Recently I was reminded of a few hidden travel agent services that I routinely provide. These will not make the top 10 list or even mentioned in our previous post on the travel agent services. Both occurred in the past few days from current clients. And both made the travel process so much less stressful for my clients – and even saved them money.
Some cruise lines offer already booked guests an upgrade. Sometimes they are even complimentary. For example, some of my clients on AmaWaterways are lucky enough to receive these. But many times the upgrade offer comes with a fee – albeit reduced. Oceania does this all the time. They will offer to upgrade you to the next cabin category at a lower incremental price than existed before they booked. For example, if the difference between a balcony cabin and concierge class balcony was $1250 at time of booking, they may offer the upgrade for $1000.
So this is the question my client had when I sent them the offer: is this a good value? Should I take it? I’ve seen this before. I advised him that even though I’ve seen it offered for as low as $250 (a great deal), most times on this ship / sailing, I’ve seen it at $750. So the client declined the offer to upgrade for $1000. And sure enough a week or so later, we received an offer for $750 and we jumped on it. Without this information, how do you know if you should accept the cruise company’s offer or not?
Booking air? Watch the oops
Face it, booking air is no fun. Many times my river cruise clients will book air through the river cruise company for several reasons. First of course is cost. Second, transfers are included. Finally, it’s advantageous if you are going to purchase insurance (as most of my clients do).
But sometimes it just makes more sense for a client to book air themselves. The other day a client called to tell me he mistakenly booked his air out of the wrong city. I gave him advice and some options. After checking with the airline, he decided to keep the airline itinerary to avoid large change fees and instead we changed the land portion to match up. Without my help, the client was inclined to incur all sorts of cancellation penalties.
Ensuring the lowest Insurance cost
I almost always recommend travel insurance; I’ve just seen too many people spend way too much money they could have avoided. The vast majority of my customers get both trip cancellation and medical insurance. But there’s no one size fits all. Last week a client called me to ask about insurance (I send reminders to my clients asking about insurance before they make final payment. In fact, I require my clients to send a written reply if they don’t get insurance – that’s how important I think it is). After talking for about 30 minutes we decided that for this particular client, the best approach would be to forgo trip cancellation insurance but get the medical evacuation and care insurance. This saved the client a few hundred dollars.
Hidden travel agent services
These are but a few examples of some of the advantages of booking with a travel agent…..at least a good travel agent. Face it, some are better than others. Each of these clients were very happy to have an expert to call, without paying any additional fees. And actually, all three saved money. My day is filled with calls just like these from clients that have already booked but have questions and just need some advice. Hidden travel agent services can help you get the most out of your vacation.
Like this advice? There’s plenty more right on this blog. For example: