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amandacz

Travel Agent/Booking Questions

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How did everyone and their family members book their trips for their DWs?

 

My FI and I have been to about 6 local travel agents who all basically offer "travel packages" through Apple or other similar groups and say they never contact the actual resort. They look at us like we are crazy when we ask if they are able to negotiate a lower rate for our group. They also say that they can't really give us a set price because the price will vary depending on when everyone within our group makes their individual bookings. They also claim that the "travel packages" are going to be far cheaper than working directly with the resort.

 

Most of the advice I've read on DWs recommends going with a travel agent that can work with the resort to negotiate prices. So my big question is: Where do I find these kinds of travel agents who are actually skilled with DWs? And which type of booking is cheaper: the package deal or booking the room and flight seperately (because I only seem to be getting the biased TAs' opinion on that matter)? Also, if we find a TA that gets us a room block but then a large proportion of our guests end up booking through something like Apple or another TA out of familiarity, what happens then/does that impact the negotiated rate?

 

Costs for our guests is THE biggest factor (my fiances' parents would have to be footing a bill for a family of 6 because of his teenage siblings) we need to figure out before we finally decide on a resort and we can't seem to find any concrete answers.

 

Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

 

(if it helps in anyway: We are estimating about 35 guest, want an all-inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya/Southern Cancun region with a free - inexpensive wedding package, resort can't be adult only, and are perticularly interested in the Moon Palace but hear conflicting reports that it is really super expensive or surprisingly affordable)

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First off... Congrats on your engagement :)

 

Second... I actually found a TA through the forums... Other DW brides reccomended her and had fabulous revews... I am located in Vancouver and she is in Toronto... So you dont neccesarrily have to go to a TA in you area... I was getting the same looks as you too! Like Im a mental patient asking to get a group discount! Also, I suggest going with the whole package, flight and all inclusive stay! its probably your safest bet!

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My travel agent is with AAA Vacations and she's been doing a great job for us. She worked with Travel Impressions (which is a tour operator contracted with our resort) and we were able to get lower prices and many perks and freebies.

 

We have about 24 rooms booked thus far (anything over 20 roms gave us one free room ... which we ca use to pay for ours, or spread the wealth and give everyone a discount). We also had an "early bird" booking period and anyone who booked during that time got $30 off their rate.

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I think the difference is that apple is going to be selling a package deal of hotel + flight. When the TAs negotiate with the hotel, I think it's usually just for the rooms. From what i've seen, even if they negotiate a great deal on the room, the flight can cost a lot more than it would have been with a package.

 

For example, a 3 night package trip for my wedding is $650. If we tried to book that same flight without the hotel, it's $500. So the TA would have to beat $150 for a 3 night stay in the hotel to make it worth booking that way.

 

There are perks that come along with a room block, but it isn't always cheaper. Also, with the package deals a TA can usually give you the price drops. So the $650 trip might actually be $600 by the time the guest pays the final amount.

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