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First Meeting with Travel Agent

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CNYHopeful

Shiny_Rock
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Oct 9, 2008
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360
So excited! FI and I are visiting the travel agent for the first time tomorrow ! We already talked about a couple of initial questions we want to ask before we get down to comparing rates (stiill a lot of time before the prices come out). I guess I''m curious to know what other couples have done and what questions you went in with for a first consultation.

We are both really excited about Ireland so that makes it very easy from here. How would all of you like to spend your honeymoon (% - relaxation & couples time, % site-seeing leisure, % planned activities)?
 

Deelight

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
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5,543
Whatever price they give your on insurance, flights, hotels what not research them on the internet then take the prices back they will beat them - we saved over 4k on our RTW trip this way
.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
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10,541
We are huge internet travel buyers and our HM was the first time either FI or I have used a TA. We were going to try to do it ourselves, but we want to go to two different locations in Central America (the jungle and the beach in Belize), and we felt it would be too much trouble/too risky to set up our own travel and transfers. We would prefer to go with an established company for that stuff.

I would definitely ask your TA what the deposit/payment schedule is like. We were surprised with a random $350 deposit requirement from one of the two resorts we''re staying at which came right after a $350 deposit on our airfare. We were able to make both, but were surprised. Also, be sure to ask about trip insurance or what sort of recourse you have if the airfare drops in price between when you book and when you fly. Some places give you the option of lining up sight-seeing trips through the Agent, resort, or on your own. Usually it''s cheaper to do it on your own.

We''re doing 3 days in the jungle and 3 days at the beach with cave, jungle (zip line) and Mayan ruin tours while we''re at the jungle destination and then while we''re traveling to the beach. We haven''t set up our beach activities because we''ve read that the resort''s dive shop is kind of a rip off. We''re going to go with another dive shop in the near-by town. We plan to do more relaxing while we''re at the beach and more activities while we''re in the jungle...
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/30/2009 10:22:08 PM
Author: Deelight
Whatever price they give your on insurance, flights, hotels what not research them on the internet then take the prices back they will beat them - we saved over 4k on our RTW trip this way
.
UGH! We did NOT do this.....BOOOOO
 

Deelight

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 4, 2007
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5,543
Date: 3/31/2009 11:04:48 AM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
Date: 3/30/2009 10:22:08 PM

Author: Deelight

Whatever price they give your on insurance, flights, hotels what not research them on the internet then take the prices back they will beat them - we saved over 4k on our RTW trip this way
.

UGH! We did NOT do this.....BOOOOO

If you can get cheaper prices now and threaten to take away the business without losing deposits I would give it a shot :), never hurts to ask.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Nov 2, 2006
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10,541
Hmmmm....not sure about the deposits, we''re 90 days out so we should be able to get those back. I''ll have to look...
 

NuggetBrain

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
206
We are doing 10 days in Costa Rica but I think we''re going to skip the TA. The two hotels we want to stay at have pretty good deals online, and airfare shouldn''t be a problem either. As far as activities, we''re going to do the relaxation and pampering at our first hotel (an all inclusive) and then do the zip lining, river tour, hot springs, etc at our second hotel. The first hotel is located on Playa Conchal beach, the second one is by the Arenal volcano in the jungle so I feel like we''re getting the best of both worlds! Super excited!!
 

meresal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
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5,720
We didn''t use a TA, because our trip is going to be quite simple. Fly one place, get on the boat, get off the boat, and fly home. I''m also a bargain shopper and would have double checked everything they offered anyway.
The only reason we thought about using a TA, is because we are traveling to the S Caribbean in hurricane season, and had heard that they can re-route you quite easily to a new destination at last minute notice... however, once we decided to go with a cruise, we know that they don''t give full refunds so easily. If the boat can sail away from the dock, then they''ll sail wherever they can. Switching our trip last minute was no longer an option.
BTW, how did your meeting go??
 

CNYHopeful

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
360
Hey all!
Thanks for the suggestions and great responses. The meeting went quite welll, yesterday. We basically talked a little about the towns/cities we''ve researched so far, and the kinds of things we''d like to do. The TA was great and gave us information on hotels and sites in Ireland. She suggested that we send her information on the places that we''ve looked into so far and she could track the rates for us and research/compare them to other places they''ve booked before. She asked us to come back again in August when the 2010 rates will be published and we can really work out our itinerary and begin detailing our plans. She answered our questions about passports and name changes, and car rental options, so that was really helpful.

All in all, I think between our own outside research and the TA''s offers, we might be able to work out great deals and an enjoyable trip. It''s so exciting!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
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12,450
Have you ever been to Ireland before, CNY? It''s beautiful, and if you''re planning on seeing a lot of the country on this trip, I''d say you''ll spend a lot of time on the road. We were told that from Dublin to Galway it would be a 1.5 hour drive. Wrong. It took us twice as long, and in fact, we just doubled the time frame that everyone gave us along the way. I mention that only because you might think you''re going to spend X amount of time traveling, but it''s really more.

I''m not sure how long your honeymoon will be (I haven''t further than your initial post, so it might be mentioned already). Are you planning on spending your time in one area of Ireland? I''d suggest doing that. We went there for a friend''s wedding and we were gone for 11 days (two of them were in the air). We drove a lot and saw a lot, with the exception of the far north and the south. We went, as I mentioned, from Dublin to Galway, and we probably spent most of our time in the western part of Ireland.

There''s really such a thing as planning too much on your honeymoon. If you''re a get up and go kind of couple, that''s great. If, on the other hand, you want more time to relax and really get to know one particular area, I''d choose the top sites/counties, etc. and stick with that.

So I know that I didn''t answer your question with percentages, but I hope I helped somewhat.

Have a wonderful time!
 

kama_s

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
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3,617
Research everything like mad. We had to go through a TA for our trip since it's sort of an unusual destination. But I had all my homework done, so I was guiding the TA as opposed to the other way around.

ETA: Just realized you've already met with your TA...oopsies! Good to hear it went well :)
 

CNYHopeful

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
360
Thank you, ZoeBartlett, for the tips. Neither FI or I have been to Ireland before. It''s good to know that the travel actually takes much longer than indicated. There are three places we''ve talked about visiting: Dublin (5 days), Cork (2-3 days), and County Roscommon (1 overnight).

My family is originally from northern Roscommon and we really want to visit Lough Key for a day...but I notice the travel guides offer very little on the Northern midlands... would it be worth driving 3 - 4 hours (according to the 2x travel time rule) from Dublin to northern Roscommon for a day of hiking and sailing? I suppose that''s something we''ll have to discuss amongst ourselves.

It looks like we''ll have 9 or 10 days to actually spend in Ireland (after accounting for the lost day from flight & settling in). Anyone have further insights? Thank you!
 

EricaR

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 3, 2007
Messages
2,392
Make sure to check rates on your own!!! We started talking with two different TAs about our honeymoon and we were able to find better prices by 10-20% on most flights and hotels. Eventually we decided just to book everything on our own as we were doing a tremendous amount of footwork on our own and we were finding much better deals.
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
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Have you checked out TripAdvisor yet?
 

CNYHopeful

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
360
Not yet, we''re just trying to get basic ideas of an itinerary and then will send them information and rates we''ve found and see if they can match or better them. Hopefully a TA could monitor the airfare better than us, but we''ll see.

Freke, I''m not familiar with TripAdvisor but we''ll have to check it out. Thanks!
 
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