Why use a Travel Agent over a larger online agency?
Because we are people, and we have a direct line. Call us, you won’t have to wait on hold or listen to a keypad menu only to be routed to an automated system. We will answer; we will call you back, text you back, email you back. You don’t have to go online and submit a request. It’s as simple as this: we offer personalized service, provided by people, and that is what you get. Because we listen. An agent’s job is to consult with the consumer, to ask questions at the early stages of planning and develop a comprehensive list of suggestions based on the client’s wants and desires for a travel experience. Because we remember you. When you want to book another trip, we know where you went last, we know what you did and did not like about that trip and how to make your next even better.
How does a Travel Agent get paid?
Travel agents operate on the same terms that agents in many other industries do: we have suppliers and vendors we know and trust, and those suppliers pay us a commission on the sales we make. This includes hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, car rental companies, and more. Larger, corporate online agencies operate the exact same way only they are not offering you an agent to represent their suppliers with personal knowledge but rather a point-and-click portal of information.
Will it cost me more to use an agent?
The suppliers set the price with commission in it so you are going to pay it regardless—it’s either being paid to an agent, an online agency, or absorbed back into the company supplying the service. In any scenario, the cost is the same, so it’s to your benefit to use an agency. Airlines typically do not pay any commissions so agents generally add a service fee when ticketing airline only reservations. Additional service fees may be charged for more personalized and select services as requested by the client. These services are offered exclusively by your personal travel concierge.
Can an agent help when something goes wrong?
Yes, that is one of the many benefits to using an agent. Whether you need to make changes, your luggage was lost, you missed your flight, or any number of things that can go wrong even when rock solid plans have been made, rest assured that we have been there, and we will be there for you. We can help you find the right numbers to call and often navigate the automated systems for you or make the appropriate contacts. Just having someone listen helps and sometimes we can navigate the process toward a solution while you enjoy your trip.
How can you help me prepare for my trip?
Our agents have personal travel experience and our hundreds of clients do too. Each of us has a network of knowledge built through years of experience that helps us better inform you. We constantly access our database and experiential knowledge to better inform and prepare a client for a trip of any type in hopes to make your experience a more enjoyable one.
What Documentation is needed for travel?
Guest names on all travel documents such as airline tickets, hotel reservations, cruise tickets etc; must match your government-issued photo ID. (ex: passport, birth certificate, drivers license etc.) Requirements for documentation vary based on your destination. For domestic travel in the United States a government-issued photo ID is required for travel. If you plan to an international destination outside of the United States, you will need a valid passport when leaving your country of residence. Some countries require you to have a visa for entry. Additional information is available at http://travel.state.gov NOTE: Minors traveling outside of their country of residence without both parents/guardians may require additional documents.
What time do I need to arrive at airport?
Arrive 60 minutes prior to your scheduled departure for U.S. domestic flights if you are not checking bags. Allow 90 minutes if you are checking bags. For international flights, please arrive 2 hours prior to scheduled departure.
Can I check my Luggage Curbside
Yes curbside luggage check is available at most U.S. airports up to six (6) hours prior to flight departure. Make sure you have proper documents and valid photo identification
How can I get thru airport security without all the hassles?
Pack an organized carry-on bag using layers – a layer of clothes, then electronic, more clothes, and then any heavier items. This will help security officers see what’s in your bag. Have your boarding pass and ID ready for inspection when you get to the checkpoint. Remove your coat and shoes and place them in a bin. Place any oversized electronics (laptops, full-size video game consoles, DVD players and video cameras that use cassettes) in a separate bin. iPods and other smaller electronics can stay in your carry-on bag. Follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids and put your one quart baggie separately in the bin. When in doubt, leave it out. If you’re not sure about whether you can bring an item through the checkpoint, put it in your checked bag or leave it at home.
What are the baggage limits for international travel?
In many cases, the carry-on baggage limitations are the same for domestic and international travel, however carry-on limitations may vary by country.
What are the carry-on baggage restrictions for domestic flights?
Please be mindful of the 311 rules. Liquids, gels and/or aerosols are now permitted through security checkpoints. Items must fit in one clear, re-sealable quart or liter-sized plastic bag, in containers of 3.4 oz/100ml or less. If traveling during the holiday season make sure you do not wrap your gifts. The following items are allowed, but must be presented to officials at security checkpoints if they are not contained in clear plastic bags or are of greater volume than 3.4oz in the U.S. or 3.3oz in the EU: Baby formula/milk and baby food in small containers if a baby or small child is traveling. Medications (liquid, gel or aerosol) Liquids, juices or gels for diabetic passengers who indicate a need for such items to address their medical condition. (A letter from your physician is not necessary).
How many carry-on bags are allowed on flight?
Customers are allowed one carry-on bag plus one personal item. All carry-on pieces, including laptops, must fit either underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Personal items include the following: Purse, Briefcase, Laptop, Small book-bag style backpack. Other similar items that do not exceed 36 linear inches will be allowed such as a small tote bag or shoulder bag. Additional items that will be allowed above and beyond the restrictions listed above include: Outer garments such as coats, wraps and hats. Approved safety seat for lap or ticketed child. Umbrella stroller for lap or ticketed child. Diaper bag for lap or ticketed child. Book or newspaper. Small bag of food that is consumable. Assistive devices for passengers such as wheelchairs, walkers and CPAP machines. Therapeutic oxygen provided by the airline. A pet kennel or container that is taken in the cabin counts as either your personal item or your one carry-on bag – the cabin pet fee still applies.
How much are the fees for checked baggage?
Airline baggage fees vary among airlines. Some airlines offer free checked bags with the purchase of the ticket. The average checked baggage rates start at $25-$30 for your first checked bag. Second & third bags are additional starting approximately $35 and up. In some cases baggage fee are complimentary based on the class of service of the ticket purchased or airline frequent flier memberships etc;. The exact rate will be provided by your agent prior to travel.
Will I be charged for extra/oversized bags when I travel?
Yes there is a fee for bags weighing over 50 lbs (fee varies per airline and some fees are waved depending on the class of service of your flight) NOTE: DUE TO A NEW BAGGAGE POLICY THERE MAY BE ADDITIONAL FEES FOR ALL LUGGAGE CHECKED (VARIES BY AIRLINE)
What should I expect going thru the metal detectors at the airport?
Dress the part. Metal in your clothing may set off the walk-through metal detector. Underwire bras, body jewelry and hairpins may also set off the metal detector. Pack coins, keys, jewelry, belt buckles and other metal items in your carry-on bag. Shoes must be removed and screened by TSA, so wear shoes you can easily take on and off to speed the process. Winter coats, blazers, suit jackets and bulky sweaters also must be removed and put in the bin for screening. Please take your infants and children out of baby carriers and strollers and take them through the metal detector with you. Strollers and baby carriers go through the X-ray machine with your bags. If possible, collapse your stroller before you get to the metal detector. Remove all animals from their carrying cases and send the case through the X-ray machine. Hold your pet in your arms and proceed through the metal detector. Undeveloped film should go in your carry-on bag. Declare film that is faster than 800-speed to a security officer for physical inspection to avoid being X-rayed. Think before you speak. Belligerent behavior, inappropriate jokes and threats will not be tolerated. They will result in delays and possibly missing your flight. Local law enforcement may be called as necessary.
How can I avoid minor illness while traveling?
Wherever you’re headed, you’ll want to feel healthy and strong. Here are some helpful tips for not being under the weather when you’re going above the clouds. Make sure your immunizations are current. If you’re prone to air sickness, ask for a window seat over the wing. If you have any health questions, or if you suffer from a chronic ailment, motion sickness, or fear of flying, ask for advice from your physician. Always carry your medication with you-never pack it in baggage you’re planning to check. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and shoes for your flight. Eat lightly during your flight. Stay hydrated while you fly. Leave room under the seat in front of you so you can stretch out your legs. If conditions permit, try to stand up and walk around the cabin every once in a while. Never purchase local medications unless you’re familiar with them. Wear sun block and sunglasses in the tropics and at high altitudes. Drink a lot of water to minimize altitude sickness.
I am a first time cruisers what do I need to know before I go?
Most “first-timers” have a lot of questions – so here’s a list of questions most commonly asked to help you get ready and ensure “smooth sailing” both before and during your cruise.
What documents do I need to go on a cruise?
We highly recommend that passengers travel with a valid passport. Although a passport is not required for U.S. citizens taking cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. Port.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) allows U.S. citizens (including children) sailing on cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port to travel with one of the WHTI compliant documents, listed below.
. • Valid U.S. Passport • Passport Card • Original or suitable quality copy of a Birth Certificate (Issued by a government agency: state/county/city) and a government issued photo ID if 16 years of age and older. • Original Certificate of Naturalization • Trusted Traveler Program Membership Card, e.g., Nexus Card, Sentri Card or Fast Card • Enhanced Tribal Card • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad In addition proof of citizenship, a non-expired government-issued photo I.D is required of all guests 16 years of age and older. The following are acceptable: • Driver’s License • School/Student I.D (acceptable ONLY for guests under 19 years of age) • Government-Issued identification card (city/state/federal) We recommend traveling with a passport to help expedite your CBP clearance upon return to the U.S. Additionally passports are required in the event you need to fly form the U.S. to a foreign port should you miss your scheduled port of embarkation, or need to fly back to the U.S. for emergency reasons. License (EDL) – only acceptable at land and sea ports of entry. Cannot be used for air travel outside the U.S. Please note: Each guest must have the required documentation needed to board the ship. (Passport or birth certificate and current photo ID) You may be denied boarding by the Cruise Line without the proper documents and no refund will be issued. Additional information is available at http://travel.state.gov
How much luggage can I bring?
You are encouraged to limit your checked luggage to two suitcases per person, with each suitcase not to weigh more than 50 pounds. Please do not pack your important papers or medications in your checked baggage. Please plan to bring a small carry-on bag for those items. You can also carry a change of clothes or your swim suit for use on board the ship, as it may be awhile before your luggage is delivered to your cabin. You can also use it to put your toiletries etc in after use on the last night of the cruise. As your checked luggage will need to be placed outside of your stateroom door on the final night for collection to be taken off the ship. Be sure to attach your Cruise Line luggage tags prior to leaving home to ensure your luggage is placed in your assigned cabin. Your cruise luggage tags will be provided by your agent.
How can I get to the cruise terminal?
Most cruise lines offer round trip transfers from the airport to the cruise terminal which were included with your travel documents. Transfers can be purchased up to two weeks prior to sailing if they were not previously requested at an additional fee. Taxi’s are also readily available at the airport to take passengers to the cruise terminal. Rates can be provided by your agent.
How do I pay for items on-board and in port?
The Cruise Lines will open an on-board account for bar purchases, soft drinks, souvenirs, to pay for shore excursions, etc, which you can settle by credit card, travelers checks or cash at the end of the cruise. The purser’s office will also cash travelers checks for you. In addition, most of the duty-free shops on-board and most shops in port will also cash travelers checks. Most shops in port will accept major credit cards as well as American dollars or travelers checks. Personal checks can not be cashed on-board the ship.
What about tipping on-board the ship?
Tipping with most cruise lines is now included on your on-board account. While this makes tipping the proper people more convenient it may vary by cruise line.
Do I need to pack a tuxedo or formal dress?
Casual attire is the order of the day and on most evenings. Shorts, sundresses, tank tops, etc. for the ladies, and for men; pants, shorts, polo shirts, T-shirts, etc. On most cruises there will be at least one Cruise Elegant evening for the Captains Celebration. For those who want to showcase their more elegant attire. For the Men Dress slacks, dress shirts or sports coat. If you wish to wear suits and ties or tuxedos, by all means do so. For the Ladies – Cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses; if you‘d like to show off your evening gowns, that’s great too! Some cruise lines allow you to rent a Tuxedo or formal dress on-board. Although prices may vary on different cruise lines, the average price is between $75 & $85. Not all Cruise Lines have a Rentals or “Formal Night”.
Are there activities for children on a cruise?
Most cruise lines offer programs for children. Many offer special teen and pre-teen scheduled activities. The larger ships almost always include a video arcade, kids disco or other designated “kids area”. Cruises are a great way for families to travel and see a variety of countries and ports. Some ships also offer babysitting services and daycare centers.
What about motion sickness?
Ships today are so well stabilized that most of the time you won’t notice you are even moving! It’s a good idea though to take along some Motion Sickness precaution. If you do have a problem on-board, all ships have a doctor and a nurse aboard. Consult your physician before taking any medication.
How will I know what’s going on on-board the ship or find out about shore excursions?
There will be all kinds of “goodies” about this in your cabin when you arrive. There will also be a daily program of activities put in your cabin each night for the next day. “Also Note” that “shore excursions” should be booked as soon as you arrive on the ship. The more popular ones have a tendency to sell out.
Can I call home from the ship?
Many of the newer or recently refurbished ships provide Ship to Shore telephone service. On some ships you can call from your stateroom. Ship to Shore rates apply so you may want to limit your conversations.
Can I get my e-mail while on-board the ship?
Many of the newer ships do have a business center complete with computers connected to the Internet. Some charge as little at $16 an hour for computer time and you can get your e-mail using Microsoft Hot Mail or Yahoo Mail. Check with your cruise line for availability of these services. If you have a laptop on-board, you can make a ship-to-shore call to dial into your Internet provider, but at $8 to $10 per minute it can get very expensive.
Can I use my cell phone while cruising?
You may also use your cell phone on-board and in the ports of call. International roaming charges will apply. Be sure to check with your carrier before you leave home for special rate and text message plans.