Don’t sweat the small stuff. And by small stuff we mean travel arrangements for 75 to Puerto Vallarta. Not to mention that little matter of planning your perfect honeymoon. Instead, hand over the chore of organizing flights, itineraries, and lodging to a pro. But how to find the perfect travel pro for your needs?
Enter Randy Faulkner of Randy’s Travel Works, Inc. and Helen and Ellen Hightower of Twin Connection Travel—two top-rated Thumbtack travel companies—with insider info on how to hire a destination wedding and honeymoon travel specialist.
What questions should someone ask before hiring a travel specialist?
Both pros agree, always ask if the specialist charges a fee before getting started. Randy strongly recommends inquiring if the company provides support during the trip. You don’t want a problem with your resort reservation in Thailand and to be stuck without backup after an 18 hour flight. Her company offers 24/7 assistance for just that type of event. She also suggests confirming if the company is affiliated Better Business Bureau. Be sure to check those reviews!
How can a travel specialist help with destination weddings?
It’s all about making your life easier. Randy’s clients direct destination wedding guests to her company via their wedding website or invites. She manages everyone’s specialized travel needs (extra bed, want an ocean view, arriving a day late, etc.) so the wedding couple doesn’t go crazy trying to sort out each detail. Ellen elaborates that travel experts provide personal concierge services from helping to select the ideal destination and accommodations down to every last detail during the stay. Randy adds that travel specialists have access to discounts and can create customized wedding travel packages according to budget and date.
How can a travel specialist help with honeymoon planning?
It’s the specialist’s job to get the best pricing at the best location for the dream honeymoon, according to Randy. If you’re unsure of where you want to go, pros can guide you to the hottest honeymoon destinations, or still-undiscovered gems for a sweetheart of an experience. Travel specialists often have contacts or know about add-ons and amenities that you might not find or have access to when searching the internet, so a pro can end up saving you dough (along with lots of extra work).
How does using a travel specialist help with saving money?
The main factor, says Randy, is saving people time and money. She has access to special airfare rates that are not available online to the public. She offers a price match guarantee for some components. She can create special deals due to her work with industry wholesalers. The bottom line, she says, is that “if I didn’t save people money, I wouldn’t still have a thriving business after all these years.”
Ellen also points out that travel specialists have relationships with vendors and can provide a cost comparison for clients.
Are travel specialists only for people with big budgets? What are creative ways people can use travel services like yours?
Travel specialists are for everyone at any stage in the process. Ellen is able to help clients decide where they want to go with the help of questions to narrow down areas of interest and a checklist to ensure they receive everything on their travel wish list.
Randy agrees that travel pros can work with any budget. Her company doesn’t charge fees, and she’s able to redirect couples with unrealistic ideas (say, 3 weeks in Bali for $800) by reducing the amount of nights or changing the location or season. There’s always a solution, and you’re apt to get closer to your dream when you work with a seasoned vet.
What’s a memorable honeymoon you planned and what made it unique?
Twin Connection Travel worked with a wonderful couple who was unsure about where they wanted to go. After the couple answered qualifying questions and checked off their wish list of things they wanted to do, Ellen found them the perfect tour package in Europe. The bride was able to relax since the company was helping with this special trip that marked the start of their life together. After returning from the honeymoon, Ellen received a message stating it was the best vacation of their lives so far. That feedback is so rewarding and makes Twin Connection’s job fulfilling.
This was a tough one for Randy’s Travel Works. She has enjoyed seeing so many couples happy. Some of the perks of her job are connecting newlyweds with non-stop transfers, free upgrades, champagne and flowers in room, couples massages, or sending them to dream destinations, like Bora Bora and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. She loves customizing an experience to exactly what a couple wants and making their honeymoon memorable within their budget.
Basically, travel pros make your life easier and your destination wedding or honeymoon more organized. They take the load off your shoulders so you can just relax and stress about all the other wedding planning you’re doing.