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To travel agent or not to travel agent?

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#11 eec129

  • Newbie
  • 108 posts

    Posted 29 October 2009 - 01:48 PM

    Our travel agent has really helped us. First, she helped us narrow down locations. Since she had been to most of the resorts herself, or knew someone that had, it was great to get that inside scoop. I knew she was giving us her honest opinion!

    Also, it is nice to have one person handling everyone's arrangments and help them plan a trip specific to their needs. She has also been a great resource as far as helping me getting in touch with WC at the resort, etc. I really can't imagine what I would do without her.

    We went with someone a friend used....but she lives a couple hours away, so we did everything by phone and e-mail, which was also really convenient!
    44 booked plus bride and groom!


    #12 ldeavila

    • Jr. Member
    • 206 posts

      Posted 29 October 2009 - 02:02 PM

      I am using a travel agent from Wedding Destinations and Planning | Destination Weddings .com. She has been great so far. They initially charge $50 retainer fee to get you started as far as selecting a location for your wedding. They then do all your bookings for you and your guests. The $50 retainer fee is then applied to your travel packet once you book with them. Our TA was able to get us a great package, even after we had found a cheaper one online...she matched the online price. You can't go wrong with a TA. Plus, you and your guests have the option to pay for their package in monthly installments. This was a HUGE plus for my family since times are tough right now and most people can't fork up the cash right away. It was nice to know you can pay for your package over time.

      Hope this helps :-)
      Mr. & Mrs. Rangel!!!

      #13 kerrij

      • Jr. Member
      • 300 posts

        Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:37 PM

        I used at TA to get us a better group rate as i tried to get my own group rate and wasn't able too. it's reallly nice to have one contact number for all the guests to call and let the TA do the rest! Although...my TA has nothing to do with the resort or the WC which i think would have been nice but my WC is awesome anyways so it doesn't matter to me! however it did take me 8 TAs before i found someone who would get back to me with a decent quote, which was waaay too much stress, but if you can find someone who is actually willing and able to help you off the bad, then do a TA, it doesn't cost you anything and saves you the work. :)
        Good luck and happy planning!

        #14 echo2_62

        • Sr. Member
        • 1,049 posts

          Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:57 PM

          I had initially wanted to go with a TA but in the end I did not. For all the prices that I was seeing in my own searches, it seemed as though the TA's were consistently coming back with prices at least a few hundred dollars ABOVE. With their rates, the resorts I wanted would essentially have been unaffordable for most of our guests. Plus i found that the travel agents were only providing quotes for a limited number of tour operators which I was not very happy with. We also had to consider that we would be having guests travel from three different provinces.

          In the end, we booked our own trip through WestJet Vacations and a number of our guests have done the same as WestJet has most consistently had the best rates. WestJet does offer group rates as well but we weren't able to take advantage of them. Also, we'd indicated our preferred travel dates to our guests but also gave them optional dates so they could book based on what worked best for their schedules. We've found that 95% of our guests haven't had any problems and have used a couple different airlines with various offers to book their vacations.
          Oh and TA's I had initially worked with said they would be able to put me in contact with the WC at our resort but beyond that everything else was up to me.

          In the end I didn't find the booking process a hassle at all to take on myself (and we invited about 50 guests) and it was honestly less frustrating than working with the TA. As some of the other girls have said, it just depends on how many guests you have, how much else you have on the go for planning, and your own preference! I feel that I'm typically pretty savvy when it comes to travel arrangements so maybe that helped me in this case!! Good luck!!

          #15 chirorach

          • Jr. Member
          • 200 posts

            Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:35 PM

            great information ladies! i hadn't heard of westjet and i will def check them out! happy planning :-)

            #16 vlynnw

            • Sr. Member
            • 6,003 posts

              Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:40 PM

              I definitely plan on using the assistance of a TA to take the stress off of me with guests travel arrangements. There is no way I want 50 people coming to me about their travel, so I'm going to use someone else that can get us better rates and help take the stress of all of my guests travel arrangements off my shoulders.
              Veronica & Adam - May 6, 2011 - Dreams Tulum

              #17 krayzeekitty

              • Jr. Member
              • 199 posts

                Posted 05 November 2009 - 12:18 AM

                Our travel agent has been absolutely WONDERFUL!! She has done all the back and forth with our guests etc. during the whole process. She is always only a phone call away. We all made our final payment last week and she sent everyone a 3 page letter on all the useful info for our destination! The letters have sealed it in for everyone and made it so real! The icing on the cake is that she upgraded me and FI to executive class both ways for our flights! She is pretty great and if other TA's are the same I recommend getting a TA!

                Looking to share photographer week of January 16, 2010 Holguin, Cuba

                #18 JenK

                • Jr. Member
                • 302 posts

                  Posted 07 October 2010 - 05:30 AM

                  I want to book with a TA as well, but I agree with echo's statement above-I find that the TA quotes I'm getting are a few hundred dollars more. I'm finding this very surprising! I would have thought TA's could get cheaper rates? If I don't go with a TA, does anyone have suggestions on how to go about booking? I like westjet vacations as well, but I am wanting to go to a Riu and they don't book with the Riu chain.

                  #19 LanaM

                  • Jr. Member
                  • 196 posts

                    Posted 07 October 2010 - 10:33 AM

                    I initially wanted to go with TA to get good rates and avoid extra headache, but my TA gave me the the same group rate as the resort  plus the resort's conditions were much better. I did not need to put any deposit on blocked rooms (only have to pay full payment for our room) and if we won't feel all of the blocked rooms there is no fines or lost deposits as opposed to TA's conditions where I would lose the deposits for any/all unfilled rooms. I thought the TA's conditions were unreasonable since there is no way for me to know a year ahead of time how many guests will come to our wedding and how many rooms we need to block. I'm still considering to use TA for flights but I have not yet decided on that.

                    Alex & Lana
                    Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Cancun Mexico

                    #20 delgadot

                    • Jr. Member
                    • 284 posts

                      Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:45 AM

                      I am planning my wedding for Montego Bay Jamaica. Does anyone recommend a good TA I could reach out too?

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