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Poll: How did you book your honeymoon?

Not sure if anyone else has felt this way, but planning the honeymoon has been the most difficult part of wedding planning so far.  Granted, FI and I still have plenty of time, but we literally have had no trouble making every other wedding-related decision except when it comes to the honeymoon.

So... I have a poll for you ladies!  :-)
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RSVP Deadline: June 15, 2011
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Re: Poll: How did you book your honeymoon?

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    smw42smw42 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We contacted a couple travel agents but were able to put together a general itenerary on our own and saved a significant amount booking directly through the airline and hotels. We're going to Europe for two weeks, four cities, and it was a litlte intimidating at first but the more we looked at things the more we were able to put together a plan and move forward. Travel agents just weren't competitive with pricing.
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    edited December 2011

    We used Irene @ Travel Dreams. I don't know what her cut was but she got us an amazing rate and she was a pleasure to work with!

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    Laurms15Laurms15 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Travel agents as far as I know shouldn't charge you. I did the research mostly because I knew where I wanted to stay. Then had an agent book everything for me.
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    edited December 2011
    I used Dina Silvestri -she is SO quick to respond & great to work with! A girl at work uses her and so do all of her friends. I did my research of where I wanted to go/stay & she found the best deal & booked it for me.



    she also doesn't charge

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    Reilly626Reilly626 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Went to 2 travel agents, then priced it out on my own on Expedia- mine was cheaper! And since price has dropped even more with Expedia they credited me since I got the cancellation insurance- highly rec. them!
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    edited December 2011
    Alright, maybe I'm totally clueless, but how do travel agents make money if they don't charge you for booking through them? 
    image 182 Invited
    image 0 Are ready to party!
    image 0 Will be missing the fun
    image 0 Can't find the mailbox...

    RSVP Deadline: June 15, 2011
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    edited December 2011
    you should first figure out what you want to do on your h-moon.  at first FI and i wanted to go to Greece - but then i realized that if i go there, i'd feel the need to go sight seeing.  i really want to relax on a beach for my h-moon....so we decided to go to Hawaii instead.
    if you want beach - my friend went to Turks & Caicos and absolutely LOVED it.
    EDIT: we are booking it all ourselves.  no need to pay someone to do that for us.
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    edited December 2011

    peaches this is the hardest part for us as well! We actually started asking a whole bunch of travel agencies prices for the 2 places we really want to go to w/sandals and we are currently still debating the place still... but we are def going with Irene @travel dreams because she is the cheapest sandals agent we have found after talking to 5 different agents!!!

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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Special snowflake -- we did all the research on our own, but booked the hotels through a travel agent because the prices were better than anything else we could find online.  (And it *is* nice to get the travel agent to put a note on the reservation that it is a honeymoon -- we got a room upgrade and champagne in our room at one of the hotels.)
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    edited December 2011
    I think they work on commission -- so if you book through them the tour company they book through gives them a cut. I could be wrong about the logistics, but they do get paid.
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    edited December 2011
    We used Liberty Travel... didn't cost a thing! (They get kickbacks from the resorts & airlines.)
    She quotes us a few packages, and then we went home and tried to see if we could beat the price on expedia or orbitz. Travel agent was MUCH cheaper though!
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    Being married is a real thriller! =)

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    leah2bleah2b member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Also, if you have an AMEX card, you can use their travel agent service, which is what we did.  our honeymoon was a little more complicated that where we normally travel - going to Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea.  We ended up using points to book at one hotel and did the research on the flights, etc ourselves.
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    tbrose16tbrose16 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We did all of the research on our own and by asking friends that went there on their honeymoon. We ending up booking everything separately - we were able to use points for our flights and hotel at one location and booked the second half of the trip through Costco. For the part that we booked through Costco, we booked it through their website online. We had to become a member but it was worth the $50. We had checked out Liberty Travel, AAA, directly with the hotel, and other online sites and the package deal from Costco was by far the best. Good Luck!
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    DMLJDMLJ member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We're taking a cruise so that is easy to plan....
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    edited December 2011
    Definitely used a travel agent. We used Pat at Liberty Travel. aigottip@libertytravel.com. She is amazing and handles all of our travel!
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    FinkFink member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We are using Rhonda at Travel by VIP for our Hawaiian honeymoon.  There is no charge to us.  The hotels, etc. pay her company. 

    Travel by VIP (and most reputable travel agents) will match any price you find online that is lower than the one quoted by the TA.   Also, a HUGE advantage to using a travel agent is that if you run into any problems with the airlines or hotels, the travel agent will deal with it, so you don't have to.
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    felicia220felicia220 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We booked ourselves.  The honeymoon for us was the EASIEST part of the planning process, it is everything else thats a pain in the ass.  Hahaha.  

    We knew we wanted to go to Vegas because we go every year, so that was easy and then we knew we wanted to go to Maui so I searched for hotels, checked reviews and found what I wanted.  

    Google was my travel agent. 

    As others said you should go to a few travel agents just to get ideas of what is available.  It will help you get a better idea of what you want to do.  
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    edited December 2011
    Keep in mind that as travel agents are becoming less popular, they don't make as much on commissions as they used to. So don't assume they won't charge you.  We used one last year for a family trip to Greece, and she charged $40 per person for her services. Even with those fees, the airfare she got us was much cheaper than if we booked on our own. Plus, the nature of the trip was more complicated than anything we'd gone on before. Regardless, the agent's fees were a surprise.

    I believe travel agents are best for multi-stop trips in countries that are confusing or off the beaten path - not major European cities, and certainly not enclosed all-inclusive resorts catering to Americans or English-speakers. It's hard for me to see why someone would use a travel agent to book Sandals. Do you really save that much money? Or is it more about having part of your wedding planning taken off your hands?
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    edited December 2011

    I travel a lot and always use a travel agent.  I have never been charged by a travel agent for using them.  If you speak to a travel agent that wants to charge you go a different one.  I always go to Sandals Resorts and depending on which one sometimes it is cheaper to book through a travel agent cause they can get better prices on the airfare.  Sometimes it is the same price as if you book it on your own but by using a travel agent you have someone that will be able to answer your question.  A lot of the times they have been to the resort and have first hand knowledge. I use Liberty Travel a lot but for my Honeymoon I used Jennifer from Travel By VIP.  She was great very knowledgeable about St Lucia and great to work with. 

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    tvlirenetvlirene member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011


    A good travel agent that has travelled extensively has made good contacts at resorts.  What this means is that their clients are well taken care of and can get upgraded and rooms with better locations, views, etc.  It's also the expertise you get with an agent.  You look online at a resort with many different room categories....how do you know if the description of the view is really what you're getting?  An agent that has been there can give you those details and not just generic information.

    As far as European travel...there was a 2 day strike in Greece a couple of weeks ago. A good TA would have gotten heads up on that and made sure that their clients were not affected (fly out a day before, rearrange the schedule).  

    The Hyatt in Maui is oversold by 70 rooms this week.  If you booked with a TA that has experience and knows what they're doing you would not be bumped.  Guess what, Expedia clients were bumped out the the resort..





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    tvlirenetvlirene member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I also think it's horrible  when people have no intention to book with a TA but will ask the TA to give them ideas, prices, basically pick their brains and take advantage of their knowledge just to book it themselves.  This is how TA's make a living (not charging a service fee, it's free to the consumer) and to spend hours helping someone that has no intention of booking the trip is unethical imo.  I can understand if the price comes out higher but if it's the same and that TA did all that work for nothing, not cool.
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    juicy222juicy222 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I used Jen at VIP too.  LOVED what she did for us---had a welcome note in our room with champagne, we got upgraded and we did Sandals too...St. Lucia and VIP is like one of their top agencies so we were treated like GOLD ..and Sandals pricing was about the same whereever I looked so why not book with the best.
    Here is their website.  www.travelbyvip.com
    I hear they have different agents for different areas so you can get a true expert to help you plan things so it is perfect. AND VIP didn't charge us a dime extra fees at all!
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