With just a few days until we depart on our 20 person group cruise on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas, I wanted to take a few minutes and explain why it is so important to utilize the services that Travel Planners offer.
How often do you book your trips online via "cheap" websites? Even booking direct with a supplier?
Have you ever arrived at a hotel or your destination only to have something go wrong? They didn't have a room available for you? Especially when traveling outside the country, it is important to have a point of contact. Someone you can trust to work in your best interest. Someone on YOUR side!
When you purchased your home did you use a Buyer's Agent? Why did you choose to do that? Because they act in the best interest of you, the buyer. They don't charge you for the help and services they provide, they simply get paid from the seller a portion of their proceeds. This is how it works as Travel Planners/Agents. We are paid commissions by the suppliers for bringing the buyers to them without them increasing the cost of your trip. We work on your behalf and fight for you in the event something goes wrong. Time and time again we get phone calls from someone who has previously inquired with us about a trip and chooses to take the knowledge we offered them and book online themselves. They come back with questions they can't seem to get answers to and even times they've showed up and the booking engine they used did not secure the room for them. When you are already in a foreign country and uneasy about your surroundings, you want to know you have someone you can count on. That is what we are here for!
Recently planning a cruise for 20 people and all the questions that have come up has brought to my attention again how important it is to book with a Travel Planner. Some things that seem as simple as going on a cruise can be overwhelming. When to complete online check in, what to do with your luggage tags, how the boarding process works, whether you should purchase the drink packages or not, how to get to and from the port, what to pack, what will cost you additional money on board and so much more. Having your Travel Planner in your back pocket is a great way to alleviate stress. A simple phone call, text, or email could save you hours on hold with the big companies.
Our goals as agents and planners is to get first hand experience as consumers so we can in turn offer you information you may not be made aware of. There is only so much you can learn from training. Whenever we get a chance we take photos, write reviews and offer suggestions. Follow us on our Facebook page and check out out albums.
Watch for videos, photos and more during our sailing on the Adventure of the Seas!
The past month has been amazing! There have been so many new things happening in our company!
I have been very busy lately doing everything I can to enhance your experiences as a client of Wishes & Dreams Destinations.
Did you know we have a newly designed website with you in mind? There is even a brochure rack, cruising and group information, Disney info and so much more! www.wishesanddreamsdestinations.com
I also decided to expand the agency a bit too and incorporate, so we are now Wishes & Dreams Destinations, Inc! With all these great new things I have also added in 3 new agents to the team: Roberta, Joelle, and Dana!
We are also now a CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) agency, setting us apart from other agencies.
WeddingWire awarded us Couples Choice Award for 2017! Thank you for all your reviews and feedback from your travels.
So many great things going on- time for a give away!
To be entered you must:
Like our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wishesanddreamsdestinations
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/waddestinations
Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/wishesanddreamsdestinations/
Book a trip before April 28th, 2017 for travel by 4/28/18
Winner will be announced in May!
Do you or someone you know usually travel during school vacation weeks? Did you know we have a Royal Caribbean cruise group for Feb 17, 2018 sailing out of NJ! That means you can save on airfare! As an added bonus for booking with Wishes & Dreams you will receive a $50 on board credit per stateroom! For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1129428437177160/
Until next time friends!
First Blog Post! This is an exciting time!
Part of being a CCRA agency, you get the opportunity to attend special travel agent events such as the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas that was hosted at the end of March.
This was my first major travel agency conference to attend. I met with some of the most amazing agents, suppliers, and speakers. I spend countless hours in classes that were so helpful in teaching me how I can service my clients and future team members better.
One thing I learned from a speaker named Tim Furlong who is the author of "Quarter Turns" was to come back with all the great info I learned in the conference and implement them a little at a time.
I know a few of you have probably attended a conference or two in your lifetime where you come back all excited but overwhelmed with information and want to jump into everything at once. Tim's class made me realize I need to take my time so the changes I make will be positive ones and help me to get to my goals.
I also attended a seminar that had a great speaker who talked about customer service. It was so nice to meet with someone who has the same principles as I do. Kindness and helpfulness gets you a long way! One of my top priorities in this business for me is to have repeat customers and there is only one way to do that- CUSTOMER SERVICE!
We had a few evenings of receptions where you could mingle with other agents and suppliers. The conference was hosted at the Paris Hotel in Vegas. Let me tell you....this place is gorgeous. If you want to go to Paris and don't feel like you can afford it, take a trip to the Paris in Las Vegas! It is beautiful, authentic looking, imaginative, so many other things!
I was able to take a few hours and explore the strip to get a better knowledge of Las Vegas. I am so glad I did! It is an awesome city. In addition to all the things you can do as an adult, there are tons of family friendly activities you can do! Part of my trip involved bringing my 3.5 yr old daughter and mother along (to watch her while I was in classes). They spent the days going to various museums, attractions, aquariums, wild life exhibits. I think my daughter enjoyed Vegas more than we did!
Prior to the conference, we took a 2 day detour to Anaheim, CA. For those of you that don't know, that is where Disneyland is located. Being such an avid Disney fan, being so close I couldn't miss the opportunity to see where the magic took place. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, just a few miles from the parks. The rooms were amazing, customer service was great, and for a small fee they had an all day shuttle service that took you to and from the parks (basically door to door service). After seeing how far the parking lot is from the actual parks, we were happy to have made the shuttle decision. Seeing the differences between Walt Disney World and Disneyland was a great experience. It will sure help me help my clients in the future!
One more thing I have to add before posting. Southwest Airlines. I was so impressed by their staff, despite the run in of bad weather we had on our flight home. We were scheduled to fly from Las Vegas, stop in St. Louis (stay on the plane) and continue back to Boston. As we approached St. Louis and the landing gear started coming out, the plane all of a sudden sped up and climbed back to a higher altitude. They told us we were being diverted to Little Rock. Once landing in Little Rock they came over the intercom to tell us to stay seated while paramedics came on board to assist a passenger, then we fueled up and headed back to St. Louis for our original itinerary. Come to find out there were tornado warnings and crazy storms in St. Louis which is why we couldn't land. We asked if we would be allowed to deplane when we pulled up to the gate to grab some food because at this point we had been on the plane for almost 6 hours and you can imagine how hungry we all were (don't forget the 3 yr old!). One of the flight attendants told us if they weren't going to let passengers off the plane at the gate that he would personally go to Burger King and get my daughter something to eat. Then the flight attendant from the rear of the plane handed my daughter a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from her own personal lunchbox so she wouldn't be hungry. Rock on Southwest employees! I will be recommending them in the future!
Thanks for reading my first Blog! Hope you enjoyed it. Leave feedback in the comments :)
For more pictures from my trip, visit my Facebook page.