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Should we go though a travel agent or go through something like expedia or yahoo?

Was wondering which one is a better idea for planning a honeymoon? Any advice is welcome

Stacie and Dennis

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Re: Should we go though a travel agent or go through something like expedia or yahoo?

  • We frankly would have been lost without our TA there were just so many things I could have not handled on my own and especially in the planning process on where to go for the best bang for our buck.

    We worked with www.myislandgetaways.com and it is really great because I had contact with someone at all times (with tons of on going questions) and felt alot more connected rather just booking on expedia. We also got some great upgrades and extra spa coupons and perks.
  • I would def recommend using a TA. You dont pay them - they get paid thru the resort that you book. Its so nice to work with an actual person who can give real recommendations and experiences. Also, alot of TA's will price match whatever price you find on search engines like Travelocity or Expedia. Good luck!
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  • I travel all the time and never use a specific travel agent... I go thru the websites which then give me a certain contact, but I do all the planning :)  Not sure what type of honeymoon you are interested in, but I use both Apple Vacations and US Airways Vacations... Apple Vacations has had better deals lately...
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  • I have a question that someone might know the answer too - I have a ton of hilton points (enough for 2-3 nights on our honeymoon). If I use a travel agent, will I be able to use my points? Since they're paid by the hotels, I was thinking that probably wouldn't be possible.
  • we also price shopped 2 TAs vs just booking on our own- we're doing an RC cruise. there was no price break for the flights or cruise, so we ended up booking on our own. i also was a little bit unique in that i had already picked out the exact cruise we wanted, so i literally just needed to see if they could get me any discounts.

    in hindsight, i perhaps should have stuck with TA- there may be room upgrades etc. available as we get closer to May. I'm not too worried about it though. we may go back to them after the new year, and get some advice on the excursions etc., since we've never been to the islands we're visiting.

    bottom line: i think it's best to do your homework and see who can get you the best deal. TAs are great for insight if you've never been to a certain place or if you've narrowed down but not sure what to pick.

    good luck!
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  • Honestly it depends on your comfort level planning your own trip.  The first time I went to Europe, I was very unfamiliar with train schedules, discount carriers, and where to stay within the cities.  My TA(family friend) was able to plan a trip that was easier on the nerves for the first time.

    That being said, there is much more freedom and adventure in planning your own trip.  You become knowledgable through the research, and will be more prepared than if you were to hand it off to a TA.  TA's will put you in Americanized hotels - very standard rooms with little local flavor.  That may suit you, but some of the greatest gems I've ever found was through my own research.

    In terms of price, I think the TA can get a comparable price to the current rate a Travelocity/Expedia charges.  If you do your own research, you WILL find a better deal than a TA over time.  Just depends on the level of effort.

    Here are the sites I typically use:

    www.travelocity.com (plane/train tickets & cruises)
    www.tripadvisor.com (hotel ratings by users, very important info like "is there a train station nearby?", also users submit their own pictures)
    www.vbro.com (global apartment rental website)

  • girlinchicagogirlinchicago
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2010
    Ditto many pps - it depends on the trip.

    I almost always book myself - Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean.  Anything that's straightforward, I want one hotel and there's no complicated travel itinerary involved.

    For our "weddingmoon" to Fiji, we stayed at two dfferent hotels over two weeks, had multiple transfers, etc, and we used an amazing TA.  It's a good thing we did because, when we arrived in Fiij, then-FI's suitcase was still in LA!  The airline told us it most likely wouldn't get to us in time for our wedding ceremony.  Luckily, we had booked with a competent TA and she had our bag to us in Fiji the next day.  It took SUCH a weight off my shoulders to have her taking care of it from the US since we had been traveling for 24 hours and the whole situation had me super stressed. 

    Likewise, we have a 12 night trip to Costa Rica coming up this summer - 4 cities, 4 hotels, lots of transfers.  We could have done it ourselves, but it's helpful to consult someone who knows what they're doing.  I always go in knowing pretty clearly what I want, I tell the TA, get his/her opinion, weigh their suggestions, then let him/her book.  I wouldn't say it saves me much in terms of time because I love to do the research anyway, but it definitely saves a lot of hassle and the nitty gritty detail booking.

    Where are you planning on going?  Maybe that will help us give you a better answer.
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  • I feel like I've been a salesperson or a cheerleader for travel agents lately so I'm sorry if you read these boards and I sound like a broken record; but yes--use one.
    If you're not sure where to find one, go to your local AAA.
    As other people said -- if anything happens, THEY can handle/help you. You don't have to worry (at least not as much).
    I travel a lot and enjoy doing the planning. But a paid professional who is an good at their job will be able to tell you an off the beaten path restaurant, the best time to go see a popular attraction..
    While I do travel alot, we booked our hm through a ta. I just didn't have time to do all of the research (my boss has really started cracking down on the whole not working at work thing. Tongue out)
    Our TA happens to be a friend, but she's good at her job and has been where we're going before so she's had a lot of advice/suggestoins so far. She also let them know we're coming so I know we'll be well taken care of. That wouldn't happen if I booked it myself online.
    Just like any other service provider - find a ta you like and build a relationship with them. Think ahead..surprise the hubby w/a weekend getaway..after you have kids
    will you want to know what location/venue has the best kids policies/programs/rates....I love Kayak, but it's not going to be able to give you that info.

    Whit - we booked our hm through our ta, but used points for our flights. So we booked the flights on our own and ta took care of hotel & car (and insurance to cover hotel). In the meantime the airline has called me 3x to let me know about the same schedule change.
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