By Jaimie Mackey. Photos: Getty.
You've turned to the pros as you've planned your wedding, from your planner and florist to your caterer, photographer, and hairstylist. After all, there are some things you just shouldn't do yourself on your wedding day! So why not apply that same logic to your honeymoon and turn to a travel agent for help booking, scheduling, and really making it the trip of a lifetime? Michelle Gordon, director of operations at Jetset World Travel, is here to walk you through what a travel agent can do to take your honeymoon to the next level. So get off that booking website and keep reading!
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"A travel agent is so much more than a person in an office making flight reservations," says Gordon. "We create personalized experiences based around your preferences, your destination, and your interests. We offer insider access and VIP experiences that you just can't get anywhere else." And you can be as involved (or as hands-off!) as you'd like. "We'll help with everything from A to Z to make sure the little details are taken care of and alleviate the stress, but we'll also work closely with you to create the experience you're looking for." Jetset World Travel has new clients fill out a questionnaire to help its travel agents really zero in on what will make a trip perfect for you. Gordon and her team are thinking about where you've traveled before, how you like to spend your free time, your pet peeves, and even your essential hotel amenities to make sure every aspect of your trip is expertly curated. There's no copy-pasting other people's trips here!
When you book through a travel agent, you can be sure that you'll be taken care of every step of the way. "We have fantastic partners in all corners of the globe that act as an extension of our company," Gordon explains. "This means no matter where in the world you travel, you will have a seamless experience from start to finish, as well as 24/7 support locally in case you need it."
While hiring a travel agent will cost you a little extra, it's really worth it. "Our particular niche is the luxury market, and that's where we have the best relationships. This means you'll be treated like a VIP, as well as receive the best value," says Gordon. "Many properties will offer our clients complimentary amenities because they're traveling with us." That could be daily breakfast, a spa credit, or room upgrades—which equals $100 to $300 in savings per night!
And a great travel agent will be budget conscious, no matter what. "We ask about budget before we plan anything, then work backwards," says Gordon. "We divide the budget out over the number of nights you'll be traveling, giving us a per-day amount to divide between flights, transfers, accommodations, tours, and excursions. This ensures we're recommending destinations and experiences that align with your budget."
Convinced? When it does come time to hire a travel agent, it's all about finding a great one. "Many travel agents specialize in specific destinations or certain types of travel (like traveling with kids or planning honeymoons), so find one who fits what you're looking for," Gordon advises. Then ask question. "Find out how their process works, what kind of value they can add to your trip, which destinations may work based on your likes, dislikes, and interests, their fee structure, and how much experience they have with the destination you're visiting." You'll also want to know just how much help you're getting, whether it's simply flights and hotels or other trip accessories (such as dining recommendations, spa menus, and other ways to enhance your trip). "We handle all of these, from suggesting private dining on the beach to scheduling a couples massage on the first day to help you get over jet lag," says Gordon.
A great travel agent will spend a lot of time getting to know the two of you. "They should ask you a lot of questions to figure out your likes and dislikes, as well as help educate you on the destination you've chosen. The more you share with one another, the more they'll be able to customize your vacation," Gordon says. At the end of the day, trust your gut. "Work with someone who wants to get to know you and your fiancé better. Every honeymoon should be truly one of a kind and tailored to you!"
This story originally appeared on Brides.
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