I've had some excellent, valid questions this week about being a Travel Agent. I figured I'd post about it since I'm trying to be better at this blog thing. So here are a few common myths and probably some details you maybe didn't know about Travel Agents.
#5. "They charge so much $$$$!!" or "It costs more to use a travel agent than it is to book on your own." - Mostly false. Some will charge fees, some don't. Some only charge in certain circumstances (like if there's some complexity to the trip). It's always good to inquire if a travel agent has fees, but it's not necessarily a bad thing if they do. Most agents don't earn salaries - they work off commission. Did you know that airlines no longer offer travel agents commission? So when a TA helps you book your flights and helps you manage any issues with airlines, they aren't getting paid for that service they are providing unless they charge a fee for it. Some fees are refundable and some are not. And that's because it guards the agent from spending time and not getting paid for it. Typically, agents don't get paid until after the trip happens. Unfortunate things happen. And if a trip is cancelled, the agent doesn't get paid.
Imagine spending months working for your boss and at the last minute, the project is cancelled and you don't get paid for the time you spent on it.
As for booking on your own, travel agents often use the same booking engines and see the same pricing for trips that the general public sees. But sometimes, they may even be able to find those specials/promotions that you didn't know were out there too. And again, most often, they aren't charging for their services. So there's no additional cost to using a TA.
#4. Travel agents get to go anywhere for free - again, false. Agents are required to meet minimum sales, training, or review requirements before being eligible for some discounts. Many times there are limits on these discounts too and don't often include family members.
#3. Travel Agents always give On-Board Credit for cruises. - Mostly false. Some bigger box companies can afford to do this because they rebate some or all of the commission. Average agents are unable to do this as the commission is their livelihood. Some may offer some OBC as a special promotion themselves, but they are likely giving this out of their own commission.
#2. Travel Agents are just out to make money and/or take your money. - False. Absolutely false. I've never met a group of professionals who's goal is to make LESS money by getting you deals or promotions. Like I said earlier, TA's work on commission. And while some people may think this just encourages TA's to offer the most expensive options out there that don't fit your needs, they couldn't be more wrong. TA's also work off of referrals. It's a HEAVY referral based profession. When there's a bad apple out there, EVERYONE knows about it, especially in these days of social media. It can break a business. TA's are on call almost all day (and even into the evenings) and often are up at the pre-dawn hours to be sure they are best serving their clients.
#1. Travel Agents aren't needed anymore. - Mostly false. I won't pretend that you can't do much of what travel agents do on your own. But why do all that work yourself? Why not have someone who specializes in that field do that work for you while you do other things?
We can do our own taxes, but often, even with software, we miss details that could have saved us money if we had just gone to a professional.
We can certainly cut our own hair, but isn't it nice to sit back and let someone else give you that relaxing wash and make sure that the cut is even?
You could certainly sell or buy your own house, but don't you feel more secure knowing that someone who knows the neighborhoods implicitly, understands the legalities/costs, and listens to your needs is helping you find that perfect home?
Why not do the same with your vacation? You are likely going to invest and spend a considerable amount of money on your trip. Why not give it the same attention you give for all your other needs.
Fact: We work our darnedest for you. Our brains are on full tilt just about all the time. We even work during our own vacations since time is sensitive in the nature of our business.
We care - A LOT! This is not just our livelihood but it's YOUR trip! It's about making wonderful memories! We want that for you very much and don't want anything to minimize or ruin it. We plan your trips as if they are our own.
I hope this alleviates some of the typical concerns people have about using a Travel Agent.
I look forward to helping you plan YOUR special trip!
On the morning of my last day, I arrived at Animal Kingdom Park early. Since I had a Fastpass for Flight of Passage in Pandora for later that day, I skipped getting stuck in the masses of people heading there and went straight to the Africa section. I managed to walk on the Kilamanjaro Safari (twice). I also took the time to stroll around the trails, Gorilla Falls and Maharajah Jungle Trek. It was the best Safari ever!!
STAR WARS-INSPIRED RESORT PLANNED FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT PROMISES TO BE ‘UNLIKE ANYTHING THAT EXISTS TODAY’
Last summer, plans for an immersive Star Wars-inspired resort to be built at Walt Disney World® Resort were announced. More details on what this thrilling new resort, which will be seamlessly connected to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, will be like were shared last night.
This first-of-its-kind resort will combine luxury with complete immersion into an authentic Star Warsstory. Guests’ journey through space will start when everyone departs together for a multiday Stars Wars adventure by boarding a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold all around them during a voyage through the galaxy.
At the resort, Guests immediately become active citizens of the galaxy and can dress up in the proper attire. Every resort window will also have a view into space. The opportunity for immersion at this resort will also stand out among all Disney resorts around the globe, as it will be seamlessly connected to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, allowing guests a total Star Wars experience.
Stay tuned for future updates on this fascinating place!
Today, Adventures by Disney® made an exciting announcement: A new Japan vacation is coming in 2019! The trip will offer immersive, cultural experiences, such as visiting temples in Kyoto, learning sword techniques with a master samurai, exploring the bustling city of Tokyo and more.
The Adventures by Disney Japan vacation will open for booking later this Spring, so look for more details on this trip in just a few months. In the meantime, save up that vacation time and plan for an unforgettable Adventures by Disney family vacation to Japan in 2019.
Disney has raised ticket prices. See below for their official statement:
We know how important making memories at Disney theme parks is to families and we will continue to evolve our pricing in way that gives families a range of options to meet their budget and helps better spread attendance throughout the year so they can make the most of every visit.
Effective Feb. 11, 2018 ticket prices, including Annual Passport prices at Disneyland Resort will be adjusted. As a part of this adjustment, the Annual Passport renewal discount will be discontinued.
Walt Disney World® Resort
Effective Feb. 11, 2018, ticket prices at Walt Disney World Resort will be adjusted. Other price adjustments include theme park parking, theme park lockers and Minnie Van service.
As previously shared, later this year, Walt Disney World Resort plans to implement date-based pricing. Given the small percentage of Guests that purchase a 1-day ticket at Walt Disney World, extending pre-published, date-specific pricing to multi-day tickets will further advance our efforts spread to attendance throughout the year and ensure all Guests have a magical experience no matter when they visit.
You may notice some increases on your packages on Feb. 21, 2018. If you have a reservation with a deposit, we will honor that rate.
I wanted to discuss discounts and promos, as I have seen the conversation pop up a lot lately.
Historically, Disney runs vacation package promos a few times a year. Some examples are: room discounts, free dining, and package discounts (eat-sleep-play) type thing.
1. Disney uses promos to fill unsold rooms. Period.
High demand rooms and resorts are rarely/sparsely included.
2. I want you to understand the wording on promos. I MADE UP an example to demonstrate the marketing speak wording used so that you understand why you should not rely on a promo to come out to fit your budget, or be sad if you don't get one.
Let's pretend this is the offer:
Free Dining for stays most nights booked October 1 - November 7th at select Disney Resorts.
And is accompanied by the follow typical exclusions:
Offer excludes the following room types: campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort –The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms and Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
This does NOT mean you will have a promo if you book in this time period. There may only be a handful of rooms in this hotel, and a handful in that one...
im officially in "the world" and already hit the ground running. I'm checking food and beverages, old and new. And of course. Checking out the new Pandora area of Animal Kingdom. I've been posting a few things on Facebook and Instagram right now. But I'll be putting together some incredible blog pieces from all these experiences. But more importantly, I'll have first hand knowledge of how any of these things can make or break your next Disney World vacation.
1. I go to Disney
2. I eat and drink at Disney
3. I get to write about Disney
Gotta say... it's not terrible!
I'll be heading down to Walt Disney World in Florida next week to check out the new Pandora in Animal Kingdom and to get some notes and content for the new food reviews I have in mind for this blog (and I'll be sharing the posts with my Agency - Magical Adventures Travel, too!!)
Also, I'm much better at planning clients' trips than my own. I can't seem to stick with a plan any more. But my loss is your gain because I'll be floating around the parks, experiencing some attractions and restaurants so that I can better know what will be the right fit for YOUR trip.
Walt Disney World, Florida
The Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World will be starting earlier, according to the schedule in My Disney Experience apps Starting on August 20, the iconic parade will now begin at 2:00 pm versus it’s traditional 3:00 pm start time.
If youve made dining plans around this time to fit around the original 3pm start, you may need to adjust your plans.
over the years, I've learned some tips about packing for a trip.
Im gonna give a shout out to Packing Cubes/Squares. Different brands sell them on Amazon. They make packing, and especially repacking, easy and efficient. You can even color code your stuff by using different colors for each traveler or for different destinations.
One client of mine is traveling to to multiple destinations and these will be the smart way to pack for each leg of the trip. They'll know exactly which cube is for which location and won't have to rummage through the entire suitcase looking for the right clothes.
I didnt get get paid for this plug. I just love the packing cubes!
Planning any trip can be overwhelming. Planning a trip to Disney World or Universal or any of the theme parks can be downright terrifying. I'm an award-winning agent with Magical Adventures Travel. I'll help guide you through the planning process, help you navigate the parks and manage the waits in lines.