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Honeymoon - travel agent?

Hello Ladies,

We are planning to go to the Riviara Maya in May/June and considering calling a travel agent.  I usually book travel through expedia so I am a little lost on this and could use some help!

Did you book your honeymoon yourself or through a travel agent?

Can you recommend your agent? 

Do you find you get better pricing though an agent or on your own?

Thank you!

Re: Honeymoon - travel agent?

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    edited December 2011
    We booked through an agent who pretty much got us the same pricing, but I liked that she sends us a bunch of info on what to bring/expect. And if we have any issues at the time we have the peace of mind to call her and have her help us fix things. She also knew a lot more about the resorts we were looking at and helped us pick a room and resort.

    Our agent is: The Travel Gallery, Kate Ficke (www.travelgalleryinc.com
    Steph & Brandon 4.17.10
    Planning Bio
    Married Bio - Updated 7.2
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with the pp...I think the price is about the same as we could get on our own, but our travel agent is very knowledgable.  We are also going to Hawaii and going to 2 islands so it is just easier due to the transfers.  It is nice to know that they have most of the answers instead of going in on it blindly...I usually do book all my vacations through expedia and you just never know.

    Anyways my travel agency is Cary Travel and I highly recommend them.
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    morgie44morgie44 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We used Oswego Travel.  We decided to go with an agent, just because if there was something to go wrong there was someone who could help us fix it, especially since we were going during hurricane season.  They were able to match the best price we found online through expedia (not sure if this is always the case)  so it was an easy decision. 
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    edited December 2011
    Thank you for all of the recommendations!  Good to know that the pricing is comparable...I was worried it would cost more.
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    edited December 2011
    We booked our honeymoon by ourselves...we called an agent (actually someone who his dad recommended) and they were pretty useless.  We are going to Santorini, and he basically was telling us that they were on Santorini.com looking up travel info (also they took about two weeks for them to get back to us).  Another friend of ours got the same deal from his agent (though this couple is now looking to go to Thailand).  My fiance went on Trip Advisor and found all his information from there.  It turns out that the hotels that the agents were giving us were in crappy areas!  The hotel we reserved cost about the same as the others, but ours was so much better.  I'd say try researching on your own first before looking into a travel agent.
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    LuckyXinNiangLuckyXinNiang member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    travel agents have alliances with major resort groups and while the pricing is the same, they can usually get an upgraded room or service for the same price.
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    edited December 2011
    We are also going to Riviera Maya, and I booked our honeymoon myself.  I used cheapcaribbean.com.  I had used this site previously for our trip to the Dominican Republic.  I loved having everything right there at my fingertips, including excursions.  I feel they have amazing deals on that site, also.  Either way, you're going to have a blast!!!
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    Sparkette19Sparkette19 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011

    We're booking our HM today actually through a travel agent in Woodfield Mall (I forgot the name). I had my FI do the research and check out other travel agents to see what they offered as far as suggestions and pricing. We went with the agent that had the best overall pricing. We're going to the RM too.

    We decided to book through a travel agent b/c neither of us have traveled outside of the country before. I've never really traveled growing up so I'm new to the whole thing. It was a comfort thing for me, personally. I feel better knowing that if something goes wrong I have a point of contact.

    When you're born in Chicago you're blessed and you're healed the first time you walk into Wrigley Field. My Bio
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    edited December 2011
    For anyone who is a Costco member, check out costcotravel.com 

    They have some pretty good deals! :) 

    I haven't really experienced any 'great deals' inquiring through travel agents, so we'll most likely book the honeymoon on our own. 
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    edited December 2011
    i dont think its complex to book a honeymoon, but when you are traveling far (some family is going from pittsburgh to honolulu), a travel agent would be the first one to tell you that a flight with a short layover might be missed due to delays at san fancisco. that is a random example but most people go for the cheapest option and don't think about things someone who has more experience booking honeymoons and destination weddings would know to do just by having that experience.
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    edited December 2011
    Thank you ladies!  You've given me a lot to think about!  It sounds like you will all have great honeymoons!

    For those of you who are going to Riviara Maya, would you mind telling me what hotel you are staying at?  Just looking for ideas!
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    edited December 2011
    We are doing my bachelorette weekend in Riviera Maya and are using friend who is a travel agent.  Travel agents make their money on the other side of the deal, meaning they receive incentives for booking your travel.  They book everything separately...airfare, transfers, accommodations etc.  This is the main difference between using an agent vs. booking a vacation package online.  Typically you are limited in flight options going the vacation travel route.

    Here is my travel agents' info.  She has already done a lot of digging in the area so she may be a great contact for you as she sent us 8+ places to consider with pricing breakdown.  We are doing the all-inclusive route, which there are tons of options.  We are deciding between The Royal Playa del Carmen and The Occidental.   We found that all agents can get deals that match whatever you can find online, so you don't need to worry about paying more.

    Michelle Villacorta

    Travel Consultant

    L’Escape Travel

    847-514-6196

    jmvillacorta@gmail.com

    Hope this info is helpful!
    Me: 35/Hubs: 35 - just moved to Minneapolis from Chicago. TTC for 18 months and expecting baby #1 April 18, 2012! Needed IVF after a few failed rounds of IUI and it worked!
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    jbll326jbll326 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I stayed at the Royal Playa del Carmen a few years ago and it was incredible! Impeccable service, very clean, very close to downtown Playa (you could easily and safely walk the few blocks from the resort), the food was great, the beach was beautiful (though they may have had some hurricane damage since I was there, I don't know), and the rooms were huge and very comfortable with a jacuzzi in very room. 
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    EricadefEricadef member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We are going to los cabos, mexico and we booked through Orbitz vacations because that is who had the best deal! If you use orbitz, make sure to type "inclusive" in the hotel name if you are looking for an all inclusive. When you book a vacation package online, the site will usually have other add ons for recommended vendors at the time of booking, like transportation to and from the hotel, tours, swimming with the dolphins, etc.
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    edited December 2011
    I was completely planning to book our Disney World honeymoon on our own until someone suggested using AAA. I'm so glad I did because she got us a studio at the newest hotel for LESS than we would have paid for a regular room at an older hotel.
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    edited December 2011
    We used Expedia and it was awesome.  Do it yourself, it is much cheaper and you can get the same great service and vacation but at a cheaper cost.  When we got to Jamaica and the resort, we just upgraded with them (for a small cash pocket fee) and they upgraded us to a suite. 
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