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jhercule

Planning With A Travel Agent Or Directly Through The Resort?

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The fiance and I are just beginning our May 2016 planning for a destination wedding in Mexico. We'll be traveling in from North Carolina and our guests will be coming in from all over (Illinois, Ohio, Texas, California). I'm on resort research overload at the moment and just want to be sure we pick the right place for us (great location, great food for an AI, luxury-ish but not too costly for our guests).... do any of you have advice on if it's best to go with a travel agent/service (like destinationweddings.com, etc.) to start planning OR just go through the resort for your planning?

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@@jhercule I've heard not so great things about destinationweddings.com but I definitely think you should get a travel agent! I feel like travel agents are a lot more patient in terms of questions. Also, many offer payment plans unlike the resorts. And, you can find a travel agent locally who speaks English as his/her first language. 

 

Love our travel agent because she has been able to customize different packages and help my guests with any travel questions they have!


My travel agent is Teresa Stauring, one of the moderators from here recommended her. She's part of Wright Travel, specifically under the company name Vacations4Less.

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welcome to BDW!  We are destination wedding specialists and you can see our reviews in my siggy.  We'd love to assist you and provide great service and competitive pricing!

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Welcome to you!! We at Wright Travel are here to help! Please do read some of our reviews and read the experiences of brides that used an agent and those that did not... it is really to your benefit to have an agent as your advocate, assisting you with coordinating your guests stays, answering questions and just in general assisting with keeping everything current and organized for you. We can also normally get lower rates for you than you would find going direct, and can offer some other extras for group bookings! Give us a yell if we can answer something for you!

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I would totally go with a travel agent. They'll also help you sort out which hotel is better for you :)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Absolutely go with a travel agent! It takes so much of the stress off of you! It gives you someone to direct your guests to with questions and also someone that is available when you can't be.

 

And you can't get a better agent than the ones right here!! Wright Travel have all kinds of awards and have access to information on perks you might be eligible for depending on your guest numbers and which resort you actually book with. But you don't know until you ask!! I've seen nothing but good reviews of them since I started on this site.

 

Good luck and happy planning!

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@@jhercule - I echo the ladies here!  Plan via a Travel Agent.  I was in your exact shoes over a year ago.  When I took on the task, I thought "ha! this should be easy because I have traveled so much & know the area pretty well" but it was far from easy!  The more I researched, the more confused I became (even wrote a blog about it here).

 

Working with a great travel company/agent has MANY advantages (some obvious, some not so obvious):

 

  • Help narrow down your property options by recommending a property/chain that best matches your total vision (big day/weekend AND guest experience);
     
  • Provide insight on any special touches you would like to have for your weekend (e.g., shopping trips, tours etc.) often at a cheaper rate than you'd find on your own due to their relationship with various excursion companys & resorts
     
  • Help coordinate transfers so guests arriving at or around the same time can be grouped onto the same shuttle - helping make their experience that much more memorable/special
     
  • Help you access special (often exclusive) perks/discounts you wouldn't otherwise have access to (e.g., free 1 hour cocktail reception; $xxxx off decor costs if you book y number of rooms; free catamaran cruise if you book x number of rooms)
     
  • Help provide reassurance & insights regarding things like locations at the property you choose, service at the resort etc.  This is VERY important b/c the closer you get there WILL be times where you want to hit the "freak out gas pedal" and a good agent will help talk you off the pedal and provide insight/feedback you are looking for. Personal example - I asked my resort's coordinator for pics of a particular location they said I could only hold an event at.  The pics weren't good so my agent sent me some so I could feel confident in my decision.

On a less pleasant note, having a travel agent also comes in handy for resolving challenges like the following:

  • Resort Issues - on the off chance there's an issue with the resort (e.g., price switch/deviation from previously agreed upon quote/contract, onsite challenges etc...) your agent can help you resolve those issues
     
  • Resort/Travel Emergencies - last minute emergencies such as weather impacting travel to or from the wedding or resort closure/change in management become less scary and daunting b/c your agent can help!  We witnessed this at a friend's wedding  - the resort she booked closed due to a merger after she'd signed the contract and no one told her until 2 days before the wedding. Her travel agent sprang into action and found a wonderful resort, moved everyone's reservations to the new hotel, helped her get the same decor etc...set up at the new resort so everything went as planned and envisioned.  .

And on that note, I am stepping off the pedastal as I think you get the idea! :)

 

CONGRATS & Happy Planning! :)

Edited by girlinthecity97
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Wow, very well put!! Nothing like hearing from someone who has been there and gone through the full experience! You make excellent points, and I could not have said it better!!

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@@jhercule I've heard not so great things about destinationweddings.com but I definitely think you should get a travel agent! I feel like travel agents are a lot more patient in terms of questions. Also, many offer payment plans unlike the resorts. And, you can find a travel agent locally who speaks English as his/her first language. 

 

Love our travel agent because she has been able to customize different packages and help my guests with any travel questions they have!

My travel agent is Teresa Stauring, one of the moderators from here recommended her. She's part of Wright Travel, specifically under the company name Vacations4Less.

 

I am working with Teresa as well, she is awesome

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The fiance and I are just beginning our May 2016 planning for a destination wedding in Mexico. We'll be traveling in from North Carolina and our guests will be coming in from all over (Illinois, Ohio, Texas, California). I'm on resort research overload at the moment and just want to be sure we pick the right place for us (great location, great food for an AI, luxury-ish but not too costly for our guests).... do any of you have advice on if it's best to go with a travel agent/service (like destinationweddings.com, etc.) to start planning OR just go through the resort for your planning?

I'm currently using DestinationWeddings.com as my TA and I'm not really impressed with them. They get the job done but I don't recommend them. Good luck with whoever you choose to go with. 

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