Think about it: Your honeymoon is not some
spur-of-the-moment road trip or who-cares-how-it-turns-out Spring Break jaunt.
This is a vacation that, hopefully, the two of you will cherish for a lifetime.
Whether you’ve never left your hometown or you’ve got a passport crammed
with exotic stamps, you’ll want expert advice when planning your honeymoon.
That’s where travel agents come in - with travel smarts and budget-friendly
deals, an agent can make sure you book a truly romantic retreat.
Needs A Travel Agent? You Do!
Buying airline tickets or surfing for vacation packages online may suit the
Internet-savvy consumer in you. Yet even the convenience of cyber-shopping
can’t compare to the peace of mind that comes from talking to an experienced
professional. Consider the fact that you’ve probably never seen your honeymoon
destination except in photos. A good agent, on the other hand, is intimately
familiar with the area you’ve got your heart set on. Your agent can fill you
in on all the juicy details, like where to get Jamaica’s spiciest jerk
chicken, or how to procure London theater tickets on the cheap. If you haven’t
nailed down a destination, an agent can help you pinpoint a locale based on your
interests and budget. Plus, agents can offer deals you might not find on your
own. After all, it’s their job to correspond with tour operators, be in the
know about promotions and do the research you’d be doing if only you had the
An Agent: Think Trust
View your travel agent as you would any other wedding pro, by taking the time to
find the right one. “There’s no dress rehearsal for the honeymoon,” points
out Carol R. Strauss, president of Travel Four Vacations, in Clifton, New Jersey.
“Look for an agent who seems knowledgeable about properties and destinations
around the world, not just a few regions.” Ask friends for recommendations,
and make appointments for face-to-face meetings.
Strauss recommends asking agents the following
questions: How many years have you been in business? How long have you been
planning honeymoons? Are you a member of a professional organization? Remember:
It’s part of an agent’s job to tour vacation spots frequently and to explore
the world’s attractions. This allows agents to report back to their customers
with recommendations and first-hand details about the places they’ve visited.
If the agent relies on brochures only, or otherwise doesn’t seem creative or
savvy, move on.
The Bottom Line: Value And Peace Of Mind
Travel agents work on commission, which means their customers (you) don’t pay
for their services. Or, at least, that was traditionally the case. These days,
with limits placed on how much commission an agent can earn per flight booked,
the agency may impose a fee, says Richard Copland, president of the American
Society of Travel Agents. “Recent changes in airline policy make this
necessary,” he notes. Still, your fee should be no more than an additional $10
to $20 per ticket. Think of it as paying for peace of mind: Should things not go
as planned on your honeymoon, you’ll always have someone to contact for
information, options and assistance. As for other vacation essentials, such as
rental cars, hotels, cruise packages, etc., Copland says your agent should be
able to book these reservations for you without charging an extra cent.
On the hunt for some honeymoon planning help?
to find a travel agent in your area.