Travel professionals can definitely help make your vacation experience better and cost less. Here are the top 5 reasons to use a travel professional:
1) No Extra Cost: For the most part, travel professionals are paid by the supplier and not the client. Some travel professionals will charge service fees that should be disclosed up front. However, the bulk of their income comes from the supplier.
2) Added Value: Because of the relationship with the supplier, travel professionals often are able to score added amenities and benefits for their client. This can include free upgrades, a bottle of wine waiting in your room, etc.
3) Knowledge and Experience: Travel professionals are constantly researching and visiting the places and products they sell. They have inside information that can help you avoid common pitfalls, participate in can’t-miss activities and generally advise you of what to expect.
4) Save Time: Time is our most valuable commodity. It is the one thing we cannot create! So, why would you want to waste it hunting around the internet for a deal that may or may not be worth it? Go for the sure thing and use a travel professional that will take care of the details and make sure you have a fantastic vacation!u can expect on vacation. You work hard all the time to go on these precious vacations, don’t waste them with bad information!
5) Relationship: Your travel professional is a trusted friend and ally that has your back before and after your vacation. They work for you and want to make sure you have the best time possible. It is in their best interest to see that you are happy and want to come back for your next vacation!
Can you think of any other reasons to use a travel professional?
Did you know that Cinco De Mayo is not celebrated by most Mexicans?
It is not a federal holiday in Mexico and most businesses stay open on Cinco De Mayo.
Many people misinterpret Cinco De Mayo as Mexican Independence day which is actually celebrated on September 16.
That does not mean we cannot celebrate anyway!
How do you celebrate Cinco De Mayo?
There’s nothing like hitting the beach for some sun, fun and relaxation. For a revitalizing getaway it’s hard to beat and what better place for it than Mexico and the Caribbean? They’re easy to get to and ready to welcome you with all the facilities you need for the perfect sun drenched getaway!
Ships and Trips Travel Advisor Paula Schroeder and her family went to Costa Rica for their family vacation this year. Here are her thoughts on their trip….and then, his thoughts.
The current edition of the APEX (Airline Passengers Experience Association) Editor’s Blog is titled “Ten Things that Premium Airline Passengers Really Want.” Their list includes seats that are comfortable for sleeping, dining and premium beverages that are culturally representative of the region being visited, more storage, better in-seat power, etc. You can read their whole list here.
This list got me thinking of my personal travels. My personal brushes with first class greatness have been few – using credit card points to upgrade into the front cabin, taking advantage of one of our wholesalers or air consolidators discounted contract rates on business or first class, receiving the exceedingly rare but coveted comp’d upgrade (for the win!).
I’m a vacation traveler, and a bargain shopper. I want my airline ticket to be as close to free as I can get it, so I can spend more on my vacation. I like nice hotel rooms with great views, I like my cruise ship stateroom to have a balcony, I like to try all the great local restaurants and visit all the museums…I want to spend my money at my destination, not getting to my destination. So splurging for a business or first class airline ticket isn’t a regular thing for me.
So when I read things like “pleasant and efficient “premium-feeling” terminal experiences at both ends of the flight,” I couldn’t help but chuckle. When was the last time I felt anything about air travel was ‘pleasant and efficient?’
And then I got to thinking…what are the things I want out of coach travel? I don’t need the airlines to provide me with in-flight entertainment – we all have gadgets full of music and movies; I don’t need pillows and blankets (kind of gross to think about reusing someone’s pillow). I don’t even need them to provide meals – we can pack our own snacks, as long as they keep offering us beverages. So – what do I really need from them?
- Seat assignments. That are free. And honored. I used to pride myself on using sites like seat guru to help me find the best seating for my clients. I’d grab those seat assignments the moment I booked their trip, and if there was a schedule change or an equipment change I’d go back into the record to get good seats again. And if there were no good seats left to assign, I’d get on the horn to the super-secret-travel-agent-line (yes, they do still exist!) and get someone from the airline to GET me the good seats. Now most airlines offer advance seat assignments to very early bookers, or premium frequent flyers, or people to who either pay for it. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked hard to have a special seating request confirmed by the airline, only to have it revoked at the airport. And I’ve HEARD airline employees say things like “your travel agent didn’t get you seats,” which I KNOW isn’t true. (Another reason why I sell and fly Southwest Airlines when it works!)
- No fees for changes. Sure, make the ticket non-refundable. I get it. But charging $75, $100, even $150 just to change an itinerary? It is so unfair. Why not just let us take the value of the ticket and apply it to the new reservation, and pay the difference? Seems like a steep penalty for a person that has to change their plans.
- A few extra inches. I want an extra inch for my knees, an extra inch for my carry-on, an extra inch for my butt, an extra inch to recline. I don’t want to do dental work on the passenger in front of me, and I don’t want to nap in the lap of the person behind me.
- Power. Lots of power outlets to plug in our gadgets. My family travels with tablets and laptops and iPods and Nintendo hand-held games. We need to be able to recharge at will, from every seat, on every flight. It keeps us entertained, thus happy, thus quietly buckled in our seats.
- One free checked bags. Charge away for lots of bags, oversized bags, extra-heavy cartons. But why not let us check a single bag for nothing? I was on a flight from San Francisco to New York on United Airlines, and I was one of the passengers boarding with a carry-on bag. The flight was full. By the time half of the passengers had boarded the overhead compartments were almost full. So each passenger took forever to get to their seats because they had to spend time looking for a place to stow their luggage. And the last 20 to 30 passengers to board were required to check their bags at the gate, which United did gratis. And everyone was grumbling, and it took forever, and by the time that plane took off – 10 minutes late – it was full of disgruntled passengers. Is this what they’re trying to achieve? And, another reason to love Southwest, by the way.
S0 – what do you want when flying coach?
Traveling with three generations can be amazing – I know because my own family does it often! While it can be challenging to create an itinerary that appeals to all age groups and activity levels, it is so rewarding. Our extended family has taken several vacations together, and experiencing the world with grandparents and grand kids is very special.
In June 2011, Grandma Linda, adult daughter Jen, and teen grandsons Jackson and Jefferson asked me to help with their vacation to Europe. They had a limited travel window – after school got out but before summer camps began, and they had one wish – to see Germany and surrounding areas that were part of WWII history. Thanks to Jen for sharing photos and this review of their trip! – Christy Jourdan
Looking back, as I make iphoto books for my sons, I still can not believe what an amazing adventure we had on our vacation to Germany, Poland, Hungary, The Czech Republic, and Austria!
NOTE: On June 14, Disney California Adventure Park will be closed to accommodate a media preview and to make final preparations for its reopening. And Christy from Ships and Trips Travel will be there for the grand opening events! Be sure to follow us on facebook, twitter and youtube to see our live reports from the grand opening events from June 13 to June 15, 2012!
Don’t miss our SPRING TRAVEL SHOW!
At the Scottish Rite Center in Sacramento, located at 6151 H Street in Sacramento (near CSUS).
It’s the BIGGEST Travel Show in Town! From safaris to scuba diving, wind surfing to wine tours, archeology excursions to relaxing on a pristine beach, here’s where you’ll discover amazing travel destinations, attractions, activities, resorts, products, luxury goods and services and so much more!
- Meet with representatives from Cruise Lines, Resorts, Hotels, and Vacation Companies representing destinations around the world
- Find a great deal on your dream destination then book your trip right at the show. Your Ships and Trips Travel Professionals will be available to help you plan your next big adventure
- Bring your credit card and come prepared to book to take advantage of show-only specials, booking incentives and giveaways
- Enter to win one of our door prizes, including an IPAD!
Some of our participating travel companies include:
- Walt Disney Travel Company – Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Adventures by Disney, Disney Cruise lines
- MLT Vacations – United Vacations, Delta Vacations
- Uniworld River Cruises
- AM Resorts – Dreams Resorts, Secrets Resorts, Zoetry Resorts, Now Resorts, Sunscapes Resorts
- Fiji Visitors Bureau
- G Adventures
- Viking River Cruises
- AMA Waterways
- Classic Vacations/Aston Resorts
- Club Med
- Carnival Cruise Lines
- Princess Cruises
- Holland America Cruises
- Sandals and Beaches Ultra-Inclusive Resorts
- Paul Gauguin Cruises
- Big 5 Tours and Expeditions
- Way to go Costa Rica
- Homeric Tours
- Qantas Vacations
- Oceania Cruises
- Insight Vacations
- Seabourn Cruises
- Collette Vacations
- Royal Caribbean
- Celebrity Cruises
- Azamara Club Cruises
- Avalon River Cruises