With such busy lifestyles some of us just don’t have the time or inclination to research for trips. It’s just not convenient!
Others find the extra cost to go through a Travel Agent is way higher than the price on a website.
There’s also the interim payments and accompanying payment schedule which just seems far too expensive and unnecessary if the operator (the cruise line as an example) doesn’t want any more money until much further down the track.
Booking with a Travel Agent
Have you made your travel arrangements yet?
If so, has your Travel Agent been helpful and looking after you?
Are they too busy and they get you to go online to complete any information?
When booking through a Travel Agent, the costs tend to be considerably more which is for the service of having these things done for you and that is why you pay the extra $$$. Right?
But!!! What about the other extra fees?
- Service or booking fee although sometimes it has already been added into the price. Varying.
- Amendment fees – can range $50 – $150.00
- Cancellation fees (usually effective immediately!) varies but a couple can pay up to $600.00 and that’s without the operator taking their portion.
- Commission. It has to be factored in somewhere.
And this is on top of any fees from the operators (eg: cruise company or tour company etc).
- Sometimes (which is happening more often) Travel Agents will ask you for a payment earlier (it can be 12 months or more earlier ) than the operators require it. Possibly HUNDREDS to THOUSANDS OF YOUR DOLLARS (EG: $1200 per person. Depending on the trip) gone so soon from your bank account when it could be still working for you!
Perhaps you have booked online? If you’re acting as your own Personal Travel Assistant, you can save soo much money!
And online bookings can be great for several reasons:
- You have plenty of spare time
- You larv researching for best $ flights searching on multiple websites
- You Larv researching the best value for $ accommodation searching on multiple websites.
- You Larv researching for transfers searching on multiple websites.
- You Larv researching for suitable and fun day trips on multiple websites
- You’re fully aware of dodgey or unscrupulous operators and websites.
- You’re aware of the rules and regulations of operators and country’s visa requirements etc.
- You’re fully up to speed with your country’s government safety warnings.
When you think about it, it’s mind-boggling how much time and effort it actually takes to research for just a simple holiday of the 3 main items – flights, accommodation and transfers. You may also need:
Rail passes – that’s a research time nightmare in itself!
Day tours – can really eat into your time as they can only be searched and booked individually.
Just to name the key elements of the trip as above but what about Visas, medical requirements, currencies etc? Are they necessary? Where/how do you apply? Etc. Etc.
Where are they when you need them??
Being independant and self sufficient is wonderful but if the airline has changed or worse CANCELLED the flight where does that leave you?
And what about the help from that ‘online’ consultant? Where are they when you need them??
If you have the time, it’s not a problem but I guess you have to ask yourself: Is it really convenient for you?
What is your time worth? What is your hourly rate?
Can your time be better spent on something else?
Scammers and Unscrupulous Operators
While your time is precious, how well do you know these websites?
Are they legitimate?
How do you know if they are unsafe, unscrupulous or a scammer?
The website looks ok. The price is fair and the pictures on the website look good but when you’re unfamiliar with the site or the region that you want to travel to so how can you tell?
Then, after you book, will there be after sales service?
What if something needs to be changed? Is there a contact number?
Will they respond in time?
Some websites do not want to know and you cannot get in touch with them other than email where they do not reply. And that can be so frustrating.
TIP: Airlines can prevent you from boarding if there is an error in the spelling of a name or in the birth date? (Near enough is not good enough) Booking online with that cheap website is not so cheap after all.
These are extremely expensive mistakes! Any of the savings that you thought you had are gone.
Plus! If the airlines do credit you, it rarely happens quickly.
FACT: It was reported on the news. This operator continued to take $$$ for bookings but, on the day of the event, when the people turned up for their first leg, the boat ride to the venue, the boat didn’t show. They were fleeced of their money; it was thousands of dollars from trusting customers.
Needless to say, the event that they were going to never eventuated and the customers were never re-imbursed.
FACT: Another news item “trusted’ Travel Agent began asking for payments of $1000’s in cash and when travellers turned up at the airport to begin their vacation they were told that the booking was made but then cancelled only a month or so later unbeknown to them.
TIP: Pay for your holiday by credit card. It leaves a paper trail.
REMEMBER: Your on your own when you book online.
Have you contacted your travel Insurance provider?
Do you know what the fine print says in regards to booking especially the credit card travel insurances?
What about when you book directly online?
Will you be covered for simple errors where the website will not respond to your calls and where your only choice is to book again?
To re-cap as discussed mentioned above:
- Researching your holiday yourself takes up precious family or work time.
- Booking on unknown websites with unknown operators is fraught with serious concerns.
- Booking through a Travel Agent could cost you a phenomenal amount of $$$.
Booking with Don Jon Journeys you get the best of both worlds.
- Independance where you remain in control
- 1 on 1 Service if you need
- You have your precious family or work time back
- Your stress levels from 2nd guessing reputable operators online are non-existent
- You know that all operators have proven to be reptuable
We make it easy, convenient and stress-free.
MY 1 on 1 SERVICE
You remain in control of your bookings and you don’t waste your precious time. But… I will be there to assist if you require with my 1 on 1 SERVICE.
We can assist with suggestions of reputable operators who can offer value for money products and services. 😊 All of this is in both the Complete Travel Strategist Kit and the Basic Travel Strategist Kit.
Being a professional Travel Consultant this is my expertise and we can offer you a choice:
- Suggestions for your trip only – the Complete Travel Strategist Kit
- Take the next step; after you’ve booked we can create a fully customised/personalized itinerary
Complete Travel Strategist Kit.
Depending on the information that you have given, we’ll make multiple suggestions keeping in mind safety and health standards and offer links of reputable operators for the following:
- Suitable Airlines
- Suitable accommodation.
- Suitable transfer options
- Suitable tour operators in region
- Activities/sights in the region by popularity or recommended
- Travel money
- Health importance
- Information about the region/country
- Passport & visa requirements, medication
- General information
- Travel insurance providers
- Currency rates
- Travel Checklist www.donjonjourneys.com/checklist
- A link to our site for easy access and contact.
- Language website. If required and dependent on your request.
- Information guide link.
Basic Travel Strategist Kit
If you want to do it on your own, this kit is basic enough but if you’d prefer, it STILL offers my 1 on 1 SERVICE as with the Complete Travel Strategist Kit. It is based on 7 days travel with 1 only destination.
Although it is basic, safety, health standards and my offer of links to reputable operators will remain the same.
This Kit is suitable for when there’s:
NO TIME TO RESEARCH – You are a savvy traveller who has experience at the destination.
SIMILAR RULES & LIFESTYLE – Your destination it’s like home so you know what to expect.
BUSINESS TRIP – You just need accommodation and flights.
QUICK SHORT BREAK – Only accommodation, flights and transfers are required
The benefits for you are:
CONVENIENT – You just complete the form below
VALUE FOR MONEY – These operators have developed excellent reputations where clients continue to return
HONEST & REPUTABLE & LEGITIMATE – We pride ourselves in wanting our clients to have pleasant travel experiences so we only suggest proven operators
- Suitable Airlines
- Suitable accommodation.
- Suitable transfer options
- Travel Insurance
Your Personal Travel Strategist
In this ‘online’ world a service such as a Personal Travel Strategist is unique.
We’ll bring a more Personal experience back while you retain the freedom of time and to book independently.
Our SERVICE assists with keeping $$$ in your back pocket and to eliminate the risks of being caught up with online rogues and scammers.
Plus we’ll suggest safer options as we do the research for you and provide guidance and travel information for your upcoming trip.
Ultimately, you get the convenience of the knowledge given to you and still the flexibility to decide when you book, who you book with and most importantly, you have control of your wallet and finances.
You choose the style of your holiday EG: 5*, 4*, 3* etc. and the Travel Strategist Kit will be completed as per your style of choosing:
- Your own Personal Travel Strategist to research and suggest flights (2 options), transfers (2 options), accommodation (2 options) and up to 2 x day trip options within your nominated trip/holiday.
- Assistance with questions with regards to the specific trip related itinerary.
- A 15-point Travel Strategist Kit full of helpful information that relates to your specific trip related itinerary.
In return you’ll:
- Save time & angst
- save $$$.
- Receive 15-point Complete Travel Strategist Kit or the Basic Travel Strategist Kit
- Have our knowledge and expertise. PRICELESS.
- Responses to this trip related questions
Be A Savvy Traveler
TIP: It’s a good idea to have an understanding of what to expect at your destination and prepare before you get there, and a Personal Travel Strategist can help with that.
Yes, surprises are lovely but…. The time you have on your holiday or trip is limited so make the most of it!
- Don’t waste time organizing activities once you get there?
- Just wandering aimlessly and undecided takes away from your trip value and time.
- Sometimes the only way to get the better rate is to pre-book (well before you leave home.)
- This can cause you to miss out especially if it’s a special occasion or somewhere in particular that you’d like to go.
TIP: If you wanted to go the Edinburgh’s Military Tattoo, you will have to book well in advance. There will be no chance of turning up on the day.
TIP: Did you know???? If you want Abalone for dinner when you go to Tasmania it’s best to order it at least 3 days ahead! Most of the restaurants do not have it as a standard on their menu as it’s best eaten fresh!
You are in control
Ultimately, it is your trip. It’s your decision so you make the bookings!
You make the payments and so your direct details will be connected directly with the operators of your trip but if so, we’re here to help.
It can be daunting so all you need to do is ask me when we chat.
*While all possible reputable operators are suggested, there can be no guarantee that these operators will remain with the same status.
Travel Strategist Assistance Form
The information below is required to complete for the Travel Strategist Assistance Kit form.
Please include all information, as well as any comments and submit below.
Once we’ve received your information via the form, we will be in touch.
The complete Complete Travel Strategist Kits start from $169USD (2-14 days). (1 itinerary per Complete Travel Strategist Kit)
For travel longer than 14 days please email us and I’ll be in touch.
If you’re only needing the Basic Travel Strategist Kit, the INTRODUCTORY price is from $79USD. (travel for up to 7 days only) (1 only itinerary with 1 only destination per Basic Travel Strategist Kit).
While communication is designed to be by email, we may need to contact you by phone or Zoom.