| Originally Posted by natashakc |
Girls, all I can say and I cannot stress it enough....DO NOT let your travel agents/tour companies pressure you into booking so far in advance!! It is absolutely NOT worth it and you will end up screwing yourself and your guests on the price. My fiance and I booked our group travel arrangements in February 2009 for our wedding at Gran Bahia Principe, Punta cana in November 2009. Our travel agent insisted we MUST get thibgs done quickly, or we would lose our spots. WHATEVER!!! Totally not true! So now we are booked at a rate that is much higher than what the trip is going for now, and also all of our guests have to pay the full amount by Sep/07/2007, 2 months before we leave. All I know is I would NEVER use a travel agent again, I would use Itravel 2000, red tag, travelocity, etc. those telephone/online companies are much mroe knowledgeable (from my experience).
Believe me, I know us brides-to-be are excited and want to get plans arranged and locked down, but it is not necessary to book so far in advance. It very rarely works in your favour.
I have to disagree with you on this one. I'm sorry that that happened to you with pricing, but I am a travel agent myself, and you definately should book as early as possible. Especially for RIUS. The issue with Rius is that Sunquest is the only tour operator that offers the hotel chain. So when they sell out of their airfare, you are screwed. You have to book your air, transfers, and hotel all separately. Airfare prices constantly change, so it's hard to secure a price for your guests as well.
My April 2010 dates were sold out in May 2009, because Sunquest sold out of their airfare to Jamaica. So I had to book everyone's air and hotel separately. It was so hectic, and because not everyone RSVPd at the same time, I have 30 people on one flight, and 16 on another flight. For the Rius, I wouldnt recommend doing it this way to anyone, unless everyone is RSVP at the same time.
I've also seen cases where guests don't book with the group, because they want to try to get a lower price, and then the hotel sells out on them. So even if you are paying a little bit more than 'last minute', at least you and all of your guests are confirmed.