Who do I call first - travel agents or resorts?

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FutureMrsBeatty Posts : 4 Registered: 1/9/10
Who do I call first - travel agents or resorts?
Posted: Jan 10, 2010 1:37 PM

Fi is super excited to start calling resorts and lock one down (I am too!). Will we screw ourselves if we start calling travel agents and resorts at the same time? In other words what's the order so you can get the best deal? If we go thru an agent, can we still call the resort with questions, so we can hear the answers ourselves? Thanks! Lisa

PS - we are thinking all-inclusive in Dominican Republic.

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Who do I call first - travel agents or resorts?
Posted: Jan 10, 2010 4:14 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsBeatty

If you just plan to go to one resort and would feel better walking into a travel agent's office with some knowledge of the going rates, contact a couple of places first. Nothing wrong with that. If you think you want a more complicated trip, I would contact an agent first. They have loads of information and options at their fingertips that you might have trouble finding out on your own since they're the professional and you're not. You can tell them exactly what you're looking for, your budget, etc., and then they can present you with choices.

Also, know that just because you walk in there (or call) to talk to an agent doesn't mean you're then obligated to book through them. What ours did (and I'm assuming a lot of them work this way) was give us booklets and brochures that included activities and pricing, we took them home to browse, and then when we were ready to book, we went back to her. So it may save you some time to go to an agent first only because you can tell them "We're looking for a resort with A, B & C activities and only have this much to spend," and they may be able to present you with possible options right away.

One additional advantage to a travel agent: if any problems come up, they can act as a go-between between you and the resort or, as was the case with us, the travel outfitter. We lost out on a scheduled night of our honeymoon in Belize because we got trapped in Texas due to weather. We had insured our trip, and shen we returned to the US our agent helped us through the claims process and contacted the resort where we'd lost the night to get the necessary paperwork to provide to the insurance co.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who do I call first - travel agents or resorts?
Posted: Jan 10, 2010 6:37 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsBeatty

Dear Mrs B,

You will certainly screw the travel agent if you ask that person to do all kinds of research for you, the go behind her back and book directly with the resort. Travel agents get paid to be expert consultants for travel. They also help should anything go wrong with the trip.

Because resorts and cruises are dependent on travel agents, typically they will not discount their rack rates below what you could get from a travel agent. Resorts, as well as cruise lines, won't bite the hand that feeds them. They deal with you once. They deal with the travel agent hundreds of times.

Here is my suggestion.

Do some online research into resorts, and pick three or four that appeal to you. Print out their home page, then go to a competant, recommended travel agent. (Recommended by friends and relatives. Ask everyone you know if they know a good travel agent specializing in Caribbean resorts.)

Talk to that person about what appeals to you in the resorts you have selected. Lots of scuba diving? Elegant restaurants? Package deal? Land tours?

Next, listen to what the travel agent suggests. She might know that one of your choices is fantastic. She might know that one of your three is a real dump, and that other clients have complained. She might know that one is brand new and hasn't fully trained their staff yet. She might know of simliar resorts that might be of interest to you.

Think about all this, and if the travel agent has truly been helpful to you, then book through her. If the travel agent has been useless, with no new information. no good advice, then consider seeing another travel agent or just booking a place yourself.

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Madyson31 Posts : 9 Registered: 12/23/09
Re: Who do I call first - travel agents or resorts?
Posted: Jan 13, 2010 9:56 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsBeatty

I would contact a travel agent. That is what we did after I started totally stressing because hotels weren't getting back to me and my phone bill was through the roof. I got a bunch of recommendations to use VIP Vacations and have been super surprised by how easy it has made things. My travel agent Jennifer and I know many brides on here are using her. I would totally give her a try. here is the website www.travelbyvip.com

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Who do I call first - travel agents or resorts?
Posted: Jan 14, 2010 9:33 AM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsBeatty

For something like a honeymoon, I'd definitely suggest a travel agent. I do most of my vacation booking online through Expedia but for our honeymoon I felt better speaking to soemone in person, and booking eveyrthing together through one company. Also travel agents run sales all the time that maybe the hotels don't. Also any hotel website I've seen that books the airfare with the hotel is practically double the price of what you'd pay online or through a travel agent

Also I know when booking through an agent, you have a point of contact should something happen on your trip. If you need to change your flights or something is going wrong...you call your agent and they fix it. I think if you book everything yourself through the hotel, you may not get the attention you would need....

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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foreverurs Posts : 31 Registered: 10/1/08
Re: Who do I call first - travel agents or resorts?
Posted: Jan 18, 2010 3:08 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsBeatty

I priced things out for weeks on my own...I called the hotel, made lots of long distance calls and finally got the name of a great travel agent on here. Many brides mentioned Jennifer at VIP Vacations. She was very good at answering my questions and did way more for me than I could have imagined. I would not ever do a group event without using a travel agent! EVER!

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jackson132 Posts : 1,623 Registered: 9/13/12
Re: Who do I call first - travel agents or resorts?
Posted: Dec 24, 2012 1:23 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsBeatty

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