Post # 1
Fiance and I are now this-close to booking a Costa Rican honeymoon! We originally wanted Cook Islands, but the prce and travel time steered us away from that. We plan to stay eight nights at the Occidental Grand Papagayo and take day trips to places like Arenal and Palo Verde.
I have two prices quoted for the trip, one from Orbitz and one from a local travel agent via Delta Vacations. They are for the same flight schedule and same level of extras added on (trip insurance, round trip transportation from the airport to the hotel), but the Orbitz includes an ocean view room and the Delta Vacations trip has “normal” room. The Orbitz quote is $3,373 and the local travel agent’s quote is $3,692. These prices include all fees and taxes. A little over $300 less from Orbitz, and the Orbitz package also includes a honeymoon promotion that has a few little extras – room upgrade at check in, special check in, flowers in room, and 10% off a coupless massage.
Can anyone offer any advice about which of these to choose? Are there benefits to using a live, in-operson travel agent in a case like this? Or should we just save money and bok ourselves through Orbitz? We already met with the owner of the travel agency and she gave us tons of information, maps, and brochures for resorts and activities in Costa Rica.
Post # 3
I’m getting married and honeymooning in Costa Rica in a month or so. From what I’ve read on Trip Advisor, CR hotels prefer you book directly- which for you would be more of the travel agent route than the Orbitz route. I would recommend telling the travel agent about the Orbitz room deal and ask if he/she can arrange the same.
Post # 4
Your local agent should be able to price match the online sites.
One of the many benefits of using an agent should be to manage flight schedule changes as they occur, guaranteing that you won’t get bumped from the hotel that you book, ( which happens frequently to online bookers), and ensuring that your transfers, insurance, etc, are all in order. Utilizing the services of a local agent also helps you support local business, which is always a good thing!
Post # 5
Either works, but I give you this advice: if you book through Orbitz, call or email the hotels afterwards to confirm your reservation. I know it’s a pain and it’s nothing I would normally do — but when we went last year, one of our hotels (in Tamarindo) never got the Orbitz reservation. They **almost** didn’t have a room for us when we showed up. Luckily, they had one opening. But even then, we had to switch rooms about 3 times during our stay there in order to squeeze us in. We majorly lucked out. So yeah, Orbitz is ok, but I think sometimes they dont “talk” well with the CR vendors.
Post # 6
I said local travel agency. We just got back from CR and used a online travel agency. We had to call them a couple times to get information and verify some of the transfers and it helped that they were familiar with the area. Orbitz might be too but I’m not sure. We had a great experiance and really like how everything was so organized. There was nothing unexpected in the plans which is great when you are in a foreign country. Have a great time there!! We did!!
Post # 7
Thanks for all the great advice everyone! We went with the local travel agency, and they price matched the Orbitz price, so we got the best of both worlds. I hadn’t thought of asking them to price match before!