Q: Why should I use a travel agent?
A: When you travel, you book through people, and those people earn commissions. In the travel industry, commissions are usually already included in the price. When you book directly, you contact many diverse companies in order to satisfy your transportation, destination, activity, and hospitality needs. As you contact each company, the employees you speak with, including desk agents and phone operators, will typically receive the commissions generated from your bookings. These people work for the companies with which you are doing business and are paid to represent their interests, with little ability to coordinate with each other.
When you go through an independent agent, the independent agent simply earns the same commissions that the other individuals would have otherwise received, all while representing you instead of the other parties. In the end, you will benefit from a higher level of service. As an independent agent, we work for you and our loyalties lie with you. From the moment we receive your first call, we will be working hard to ensure that your destinations and connections flow smoothly together. We pay attention to your goals, research your options and, once you approve, we handle your bookings. In most cases, our work is done at no additional charge to you. Fostering long-term relationships with our clients is our primary goal and we will strive to exceed your expectations each and every time you allow us to serve you. Someone is making a commission when you travel, so wouldn't you rather that person be working for you?
Q: Do you Recommend Travel Insurance? Why?
A: Yes, I would almost always recommend travel insurance. Travel insurance not only protects your vacation investment, but it also protect you, your party, and even your belongings.
The primary purpose of travel insurance is to protect your travel investment if you're unable to follow through on your travel plans. If you have to cancel, whether it be for medical emergency, inclement weather, lack of funds, or any other unforeseen circumstance, travel insurance will allow you to recoup your investment, minus the cost of the insurance itself. Personally, I've had to use it twice myself when medical issues in my extended family caused us to change our plans at the last minute. Some packages are so comprehensive, you can even get your money back without giving any reason at all.
Travel insurance can also protect you and your party during your travels. If you develop a medical condition, suffer injury, or if political unrest n a foreign country causes a change of plans, your insurance will cover your additional expenses. Some plans will even cover loss or damage to your belongings while traveling. Most plans even cover medical, legal, and concierge services at no additional charge.
Travel insurance it completely optional, and not everyone opts to use it, but I would personally never travel without it.
: Do I need a passport?
A: Passports are almost always required when traveling outside of the United States. There is one exception to this rule, and that only applies to ships which both embark and disembark at the same domestic port. In that instance, a certified birth certificate is allowable. However, even then, a passport is preferred. Generally, it is best to always have a current passport when traveling. For more information, please visit travel.state.gov.