booking online travel does not guarantee this

A true ocean view!

Know what you are purchasing!

By now, you’ve probably heard lots of stories of people who purchased online travel packages and didn’t get what they thought they were getting.  Or, as in the case of Erica and Michael, a honeymoon couple from Maryland, who got way more than they were expecting. The newlyweds booked a trip to celebrate their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic through an online travel agency. The trip was cheap — around $3000 for the all-inclusive resort and the airline tickets.

Erica and Michael were excited that they had planned their honeymoon, by themselves. They did not research, further, into things they needed to know.  Once they arrived on the island, they had no idea that things were about to go awry.

Their plane landed, but then, were a little surprised that they had to get off the plane and get on a bus to be brought to the terminal!  Well, “no big deal,” they thought…until, they walked into the terminal…it looked like total chaos!  There were long lines of people trying to get through immigrations.  Unfortunately, they got into the wrong line and were told to get into another line.  After wasting an hour, Erica and Michael retrieved their luggage.

Now what?

They looked at each other, wondering how they were supposed to get to their resort.  They asked someone behind one of the many desks.  “Do you have your voucher for transfers?” they were asked.  Erica looked at the papers she printed and could not find anything regarding transfers.  It cost them $60 to get to the resort.  The online travel agency never “told” them that transfers were not included within their package.

They were on their way, finally.  Once they arrived at the resort, the driver stood there, waiting for a tip…another $5.  They grabbed their luggage and went to the front desk.  The newlyweds wanted to get to their room, change, and go to the beach!

As they were checking in (or, so they thought), the young girl behind the desk informed them that the hotel was oversold and they were being sent to their “sister” resort which was comparable.  “Wait…what?”  “We paid for this resort and an ocean view room!” Michael responded, quite upset.

Unfortunately…this is not uncommon with online travel booking agencies. They are not required to give you EXACTLY what you paid for.  They are, however, required to give you something of the same value.

So, as this couple climbed back into another van to be transferred to the sister resort, they realized that, perhaps, booking their travel online wasn’t such a good idea.  Erica’s mother had suggested that they use a travel agent (rather than an online travel site) to plan their honeymoon, but they thought they could do everything on their own to save some money.  (They were under the impression that travel agents charged extra money.)

Once they arrived at “their” resort, they were checked into a room which overlooked a massive pool, with the ocean far beyond.  Needless to say, the honeymoon of their dreams was not going to be everything they wanted.

How many other travelers have been hit with occurrences like these and haven’t had someone to go to bat for them?

A reputable travel agent will give you your all-in cost, fees included, right up front. Plus, professional travel agents work with tour consolidators who have a “No Walk” policy with the resorts, unlike the online travel agencies.  There should be zero confusion as to how much your trip or package will cost, or what you should expect. That’s what a good agent does. Do not, under any circumstances, do business with an online travel agency that does not provide this information up front.

A good agent (or agency) is there for you from the moment you call to inquire. They will return your emails, your texts, your phone calls. They will answer your questions, fully. They’ll be a phone call away if something unexpected happens on your trip and you need assistance for anything, big or small. They can provide you with top-quality travel insurance so that if something happens — you have to change flights, or your passport gets stolen, or you have a medical emergency — you and your investment will be covered with zero hassle.  Read more about using a travel agent, HERE.

Your vacation or honeymoon should be a source of delight and excitement!

It should be the most relaxing thing you’ve done all year. That’s what professional agents are committed to providing for their clients.

One more important note – begin your planning 9 months to a year before your desired vacation date so you will be able to get the vacation YOU want!  The best suites and the lowest airfares sell out first.  If you delay, you may not get exactly what you want.  Plus, by reserving earlier, you can make payments through your travel agent towards the vacation/honeymoon of your dreams.

If you’re looking for not only the honeymoon or much-needed vacation of your dreams, but also the service, respect, and transparency you deserve, contact Hibiscus Travel at 561.748.8766.  Read more about Hibiscus Travel.

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