A travel agent is a free resource for a traveler. They initially do a good amount of training plus they have a multitude of resources to keep up-to-the minute informed such as webinars, online and print publications, seminars, conferences and much more. Although a lot of people do their own “research” travel agents can collaborate with the travel planner and give them the “high touch” and personal assistance to get the details just so.
A travel agent (such as myself) will book your rooms or packages, help decide between destinations, resorts, room categories, views, and all of the dizzying array of options that go along with planning a vacation. They can make sure transfers, tickets, excursions and dining are organized as well as find the best deals for you. If you book before discounts are released, the travel agent (if possible) will work to secure the lower price and have it applied to help you save money
Of course, perks can’t be guaranteed but you will often find that a travel agent has access to special promotions – such as free upgrades, or resort credit. On board credit is one example of an extra that travel agents can frequently secure for their clients going on a cruise.
Most travel agents are free to the client. They are paid on commission by the hotel, tour operator, wholesaler-basically by most travel vendors – not by the traveler. The prices are precisely the same or better than you can find online or by calling. Better yet, you have someone to ask questions and make sure everything is perfect for your special trip!
From the desk of Meg Wislar
One of the thing I love about traveling is the different-ness of it all. The food, languages, architecture, actually anything and everything that is different make a trip most interesting to me. However, I cannot always be sure to know what I might say or do that may offend or make locals uncomfortable. OR make me look like a jerk! Some cliches about what not to say or purchase are easier to avoid. You can find those things here.
From the desk of Meg Wislar
Where is Wislar Travel Ranked?
So many industries have seen mergers, acquisitions, and consolidation and the same has happened in the travel industry. In most cases it is very hard for the little guy, the entrepreneur, to compete with the big boys. However, thanks to the buying power of consortiums many small travel agencies such as Wislar Travel can compete and give travelers something the powerhouses such as Expedia cannot. That is high touch personal service. Despite being teensy compared to the large travel suppliers we small travel providers can usually get the same pricing and often secure extra amenities.
Why is it The Best Time To Fly to Get The Best Deal?
When is it the best time to fly to get the most economical fare? If I only I knew the perfect answer! There are all sorts of tricks forecasting when the best airfare may be found or when it is the most economical time to fly. It would take a mathematician using multi-variable calculus to try to come up with an answer and even that would still be just a prediction. Some things are easier to foretell however. Since the summer is the high season for airline travel as the season comes to an end many routes come down in price. Here is a guide to when airfares on various routes drop.
Wislar Travel has extensive experience with All Inclusive Vacation Packages. Give us a call to plan your All Inclusive Vacation today!
From the desk of Meg Wislar
MR. BALDWIN WILL BE HAPPY
I detest having to turn my iPad off when the flight attendant announces that it is time to switch off personal electronic devices. What will I do? Those magazines in the seat pocket in front of me aren’t that interesting. The good news is that those rules will most likely be relaxed. Thank goodness I won’t have to stop playing Candy Crush.
DISLIKE CROWDED BEACHES?
I have had some interesting experiences at beaches in Europe. For instance, now I know that people do not go to beaches in Santorini before noon. It’s definitely not cool. That’s because they most likely were up all night in a nightclub. In Mallorca naked sunbathers smoke weed openly on the beach. However, the universal fact about beaches anywhere is that nice beaches attract hordes of people. Here is some info on where to find secret beaches in Europe. I guess that means they are not secret anymore.
ANOTHER REASON TO BE THE 1%
ON YOUR OWN?
I get a lot of mixed reactions when I tell people I have started my own business as a travel agent. The most common response is that they make their travel arrangements on their own. Statistics show that the average client of a travel agent has visited 10 websites before booking with an agent. Nowadays using a travel agent is a collaborative effort. Travel agents are lucky in that there has been a lot written about the value of travel agents and here is the most recent one.
+Families with two working parents are a large portion of my business because mommy is just too busy.
+ Need more convincing? There are a lot more articles on the subject but I will give you just one more. I’ll stop now but if you need more persuading I have more ammunition.
ABOUT THOSE REVIEWS…
Every day I use reviews to help me plan my clients travel. I have access to many resources available only to the industry but I also utilize several well-known sources that are supposedly the opinions of consumers themselves. Recently, one industry executive was found to have posted an enormous amount of positive reviews for his company’s properties under a pseudonym. My personal experience leaves me wary of both very positive and extremely negative reviews. One example is last month while in Bologna Italy we used Trip Advisor to find a restaurant for dinner. It had numerous glowing reports of how wonderful the food and service was. However, It was downright horrible. I would bet that the majority of the marvelous reviews were not of real patrons. Later a tour operator told us that there were people who “sold” positive reviews in the region to providers in the local vacation industry. My advice is to utilize reviews, positive and negative, but with a “grain of salt”.
WHY SAN FRANCISCO?
San Francisco is way cool. With its waterfront location, cable cars, restaurants to-die-for, too-many-to-count world class museums, and sourdough bread you have to love it. Now with the America’s Cup being there this summer it’s not only cool-it’s HOT. One of my favorite travel websites has a boatload of information on San Francisco for you to start planning your trip to the city by the bay.
NATIONAL PARKS ARE NATIONAL TREASURES
I have always enjoyed traveling with my family. Long ago I bought all three kids National Park Passports. I eagerly anticipated them begging to go to many parks so they could collect the stamps. Sadly, they were not the least bit interested in this long term project. I reluctantly threw the elderly passports away a year or two ago. Regardless of their apathy toward the passport project they have enjoyed the actual time spent in National Parks. There are so many remarkable parks to explore with your family and here is a USA Today article to give some ideas of where to go next.
NO PASSPORT? NO PROBLEM
Wislar Travel is a luxury travel agency that offers similar rates to those that are available on the internet travel sites but with the “high touch” of having your own personal travel agent.
Contact Wislar Travel to plan your family vacation today!