.  But if you are looking for a vacation experience that will meet your dreams and budget, contact My Vacation Lady  so that we can help you plan your next vacation.