Post # 1
Bees I need your help!
I’m torn because on one hand a travel agent can help you get organized, help your guests book their rooms and flight, and update you on who has booked. And I think it makes your wedding appear more organized to guests. They don’t have to book through the TA but it’s nice to have the option.
On the other hand, people can easily book themselves these days on Orbitz, Expedia, and other sites. I’m worried that the travel agent won’t be able to get my guests the same low rates I’m seeing online.
She keeps saying my wedding is during a high travel week (weekend before Easter) and hotels could get booked fast (I know mine wont’ b/c it’s 2 sister resorts and they’re both huge). She recommends signing a contract with the hotel so that it locks in the same room rate for everyone. But I’d rather not have to make a huge down payment and require guests to pay 3 months in advance. If they contact her on their own they have to pay in full 45 days in advance, which is much better considering the wedding is in 8 1/2 months.
She also charges $100, which is refundable at the end. What do you bees think?
ETA: If you vote Yes or No, please tell me why and share your experience.
Post # 3
I did and it was the BEST thing I did!!! We are getting married in February and have 75 people booked already.
It costs $50 and that money goes towards the price of your trip. It was TOTALLY worth it for all her help, expertise and all the work she did to book our guests. She has been the one keeping them up to date about the paperwork, she put all the information on the website, she has made sure everyone has the proper documents… she has been amazing. And she told us very early on “your job is just to be the bride. when someone asks you a question, play dumb and direct them to me”. And that is what we have done. She has been AMAZING at deal with our crazy friends and families.
Post # 4
I have booked numerous international trips myself, and I am comfortable doing it, but I booked my honeymoon with a travel agent. It makes sense because you have so much else to worry about, and if there is any hitch, it will be nice to punt it to someone who has the time/energy to deal with the issue (if she’s any good at her job). Same with other guests, I would like the option of being “taken care of” vs. shopping for a deal. Plus the agent brings extra knowledge that isn’t as necessary on a fun vacation but might be key in coordinating people for an event, like layover issues and whatnot.
My friend had a story: she went to Bora Bora for her honeymoon and left her sunglasses there…she thought. The travel agent searched high and low, airports and hotels, while my friend was flying home…and they were shipped back to her shortly after. On another occasion, she had an issue with a hotel, and the travel agent knew the best way to solve it, particularly since they were speaking a foreign language.
If you’re worried about price, I would do an independent search online and call out the agent if her price is way different. In booking our honeymoon, when I was debating hiring her or not, I did a comparison and it was very similar, but I did ask her about this and she was mostly cool with it.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Reign14: Are you booking an all inclusive resort? If so, there really isn’t a need for a travel agent. If you will be traveling to multiple hotels/cities in the country, it’s a good idea to hire a planner familiar with the DR because they can troubleshoot any issues you may have.
Post # 6
@mu_t: thanks for posting about that site! Where are you having your DW?
Post # 7
@beachbride1216: The benefits would be having a point person that my guests can go to for booking their trip, having a tally of everyone who has booked, being placed in the same vicinity at the hotel, and possible perks/discounts for me and FI’s reservation.
Post # 8
We didn’t use a travel agent to book our Destination Wedding. We booked everything ourselves. A travel agent will automatically add a booking fee and will steer you towards vendors that they get a commission from.
You are right when you say that a travel agent (unless they are a friend or relative) will rarely be able to match the prices of online travel sites.
Post # 9
I used a travel agent because some of my guests have never been on a cruise. That being said, I’ve reminded everyone to be proactive. Sometimes travel agents don’t have the same flexibility in fees as booking by yourself. Case in point everyone’s cruise is though my travel agent but when he quoted 700pp for a flight that I saw on southwest for 800 for 3 people. That’s a no brainer.
Post # 10
Edited: realized this is under destination weddings. If you have guests that you think cannot do it themselves (ie… older relatives or those who just aren’t too picky/savvy) then it might be good to have a travel agent to get everyone locked into place. I’m sure you could plan your own flights, but set them up with someone if they need help? Not entirely sure of the logistics but I could see how your guests could need it when you don’t.
Post # 11
@gemchick82: What did you mean by this…? “Sometimes travel agents don’t have the same flexibility in fees as booking by yourself.” You mean they can get you better prices? I’m assuming so since you mentioned that he got your guests flights for $100 cheaper than you found on line.
I always thought the TA’s prices would be slightly higher since they’re adding their fee in there somewhere.
Post # 12
We chose a travel agent that we recommended for guests to use but also established with guests that they did not have to use that or any travel agent. We let guests know that we did not use a travel agent at all but if they wanted to use one, they were free to and if they wanted to find out about group rates to call the representative for details.
Post # 13
@Reign14: she said the travel agent was $700 for 1 person, she found it as $800 for 3 people, hence, booking it yourself was cheaper
Post # 14
@Reign14: Sorry if that wasn’t clear. My TA wanted 700pp (per person), Southwest was 800 for 3 people ($267 per person). My TA couldn’t get us a better deal on the flight because he had TA administrative fees as well as other stuff.
The point I was trying to make is make sure even if you have a TA double check your prices so that you’re truly getting a better deal rather than just convienience.
Post # 15
@BruinBeeMPH: i seriously have loved it, i thought she has been totally worth the $50. especially since our wedding is pretty big!
we are getting married at melia caribe in punta cana, dominican republic!