We live in an internet world so a lot of us now make our own travel plans. But there are times when using a good Travel Agent is the best gift you can give yourself!
Everyone likes to save money and be in control of all the different aspects of our trips. That being said, you can still have that control and receive the added benefits that come along with using a professional to handle some of your bigger travel details.
I am very fortunate to have Elizabeth who is a GOOD Travel Agent for AAA Michigan. She has helped me book several successful trips, including cruises and our tours of Italy and Europe.
Cost & Savings
Since we already have a AAA membership, using their travel services makes good sense for us. I paid a mere $25 for using their service to book our trips. As an added bonus, AAA gave us an extra excursion valued at $55 per person for a day trip to Positano and Amalfi on our tour of Italy. We also received vouchers toward other excursions on both of our tours. On the last trip the vouchers were for $40 per person. We definitely come out ahead.
When we are considering a big trip, our agent gets us the literature we need to figure out our plan. She answers our questions and offers us her insights as well.
After we decide on a trip, she helps us know the optimal time to book to get the maximum savings. Then she watches for the best air deal to go along with it. We have saved a ton by taking her advice on these things. When planning our last trip, she called me with Trafalgar on the phone line and said today is the day to book your air. We ended up getting our flights for almost 1/2 the advertised price.
Our Agent set up all the trip arrangements and had the Travel Documents ready for us about 10 days before we left. She always recommended that we purchase the Travel Insurance and took care of those details as well. The trip insurance ended up being a really good decision.
Here is where her services were really invaluable. We planned our trip for 2 years. We got to the airport, dropped off our car, boarded our plane and taxied down the runway. That’s when they discovered a mechanical issue with the plane. We remained onboard for 2 hours while they worked on the problem. Once again we headed down the runway only to turn around and head back to the gate. This time we exited the plane.
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6pm and it was now well after 10pm. They informed us that a part was coming for the plane and we would now depart at 5 am. It did not make sense for us to make the long drive home and then come back in that amount of time. Delta said they would try to get us into hotels and provide us something to eat (all the airport shops/dining were closed). Hotels did not happen and we finally got cold greasy subs a little after midnight. We were now Airport People camping out in the terminal.
Sometime during the night, our 5am flight got cancelled. We were now stuck at the airport and Delta was not being very helpful in getting us to London to meet our tour group. As soon as her office opened the next morning, I called Elizabeth and she went to work searching for flights until she found us a few viable solutions. She even discovered some direct flights that the Delta Desk Team had not mentioned to us. Delta had spent a lot of time telling us what they couldn’t do for us. Elizabeth swooped in and saved the day finding us a flight that got us to London before our tour group left for Belgium.
A Happy Ending
Although we still had some hurdles to jump in order to get connected to our group, we made it! When we finally arrived at our hotel in London, we decided to put the whole incident behind us and just enjoy the rest of our trip. It ended up being a fantastic adventure.
After we arrived home, I stopped at Elizabeth’s office and she helped me file a Travel Insurance Claim. The insurance would cover our missed tour days, meals at the airport and added transportation costs in London. She had all the paperwork ready, I just needed to provide her with our receipts and sign the forms. We received a check in about a week.
The moral of the story was when our backs were against the wall and the trip of our dreams was falling apart, it was awesome to have someone who could step in and help us through it. But even when trips go smoothly, Elizabeth’s services are always worth more to us than the small fee that we pay. I highly recommend finding a good Travel Agent to work with who can assist you when planning your big trips. They will find you a great deal, make sure you have everything you need and help you out if you get in a jam.
It’s totally worth it!
Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure!