Ask a Travel Agent tips

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Disappointed in your hotel choice! It can ruin your whole vacation!

Disappointed in your acommodation choice! It can ruin your whole vacation! Photo credit:  Wave Break Media

Ask a travel agent tips!

You go online and book your travel and there are diaster along the way.  Wondering how you went wrong, someone asks you, “didn’t you get help from a travel agent?” If your answer is “no”, here’s why you should Ask a travel agent, before your next trip.

 

Book early for the best deals.  Great deals are available when you book early.  Prices tend to go up the closer you are to the date of your vacation.  If you want the best airfare, book three months out to give yourself a chance to score a good deal and know you’re have your transportation taken care of.  The only caution is if you think your plans will chanage before leaving.  Either purchase refundable/changeable tickets or purchase trip insurance to cover emergencies.

Got get 'em. The deals are out there - book early!

Got get ’em. The deals are out there – book early!

Travel off season for the best deals and less crowds too. Yes, part of the fun of traveling can be people watching and being part of the fun, hussle-bussle and excitment.  Yet, if you want to enjoy the attractions, see the sites and stroll along the boulevards without bumping and pushing, go off season.  Traveling during this time is great for deals and is perfect for trips to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and special events.  You can have it all to yourself – just as you should when celebrating your special date.

Celebrate a special occasion during the off season. It's all just for you!

Celebrate a special occasion during the off season. The destination will be –  all just for you!

Airlines typically release sale prices on Tuesday – Check out fares on Wednesday and keep an eye for changes. Airlines are starting to list how many seats are availabel for certain fares.  Book that flight when you see a good fare.  It may not last long!

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Grab the deal and seat of your choice. Follow the fares for the best deals.

Sign up for travel alerts  – Airfare watchdog at www.airfarewatchdog.com is a great site for watching airfares and keeping track of destinations you are planning to visit.  As soon as the alert comes in – grab it.  Fares change quickly and seats are sold before you know it.  Don’t be left behind.  Know when the fare you want is availabel!

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Stay up-to-date with alerts sent directly to your telephone.

Sign up for loyalty programs  – Hotels, car rental and airlines any one who offers loyalty programs – sign-up.  There is no cost to join and you’ll start earning points, miles and rewards right away.  And, every little amenitiy counts.  Hotel loyalty programs may offer newspapers at your door or room upgrades.  And, before you  know if you’re offered a free night at your favorite hotel.  Or an upgrade to first class with your favorite airline. Now that’s a deal!

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Hotel loyalty programs can lead to upgrades and free nights in beautiful properties around the world.

Check-out programs which offer discounts – CityPass is a favorite of mine. With pass books for the following cities you can enjoy more than you ever dreamed of. Citypass offers discount booklets to:  Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York, Seattle, Tampa, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, Southern California and Dallas.

 

Citypass offers discounts to Atlanta attractions. Photo credit: Rob Hainer

Citypass offers discounts to Atlanta attractions.
Photo credit: Rob Hainer

Book a cruise within a 60 day window prior to departure – If you are looking for the best chance of snagging a discount this is your best advice.  There is one little caution.  The best cabins do book first. By waiting to  60 days before departure, you may not get the cabin of your choice.  Exterior cabins may be booked and unavailable and you’re left with interior cabins and dates or dates and destinations that are not your first choice.  If you’re flexible – this is your chance to sail the blue seas and have a few dollars to explore even more!

The Moana, Hvar, Dalmation islands, Croatia.

Cruise to your favorite destination.

Walking tours vs. Hop-on/Hop-off – See the city with a walking tours. Get to know historic neighborhoods, take your time taking photos and it is a great way to get in some exercise when traveling. Hop-on Hop-off tours are a great way to see a lot quickly and find the little known attractions too.  Plus you’ll know where they are so you can go back for more.

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Great way to see the city – at your own pace.

Keep your passport in your hotel safe – Your passport is your key to getting in and out of countries.  If your passport goes missing, your trip is complicated and you’ll spend most of it replacing your passport.  If it is stolen, you’re open to fraudlent activity as well.  Take a smartphone photo of the photo page of your passport and keep that with you.  A paper copy of this page of your passport works well too.  Leave your passport at your hotel so you’re worry free of any mishaps.

Keep you passport safe! Super important!

Keep you passport safe! Super important!

Best Travel Agent tip – Use a travel professional to plan and book travel.  And, there are many well qualified travel professionals ready to help you have the trip of a lifetime.  For a list of local agents contact the American Society of Ttravel Agents (ASTA) at www.asta.org 

A travel agent can work one-on-one with you to plan your trip, making it less stressful for you. Photo credit: Wavebreak Media

A travel agent can work one-on-one with you to plan your trip, making it less stressful for you.
Photo credit: Wavebreak Media

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