I am a pretty frugal guy so when it comes to travel, I like to shop for it myself. However, over the past few months, I just couldn’t focus on planning for our honeymoon (which is in July). We knew for sure that we wanted to go someplace tropical and that was about it. When looking for places to go, I always had questions running through my mind like these:
- Is the local neighborhood safe?
- Is it all inclusive or do we have to pay for food?
- If we have to pay for food, how expensive is it?
- Where do we need to fly out of and do we have long layovers?
- Do they allow kids at the resort?
- Etc., Etc., Etc
See how that can make someone like myself go INSANE! To help thwart off the straitjacket, we decided to go to a travel agent and couldn’t be happier.
Our Decision to Use AAA
As soon as I received my drivers license at 16, I joined AAA. It was a pretty easy decision for me as my grandparents were members for over 50 years (they now receive a free membership because of that) and my mother has been with them for quite a few years as well. However, when I moved to Texas for graduate school, I let my membership expire and I have not renewed.
When we were looking for a travel agent, I really could not find anything in the area that looked reputable. All of the local companies websites looked like they used a computer running Windows MS DOS to set it up. They also probably worked out their home which I wasn’t completely comfortable with. I then thought about my AAA days and remembered that they offer travel services so we decided to give them a try. The greatest part about them was that you do not have to be a member to use their services!
Our Travel Agent
When we got to AAA, we were immediately greeted by the receptionist. She told us that it would be about a 15 minute wait (there were only two agents) and we said that we didn’t mind. When the agent, let’s call her Pam, became available, she was was very professional and asked us the typical questions. What was nice about using Pam’s services was that she had been to most of the places we were looking at! She told us the places to avoid (ironically the ones we were looking at) and where the best deals were at. Of course, the best deals right now are in Mexico. We kindly said no thanks to that! Oink, Oink!
Overall, the experience was great and we are glad that we went. We ended up going with an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica that also has a “clothing optional” beach. Don’t worry, you won’t catch me there! 😉 She also helped us with the flight and got us a non-stop out of Baltimore. I would have never been able to do all of this on my own (without spending HOURS). The resort allows us to drink, eat, etc. as much as our hearts desire. The All-inclusive part just relieves the stress of having to watch every penny you spend on those things.
We didn’t make a decision while there (she didn’t pressure us at all) so we could go home and check stuff out on the web. I ended up searching for a lower price for the resort and could not find one. That was the deciding factor right there and I called back and booked. We even got a free one year membership to AAA out of it!
Have any of you had a similar experience with a travel agent? You like booking travel yourself? Tell us your story!