I recently helped a client who wanted to go to Europe. OK, Maltese Cross Travel SPECIALIZES in cruises but to help this client out we took care of her needs and she enjoyed three GREAT weeks in Europe. The point is she started her planning for Europe by shopping on line for her trip. Air fare, rental car, hotels… she knew WHERE she wanted to go, but putting it all together was the hard part. She had prices, but what she didn’t have was advice on hotels, rental cars and all of the other things that go along with planning three weeks in the United Kingdom. When it was all said and done she had a wonderful time, in great old world hotels that met all of her requirements, and for less money than she would have paid if she had done it all herself.
Two weeks ago a client called and said he had a dilemma and was tired of dealing with it. Almost apologetically he gave me the details. His daughters now live in Texas. His ex is going to bring them to him for a visit. But, she is going to fly from Texas to Florida with them and then return to Texas the next day. He will then fly with them back to Texas, spend a few days there and then return to Florida. This required three different sets of airline reservations, along with a rental car & hotel in Texas. But, in just a few minutes we were able to find flights that met their needs, book seats, and get everyone back and forth so that he had time with his children.
And, because we specialize in cruises, I got a call from a client on the east coast who had “been shopping” around and checking prices for a cruise for her and her husband. But, after we talked about What they wanted to do, Where they wanted to go, When they wanted to do it, and what their Budget was we were able to give her some information that changed their whole planning process. They will be enjoying a cruise on a different ship from a different cruise line and they’ll be getting all of their vacation dreams met because they got advice from a trusted travel advisor and not just a price from a web site.
The point is that if you are shopping for a pair of shoes you probably want to try them on to make sure they fit. When you are planning a vacation, whether it is you and your children, a romantic get away, a family reunion group cruise, a college alumni group gathering… you want someone who has the ability to help you mete your needs but talking with you and gathering the information necessary so your trip is all it should be. There are just too many factors to be considered for a web site to help you get the most for your money. It is one of the reasons that I don’t call myself a “travel agent” – I’m not selling you a cruise. I want to be your “Trusted Travel Advisor” who helps you plan a trip that meets all of your dreams, satisfies your desires, and gives you the most of everything for your travel dollar. And, in almost every case, I do this at no additional charge to you.
Ed & Sonja Cleveland