What Does Travel On A Dream Mean To You?

As we are approaching one year since our very first reservation was booked, I started thinking about what that all means.  Not just to me but to all of you as well.

Before I was a travel agent, I booked things both myself and through other agencies.  The first agency I used was AAA.  We had a very nice, friendly agent — who unfortunately knew less about a Disney cruise than I did, and I had never been on one.  But she was nice and not totally incompetent so we rebooked our second cruise with her.  The second time around was not as pleasant an experience.  By this time, I knew much more than she did about Disney Cruises.  We also booked a cruise for my sister, mother and I 2 weeks before our second Disney Cruise.  That was crazy so I was glad I had a travel agent to handle some of the details between the cruises.  It was my mom’s retirement present from us girls so I had some special things planned.

Relying on this agent proved to be a mistake.  She didn’t arrange to have the cake delivered for my mom.  I had to work on this last minute because we found out right after they were supposed to bring it out that it wasn’t ordered.  I was able to schedule it for our last night and even arranged to have the executive chef bring it out for her (long story but she thought he was “hot”, especially when he kissed her!).  On our Disney Cruise, I found out that she applied the Disney Visa onboard credit promotion to our reservation even though it had an onboard booking promotion which meant we got a $50 onboard credit instead of $200 onboard credit!  I was able to straighten this out onboard as well, but I shouldn’t have had to.

Following that cruise, I booked the next series of vacations on my own.  While I missed the extra perks I got from the agent, I just didn’t want to risk screwing anything up.  I finally started booking with an online agency and did so only for the onboard credit.  I made all the arrangements myself and then transferred over the reservation before final payment to get their onboard credit.  This no longer works as well with Disney Cruise Line because they don’t handle the transfers the same way.

What I came to understand about travel agents is that most of them are not as obsessed about my travel as I am.  Since I became a travel agent, this has carried over to my clients as well.  I have found that I get as excited about planning things for my clients as I do for myself.  Maybe even a bit more.  I can help plan everything but don’t have to pack, make arrangements at home, pay for it…  I also understand how to do this without a travel agent so I make sure that I live up to people’s expectations.  If I had a question in the past, I would just get on the phone or Google and get the answer right away.  What makes me think any of my clients would be different?  I make a point of learning as much as I can about the ships, destinations, planning, etc. so I don’t have to call or Google every question.  I also get on the phone if necessary to get the answer right away.  I admit, I don’t have all the answers, but I do have quite a few.

I always do my best to exceed my client’s expectations using a travel agent.  We have a toll free number that can access me wherever I am.  Voice mail comes to me by email so even if I’m on a call, I get the message right away.   I check email all waking hours.  This is what I have determined helps a client feel more comfortable with an agent and what I hope allows my clients to Travel On A Dream.  I want to think that I take the frustration, anxiety, confusion, etc. out of planning and executing a vacation and enhance the excitement and anticipation for your vacation.

So what does it mean to you?  Do you use a travel agent just for monetary perks?  Or better yet, is there a reason you don’t use a travel agent?  Like us on Facebook and let us know your story!

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