You and your S.O. may have traveled together in the past, but your honeymoon isn’t just any trip. It’s most likely longer, more exotic, and more expensive than your previous vacations, meaning it deserves just as much careful attention as your wedding day. That’s where a travel agent comes in! Hiring a travel agent for your honeymoon will help make planning this once-in-a-lifetime trip almost as enjoyable as the trip itself - and comes with a number of benefits that will help make your honeymoon even more amazing. Beyond just booking flights and hotel rooms, they can give you insight into the most romantic destinations, the best activities and excursions, and those memory-making moments that you might not experience otherwise. So let’s let the pros themselves walk us through all the reasons you should hire a travel agent for your honeymoon.
1. Travel agents are actually affordable!
This luxury service doesn’t have to eat up your entire budget before you’ve even boarded a plane. Each agent will price differently, with some charging initial fees, some charging fees on certain services, and others not charging any fees to you at all (instead being compensated by the hotels and other travel suppliers they work with). “I personally never charge a fee when booking hotels for my clients, but do have a flight service charge of $50-$70 per ticket to cover the flight specialist assisting with the booking,” says luxury travel advisor Addie Bell of Jetset & Travel. Adds Alexandra Stockton of Alexandra Stockton Luxury Travel, “I also don’t charge a fee, but even if the agent you choose does charge a nominal fee, he or she will have access to benefits and upgrades that will give you an even more luxe experience, plus insight and relationships to help you get the best deal and save money, so that small fee is going to be worth it!” For example, Katie Frederick Jacobson, founder of Ever After Honeymoons, does charge an up front service fee. “I take on a very limited amount of clients at a time to be able to provide a more customized and detailed service, so I charge a $100 fee up front. If clients want a more involved itinerary that includes activities, special experiences, and spa appointments, I charge an additional concierge fee.”
Of course, you’ll want to get an understanding of charges and fees before you’ve hired an agent or started booking, just like you would with any other wedding vendor. “Ask any travel agent you’re inquiring with to explain any fees that are included, whether their own or those of their partner service providers - especially if you’re going to be charged before the itinerary is completely to your liking,” says Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato.
2. Booking with a travel agent comes with a lot of perks.
Sure, you can reserve a hotel room online yourself, but having a travel agent do the booking means you’ll get to enjoy the perks and upgrades they’ve secured with the properties where they have strong relationships. “Using a travel agent is the easiest way to get VIP treatment!” Stockton says. From special requests and preferences to in-room amenities (think a bottle of your favorite wine waiting when you arrive at your honeymoon suite), a travel agent will work behind the scenes to make your trip extra special. “When booking through me, I’m also able to offer my clients perks like daily breakfast, resort credits, priority for available upgrades, and better prices than those listed online,” Bell explains. As Jacobson says, you can’t VIP yourself - but your travel agent can do it for you!
3. Outsourcing your planning to a travel agent makes booking easier.
“Using a travel agent will save you time and money, as well as include added value through additional amenities,” says Bell. “I handle all of the logistics for my clients - giving them time to focus on planning their wedding instead!” And by working with a reputable travel agent affiliated with a name-brand agency, you’ll also get the VIP treatment that comes along with the relationships they’ve built with properties around the world.
4. A travel agent will help you find the perfect honeymoon destination...
Not sure where you want to go? A great travel agent has traveled extensively themselves, meaning they can point you in the direction of the best destination for you and your partner. “We have personally scouted over 80 countries in search of the world’s best hotels, restaurants, activities and attractions. Our extensive first-hand expertise allows us to curate the perfect itinerary,” says Kristen Korey Pike, founder & CEO of KK Travels Worldwide. “The internet is an overwhelming place, and it’s hard to know which resources to trust,” adds Stockton. “Travel advisors have first-hand knowledge and connections all over the world, so they can help you navigate it all. Remember: A hotel’s great reviews doesn’t mean it will be right for you!” A travel agent will get to know your preferences, your wants, and your needs, then use that to suggest an itinerary that you and your partner will love - from the perfect hotel to exciting tours and delicious restaurant reservations.
5. … And make sure you’re taking the trip of a lifetime.
“A top-tier travel agency should have first-hand local knowledge of the destination you’re interested in to avoid tourist traps and obvious tick box experiences,” says Marchant. “At Black Tomato, our travel agents are regionalized destination experts, who will work with you to curate a completely customized trip with bespoke experiences that speak to both you and your partner's shared interests and passions - the kind that you can't find via a basic Google search.” They’ll create an itinerary that reflects your travel style and personalities (just like all that personalization you’ve put into your wedding!), even if it takes 15 iterations of itineraries and multiple destination changes to find the perfect trip for you.
6. There’s a lot travel agents know that the internet won’t tell you.
Is there anything worse than arriving to your amazing beachfront resort only to realize half the property is under construction, or to discover that the suite you reserved at a downtown hotel has views of the nearby parking garage instead of the city skyline? “A travel agent knows which rooms are in the best location, when the hotel pool is being re-tiled, and all sorts of other details you can’t find online, meaning we can either make the most of your stay or guide you toward a different property,” Stockton explains. A great travel agent will also connect you with the very best guides, tours, and local attractions. “We vet all of our private guides, pre-arrange transfers to avoid frustrating delays, and work closely with a local team to ensure seamless travel from inception to execution,” says Marchant.
7. Travel agents are also great resources once you’re already traveling.
If you’ve ever had a delayed flight, missed a connection, or found yourself stuck in a foreign country longer than expected, you know how stressful travel snafus can be. But having a travel agent on-call can help you navigate those challenges with ease. “We have relationships with GMs at so many luxury hotels, meaning we can really quickly address any problems you might have with your lodging,” says Bell. “And if you booked your flights through a specialist, things like changed itineraries or delays can be quickly handled with our ability to make changes, book new flights, or connect you to VIP lines instead of the hours-long hold for customer service.” That’s because your flight specialist will be watching your flights throughout your trip, ready to step in and find a solution before you even know there’s a problem. A travel agent will also be able to alert anyone else who needs to know about your travel changes, from the driver meeting you at the airport to the tour guide who wouldn’t otherwise know you’re going to miss your train from London to Paris.
8. Travel agents love wedding planners - and Instagram!
Not sure where to find a great travel agent? Ask your wedding planner! “I partner with a number of planners to work on room blocks, bachelor and bachelorette getaways, and honeymoons,” says Bell. So if you love your planner, she or he may know a travel agent you’ll love just as much! And in this day and age, all the top travel agents have curated Instagram accounts showcasing where they’ve been, where they love to go, and where they’re sending clients - so you can get a feel for whether their travel style is right for you before you even send an inquiry.
9. Even the experts know when to call in an expert.
Sure, booking a beachfront resort or a boutique hotel in Copenhagen may not need the help of a travel agent (though hopefully by now you’re planning to hire one anyway!), but particularly exotic, specific, or logistic-heavy destinations are infinitely easier to navigate with the help of a pro. “Working with an agent that specializes in a particular niche is definitely helpful!” says Jacobson. “I can speak to a mix of destinations depending on the vibe you’re looking for, and then partner with incredible suppliers based in destinations like India or Africa who can provide local contacts and expertise.” And using a travel agent can often be the only way to get connected to these sought-after and highly experienced pros. “Many of the best specialized travel companies only work with travel advisors, meaning you wouldn’t have access to their services if you were booking on your own,” says Stockton. “It’s these locally-based groups that enable me to offer the best services and experiences to my clients, provide contacts in the country where they’re traveling, and be even better equipped to solve any problems that might arise in real time.” Consider that destination-based partner an extension of your travel agent. “The special contacts we build while traveling allow us to provide a personal touch that cannot be obtained through any credit card company or online booking engine,” Korey Pike says.