Jersey
Master November 2016

I'm confused about honeymoons...

Jersey, on September 30, 2015 at 3:38 PM Posted in Honeymoon 0 24
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Okay, dumb question...

A little background: When I went to a bridal show a few months ago, I "won" a free travel consultation with a travel agent. I put quotes around that because it's total BS. Anyone could have a travel agent consultation... but anyway, this woman made me write down what we were thinking about doing for a honeymoon and schedule a consultation.

Okay, so she just emailed me. And she said she was reaching out about my interest in a Peru honeymoon and sent me an itinerary from a cookie cutter tour website. This is the 2nd travel agent (one that I used in the past for a different trip) that did this. I feel like that's not really the point of the travel agent. I could just book straight from the tour website if that's what I wanted. I kind of wanted to build something around what FH and I want to see/do.

Am I wrong for thinking that that's how travel agents work? Are they just booking you tours/packages that are already in place from other sites?

24 Comments

  • Jersey
    Master November 2016
    Jersey ·
    • Flag

    Ran out of space:

    1. I am not putting down travel agents. I use them because I want their help and respect their expertise and love the perk of having them deal with problems that come up.

    2. I am fully aware that it is way too soon for me to be worrying about this but I have an email sitting in my inbox waiting for a response and I just wanted to know if my expectations were out of line with reality.

    • Reply
  • M
    Master July 2015
    m ·
    • Flag

    A travel agent can have access to some things others don't, but I personally have never seen the need for a grown adult to use one, I honestly feel like if you need/want a travel agent to be helping you for say, an international trip, you probably shouldn't even be going.

    Booking international can be tricky, I guess, if you've never traveled at all....

    I find travel agents to be relics.

    • Reply
  • Jersey
    Master November 2016
    Jersey ·
    • Flag

    @m

    FH and I travel a lot. We have only used a travel agent for one other trip because there was no way to translate the train website to English and we didn't feel like dealing with it.

    But for every other international trip we've taken, we've booked ourselves because I kind of agree with you. I can book everything myself.

    For the honeymoon, I kind of liked the idea of not having to plan at all. I put a lot of work and research into my trips and I guess it was kind of appealing to just have someone else do it for your honeymoon. But based on this cookie cutter tour, I'm definitely leaning on booking it myself.

    • Reply
  • Jana
    Super April 2016
    Jana ·
    • Flag

    We used a local travel agent that I found on Yelp to book our HM. Could I have done it myself yes? I can paint my own nails and color my own hair, but I don't do those things either. The travel agent is free of charge to us. We booked 10 days at the Sandals resort in St. Lucia and she is in the process of putting together flight itineraries for us to compare where we want to fly out of and the different times and the cost associated with that. It saves me time and all I have to do is choose. The main benefit I received from this was the meeting we had with her. She visits the Caribbean about 3-5 times a year and she came with so much information, brochures, magazines, maps, memos that the resorts post daily that list the activities that are offered to the guests. We were able to get her opinion on the resorts she stayed at, where she ate, etc. In a 1 hour meeting I got so much information that would have taken me hours of internet searching and all I did was sit and eat my Panera lunch and listen. When it gets closer we'll utilize her help to make our dinner reservations as she knows what restaurants need to be booked out in advance and which ones don't.

    Once we book our flights those are locked in, however she'll keep an eye on the resort and if a better deal comes up between now and June she'll cancel our reservation and rebook us to save us the additional money. This is time saving for me, helpful, and FREE! Smiley smile

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  • Corinne_
    Master September 2016
    Corinne_ ·
    • Flag

    Since there is the internet, I have not once used a travel agent. I guess they can be helpful when booking stuff and for stuff that you can't translate, but otherwise I prefer doing things myself. The only advantage I hear nowadays is that they will probably get you home faster in case of a disaster.

    • Reply
  • Kristina
    Master September 2016
    Kristina ·
    • Flag

    I'm using one and she price matches so I'm not really losing anything. Sure she gets her money somehow on the back end but if she can offer more why not? I of course will be researching to make sure I get the best deals. ETA: Jana worded it perfectly!

    • Reply
  • Jersey
    Master November 2016
    Jersey ·
    • Flag

    @Jana.. that expertise was kind of what I was looking for. I can easily book my own stuff just like every other trip and do enough research so that I know what I'm doing... but I just thought it was appealing to take all my work out of it and use someone else's expertise. But my experiences haven't matched that. There's been no expertise... just "I can book this tour for you". No thanks, I can book that tour myself.

    CBtoCL-- I have heard that also. And I will say, FH and I travel a lot and we've gotten ourselves out of a fair share of sticky travel situations.. but when our connecting flight was cancelled while we were in mid-air during the one trip we used a travel agent, it was really nice to land and have everything already sorted out for us.

    • Reply
  • Macy
    Super September 2016
    Macy ·
    • Flag

    My experience with travel agents has sucked. I've always taken their itineraries and found the same thing cheaper on a discount site. They match the prices I found, but then it seems like an unnecessary extra step. I really like booking on my own, either through a discount site, or when traveling internationally I love using VRBO or Air BnB. If you get a good owner, they give you a ton of tips to save money or they can tell you the best thing the locals like to do. If booking all inclusive...I usually just shop around for the best price. The only way I would use a travel agent is if they could find a better deal than me - it hasn't happened yet.

    • Reply
  • M
    Master July 2015
    m ·
    • Flag

    I should not that I would never stay at any resort, especially never an all inclusive like Sandals(ever), would never go on a guided trip of ANY kind, don't do "activities" that require booking, etc. So they are literally no help to me.

    It seems like you're a seasoned traveler how knows what you're doing - I guarantee whatever a travel agent tries to sell you is either generic as hell or they get a kickback. Wherever I've traveled I have a much better experience if I try to find things on my own, you never know what you'll come across, while everyone else is listening to some moron on a boat give horrible commentary with a shitty microphone.

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  • Allie
    Devoted November 2016
    Allie ·
    • Flag

    I'm with M. FH and I (like you) travel a lot and haven't ever needed a travel agent. My international trips have worked out perfectly (I know what we like to do and do a TON of research - and have the flexibility of booking activities when WE want them instead of a cookie cutter agenda).

    I totally see the appeal of letting someone else do it for once! But especially for your honeymoon - I would avoid an agent and just do it yourself so that you KNOW what you are getting. I'll be doing the same thing for our Italy honeymoon Smiley smile

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  • Mrs. Kassy
    Master June 2015
    Mrs. Kassy ·
    • Flag

    I know nothing about travel agents. I love googling and researching, so I find everything myself. Jersey Jen, I finally messaged you back Smiley tongue

    • Reply
  • Macy
    Super September 2016
    Macy ·
    • Flag

    Oh - and one more thing. The resorts they recommend are never the best. I've always found better (based on reviews) for cheaper. I've found by reading reviews I've gotten better advice than what the actual travel agent has to offer. I swear sometimes I think they lie about where they have been. They are trying to make a sale. They will do everything they can to make the clients feel more comfortable / less likely to research on their own. This is just my experience. I'm sure there are some good ones out there. I've been through about 15 of them and they all sucked. We do a good bit of travelling - and have done everything from cruises, to all inclusive, to backpacking in South America, to staying in hostels in Europe, to skipping around the Virgin Islands. There's no right way to do it, but if you do use a travel agent, just make sure you do your own research.

    • Reply
  • Helen
    Dedicated January 2016
    Helen ·
    • Flag

    I would never use a travel agent to book a honeymoon or general vacation, no need.

    I am however using a travel agent to book my Jamaican wedding since I have over 40 guests from all over the country who all have to get to the same resort. The added benefit- I got group pricing from the supplied so it was way cheaper and anything else I found online.

    • Reply
  • Bethie
    Master May 2016
    Bethie ·
    • Flag

    FH & I travel all over the world and have never used a travel agent. I book everything with extensive online research. If travel agents were still necessary, I would so be one!!!

    • Reply
  • Nicole
    Master July 2015
    Nicole ·
    • Flag

    DH and I really regret using a travel agent. We went to Sandals Royal Caribbean and I honestly could've booked the damn thing myself and probably got my flights cheaper. If you decide to go to a travel agent do your research, because we didn't do ours and our travel agent was super unresponsive. We were constantly talking to the manager because we couldn't get a hold of our agent and then one day we showed up with our remaining balance and our agent AND the manager had left the company and no one bothered to tell us. On top of that, Sandals wouldn't talk to us directly because we had a travel agent. I wanted to confirm that we were booked with them, and they refused. Did we show up and everything was booked? Yes. But I could've done that myself for less of a hassle.

    And the travel agent tried telling me that a benefit of using them was to not have to do anything about the honeymoon in the days leading up to the wedding. Literally the only thing I had to do was go online and check in. It would've taken me 2 seconds. It took me longer to call the agent to make sure she did it.

    edited for clarity

    • Reply
  • Jersey
    Master November 2016
    Jersey ·
    • Flag

    Hmm, gotcha. So it sounds like my experience is the norm. Cookie cutter tour. Ugh.

    Damn. I really thought using one would make my life easier. But since we are not really all inclusive resort people, it sounds like a travel agent isn't going to be able to help us.

    @m, I completely agree with you. I usually don't need anything that requires "booking" except for train tickets, but for Peru, you do have to pre-order tickets to get into Machu Picchu otherwise they are going to turn you away at the gate. Ugh. I made the mistake of booking one of those microphone boat cruises during one of our first travels to Norway. Huge regrets. Thankfully, I did my own research ahead of time and narrated the tour to FH so he knew what we were looking at. I honestly had a better time kayaking through the fjords without knowing what I was seeing than when I had to listen to that microphone guy.

    But I guess I should've listened to my gut which said that I should do the research so it's more tailored to what FH and I actually want to see/do.

    @Allie. You are going to have an amazing time in Italy. FH proposed in Venice and then we stopped at a few more cities before heading home. I joke that it was our proposal-moon because right after the proposal, we were on a love-high and traveled all over Italy. One of the most romantic countries I have visited.

    • Reply
  • Jersey
    Master November 2016
    Jersey ·
    • Flag

    Very different responses on here than your thread, LV BRIDE.

    • Reply
  • LV BRIDE
    Expert July 2016
    LV BRIDE ·
    • Flag

    Yes I see that jersery Jen....hmmmm now what?......LOL I decided to use one. The cost difference is literally like $50 so it seems worth it to me.

    • Reply
  • Jersey
    Master November 2016
    Jersey ·
    • Flag

    @LV! Don't even worry about it! You'll have a great time!

    • Reply
  • J
    Master May 2016
    Jac3286 ·
    • Flag

    I've never used a travel agent. I love doing research and planning, so I just plan my own trips. I can get great deals using travel websites and book everything exactly as I want. If you're not super detail oriented or don't have time to research, I think a travel agent can help, but I'm not sure they will be able to custom build a vacation for you. They seem to just have their standard packages to offer you.

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