| Originally Posted by Bride-chill-a |
Yes, this forum is extremely helpful! I love it!
My bridesmaid and her husband booked straight thru the hotel and booked flights seperate as they were coming from a different city than us, and they said it was cheaper for them that way.
The majority of my party and guests all booked through a group deal my TA had arranged as we saved $150 off the top/person and there were some perks for myself and Fiancee doing it that way. BUT let me tell you what a pain in the butt it was arranging travel for 20 people! I'm not so sure it was worth it in the end. Our TA didn't charge us any commission or anything as she is family and coming to the wedding, so we were lucky there. But I've actually never heard of a TA charging those prices you were qouted which could be because they don't usually tell you that.
Good luck, let us know how you make out!
I had never heard of a travel agent charging a fee up front like that but I've never really used a TA myself, nor been involved on the front end of group travel. I thought perhaps it was more like a deposit and it would apply to the trip at the end, but that isn't the case. It is a fee. I think I will drop by a local TA here just to see what they do. I'm guessing as it gets easier and easier for people to plan their own travel and score their own deals via the Internet... the TA has to make some $$ somewhere for all of their coordination work. I'm sure they put in many hours coordinating a group trip like that.
It just seems it would be easiest for all guests to do their own booking of flights and rooms for the resort, and other than getting a head count for reserving blocks of rooms... (and I saw the contact person listed earlier in this thread!)... each man is responsible for getting themselves there. People all have different favorite airlines and frequent mile clubs, etc. Heck, we just attended a family wedding in CO, and guests from our family alone came from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Mexico, and we all managed to get ourselves there and book our own rooms.
I just don't see why it is much different, UNLESS a travel agent can save a bundle, but I prefer the flexibility and simplicity of everyone being able to handle it themselves. We do have some guests who are not seasoned travelers and might be uncomfortable booking their own travel, but they could always go to their own travel agent to help them book. Most of us attending are seasoned travelers and Internet users.
And then there are the passports for those who don't have them.
Even when it comes to the rooms, I'm not sure everyone
needs to be near one another. I can see some guests wanting to be closer to the beach and action, and others in the back areas with more privacy. Again, there is so much GREAT info and tips in this thread. It took me an entire day to read through it all, but it was well worth it. I will probably reread it all again as we continue to plan. I feel like I really have a heads up on lots of things.
The travel agent told my daughter she would be very sorry if she tried to coordinate this on her own. Of course, that makes one a little nervous! Although my daughter is busy with grad school and a job and really doesn't have the extra time... I don't work and have all the time in the world. We will probably set up a website with all the travel info, passport info, and travel tips for our guests. I just can't see where we could go too far wrong letting everyone be responsible for their own travel plans. I hope!