Friday, September 4, 2009

Caribbean Night in Baltimore Area!

We are hosting a Caribbean Night at White Marsh Library next Thursday, September 10th. This is an in depth look at Sandals and Beaches Resorts and the islands they are on. If you wanted to know more about these properties and live in the Baltimore area, rsvp by clicking on the link.

Why use a travel agent?

Travel Agents save you time and money!

With the internet playing a big roll in booking travel these days, I would like to tell you the benefits of using a travel agency for all your travel needs. When you need a haircut, do you cut it yourself? You could, but you don't, you go to a hair salon and have a professional do it. Would you pull out your own teeth? No you go to a dentist. I could go on and on, but I believe my point has been made. Here are a few reasons to use a travel agent from the American Society of Travel Agents:
· Customer advocacy: If you have a problem with a particular part of your travel experience, the agent is there to act on your behalf to see that restitution is made. ASTA, for example, is the only travel industry association aggressively fighting to improve the travel experience, and air transportation in particular, for all consumers, not just those with access to the Internet.
· Expert guidance: Travel agents, unlike instructions on a Web page, are experts in understanding and deciphering the myriad of travel information and codes out there. It's what they've been trained to do and they do it every day.
· Personalized service: Instead of an impersonal voice thousand of miles away, travel agents are you neighbors. They know what you want and what you value in your travel experience.
· Professional advice: Travel agents are there to make sure you get where you want to go, when you want to go and for the lowest price.
· Time: Instead of checking a long list of travel Web pages, which only provide rates and fares for the companies that have contracted with them, why not go straight to the source? A travel agent has all the information at their fingertips, saving you a few hours in front of a computer screen.
· Unbiased information: Agents work for their clients, not for a travel supplier. It makes sense that a happy customer will be a repeat customer.

Every travel agency is different and accordingly, some are better suited to a given consumer than others. Here are some tips provided by us on choosing a travel agent who is right for you.
· Go with the Pros: Look for the ASTA label. Through its continuing education and training programs, ASTA prepares its members to operate high-caliber, competitive businesses.
· Ask Around: Tap friends, neighbors and relatives who use an agent they trust. You may want to visit or call several agencies to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider everything from the appearance of the office to the agent's willingness to listen and answer questions. The best agents want to establish a long-term relationship with a client, not just make one sale.
· Ask about Fees: Good agents will notify their clients of any additional fees, including service fees, up front. Doing otherwise is pointless, as the fee will appear as a separate charge on the client's credit card bill.
· Check Credentials: Many agents have been trained in business management, travel and tourism or geography. Others have supplemented their agency experience with extensive education and training courses. Some travel agents are Certified Travel Counselors (CTC) through the Travel Institute or Master Cruise Counselors (MCC) through the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Find Out an Agency's Track Record: Visit to see whether a member agency has had a complaint against it in the prior six months. Check with the local Better Business Bureau, while keeping in mind they will only have records of agencies that have had reports filed against themSo why not try using a travel agent for your next vacation? It doesn't cost extra, as our suppliers pay us. It saves you time and money, because we have a vast array of suppliers that have the lowest prices. If they don't, they always price match as long as the packages are exactly the same. So even if you find a trip on your own surfing the internet, you can still use our services and get the extra benefits such as free upgrades, coupons, and amenities. For your next trip, try our agents and get taken care of properly from the start!