Yes, it is a new year, but somethings do not change.
As a travel advisor, my advice remains the same for 2019:
“IF you can be flexible on your travel dates & even your travel destination, you will travel the world for less and travel better.”
Every week I receive updates from travel suppliers offering discounts travel on packages that I make available to my clients. This week there are New Year Travels Deals. Book your winter trip & save on travel packages to the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, & Hawaii.
If you ski or snow board ski the Alps versus the Rocky Mountains this year. Club Med offers all-inclusive European ski packages that rival the ski resorts of Colorado and Utah but cost less even with an international air ticket included.
Is a travel agent necessary?
Truthfully, the answer is no. Given that I am a travel agent, this response may surprise you. I just want to be honest. Really, why would you need me? All the information you need to book a fabulous vacation is at your fingertips. All you need is the internet… time… knowledge… and/or a willingness to take a calculated risk. Super easy…wait, huh?! Before I totally have you thinking I’m ready to close up the shop, I would like to share with you why I believe my profession is still relevant despite the DIY-Expedia-Travelocity-Travelzoo era we live in.
First, I’m the most cost effective Executive Assistant you will ever have. I will work tirelessly to find you the best value in airfare. I will also recommend hotels that I have personally visited or ones that come from a verified source who has personally visited. I will answer all of your travel related questions, ensure you have the proper documentation to travel safely and freely, and I will be available should anything go array while you are at your travel destination.
Second, I’m going to save you time and money. Not convinced? Let’s translate your time into dollars. Imagine you decide to go to Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts in Orlando for your next family vacation. Did you know there are more than 25 themes resort hotels on the Disney property? If you spend a conservative 15 minutes looking over each hotel, doing a quick glance at reviews, and browsing prices or photos, that is 6.25 hours of time. Once you decide on your hotel, the next thing you want to examine is the airfare. I happen to have a fun trivia fact for you today: How many commercial passenger airlines fly out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International? The answer is 15. If you are going to do the airfare search yourself, I hope you will be asking yourself questions such as:
- Who is offering the best flight times at the best price?
- If I’m already a Frequent Flier with X airline is that going to offer better advantages for me than choosing another carrier?
- If I leave on a Tuesday is that really cheaper than leaving on the more convenient Friday?
If you decide to spend just 15 minutes each looking at five of the major airlines, or go to a one-stop search engine to play around with various departure and return dates, this is going to consume a minimum of 1.25 hours of your time. We are already at 7.25 hours in to your vacation planning, and you haven’t even booked yet! (Just in case the fares drop tomorrow). Take the 7.25 hours and multiply this figure by your hourly wage to see what you are costing yourself! Time is money and you should value it more! If you still prefer to think in terms of the money you are saving by doing this all yourself, note that you’ve just given up a week’s worth of lunch hours to conduct your search…or a week’s worth of sleeping in an extra hour. That time has to come from somewhere! Don’t sacrifice. Professionally planning travel is my job so you don’t have to stop doing yours.
Finally, I have a lot of amazing connections and access to deals that I would love to share with you. If you want to tackle this aspect of the travel planning process, more power to you. There are even helpful articles that will advise you on the many Shameless Ways to Get An Upgrade. If none of these approaches resonate with you, then let me help you get the upgrade, deal, or discount without the uncomfortable or awkward exchanges. Your vacation should be spent relaxing and carefree. I’d be honored to make that happen for you.
As I was out for a run on a crisp early fall morning, Uncaged by Zac Brown Band cycled through on my playlist. I was already at mile two and my mind still hadn’t found the freedom to let go of the pesky stream-of-consciousness chatter brought on by yet another hectic work week. I was starting to worry that running as my mental refuge was failing! However, once ZBB’s opening lyrics rang out, something deep inside gave way and I was finally able to hit a new stride, both physically and mentally:
Gonna lift to the great wide open
Wanna set my spirit free
Won't stop till I reach the ocean
Gonna break these chains holding me
A wave of energy rushed through me and my steps felt a little lighter. I decided in that moment a little vacation was necessary. Adventurous new thoughts consumed me. Zac Brown has the right idea. There are absolutely so many reasons to not stop till I reach the ocean! I’d recently read an article in the Huffington Post titled, that provided several valid motivations to contact the travel agent to book the airfare and reserve the accommodations. The author’s chiding about the brain spending too much time in the task-focused mode resonated with me. It’s a guilty habit of the Type A personality that I am. As a result I don’t spend enough time daydreaming. Apparently, this could actually be harming my productivity and overall ability to think creatively and improve work process! Since I still had a couple miles left and was eager to be thinking of something other than undone items from last week’s to-do list, I allowed my mind to drift towards thoughts of sandy beaches, room service, rum, and relaxation.
Though my heart was pounding from the run, I swear I was breathing easier. The article informs that vacationing provides a rejuvenating effect and it’s necessary to be away from the day to day labor and routine. Based on the happy vacation memories that were now snapshotting their way through my brain, I guess I have to agree there is something truly uplifting about escaping from the norm. Another awesome piece that has been written to explain why travel is essential comes from a March 2000 essay by Pico Iyer: “Why we travel.”
Iyer writes: We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate… …And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more…
Uncaged thoughts spur me on. Hopefully those of you reading this don’t need further convincing to contact Time Travels Inc to start planning your getaway. This Labor Day we celebrated and honored the social and economic achievements of American worker. We work hard. Having a Monday off is something to fully appreciate…having a full week off is even better!
Guest Blogger: Angela Lockhart, Avid Dreamer & Traveler.
In need of Travel and Comfort Wear? YOU’VE FOUND IT!
Time Travels, Inc has joined forces with Jockey Person-2-Person and now offers an amazing selection of travel and comfort wear. Whether you are packing for that amazing trip to Africa, or need something is comfortable on a plane and still elegant enough to wear to dinner when you arrive at your destination when you land – we are here for you!
Jockey Person-2-Person recently launched their fall line (Myjockeyp2p.com/andreleavitt) and it is amazing. Take a peak, and let us know what you think!
Please contact us today for a complementary consultation on your travel or comfort wear needs and we will be quick to assist you!
Why should you contact a Romance Travel Specialist at Time Travels Inc. for help with your Caribbean destination wedding or your honeymoon in Italy? After 17 years in the travel industry, the last 5 years concentrating on Romance Vacation Travel, we have a few insights that are indispensable. I took my first course toward becoming a destination wedding & honeymoon specialist 5 years ago. Now I look for opportunities to travel in search of my niche such as destination wedding seminars on the Riviera Maya & Sandal’s certification in Jamaica both of which I attended last year. Daily reading of the travel rags is also a must.
When a client calls for information on planning a destination wedding or honeymoon vacation I ask what their dream is. I then ask what their budget is. With this knowledge I can move forward.
Exceeding my client’s expectations is the goal. Finding them the best value (not necessarily the least expensive) is always the path.
If you are considering a romantic getaway please give me a call I would love to help.
Andre’ Leavitt Time Travels Inc.
I agree with Scott's Blog take on the importance of travel insurance or travel protection. (The new term for the same product.) He's right to the point.
I always recomemed travel protection for a couple's honeymoon getaway. It is a faction of the cost of the honeymoon vacation. Honeymoons are a big investment. If you can not travel for what ever reason.. and I can assure that the airlines do not care..You WILL lose your money. Unfortunately life happens even to people in love.
Andre Leavitt Time Travels inc
As a travel agent who specializes in destination weddings & honeymoons I follow the news & trends in this niche closely. Keeping current helps me generate new & improved destination wedding ideas.
Destination wedding are popular because they are fun & affordable. Getting married in Mexico will cost considerably less than your traditional wedding at home.
Planning a destination wedding is also less stressful for the bride & groom. Securing the talent of a good destination wedding planner can make all the difference in how smoothly the process goes.
I think the future is bright for the destination market & for couples that choose a destination wedding.
Resorts are advertisings to couples and are offering more amenities for choosing their resort. This keeps the market competitive & also reaching higher to please.
Need help planning your destination wedding? Call the Romance Vacation Specialist -Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
Britain’s Royal wedding between Prince William & Kate Middleton April 29th is certainly generating wedding talk. This is good for me because my company, Time Travels Inc., has embraced the romance travel market. Those traveling to London to witness part of the pageantry may consider themselves attending a destination wedding. Whichever way you look at it romance travel is hot.
People get married, take honeymoons & celebrate anniversaries in good and bad times. The ease and convenience of getting married in Mexico & the Caribbean has made destination wedding travel popular. The fact that you can have a romantic beach wedding and a luxury honeymoon & still spend less than a wedding at home makes choosing a destination wedding attractive.
If you are couple looking for the best destination wedding locations. Give me a call I know I can help.
Andre ‘ Leavitt Time Travels Inc. 651-771-5666
Why I Love Romance Travel!
Working with couples & families when they are planning a magic moment in life like a beach wedding on the Riviera Maya or a honeymoon getaway to Maui is fun! Planning a couples’ 25th anniversary Mediterranean cruise is exciting. I feel great when I know the trip is spectacular and that they will have blast.
Couples spend more money on their honeymoon than their annual trip. The room & the view are important to honeymooners. If they are traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean the luxury adults only all inclusive resorts are very appealing. They can be pampered at the spa and have amenities & activities at their finger tips.
A great time to travel to Mexico or the Caribbean is between Thanksgiving & Christmas week. Hurricane season over, the weather is great but it is a low time for travel so deals abound.
Time Travels Inc.
| I secretly cringe when a well meaning acquaintance or client states, “You book destination weddings? You must be able to travel everywhere, cheap.” While the golden days of travel agent discounts and free upgrades have passed, this romance travel agent can still travel for less if I’m willing to work a little while on “vacation”.
One such opportunity arose recently with a chance to visit Cancun & the Riviera Mayan on a Destination Wedding FAM trip through Fun Jet Vacations. A FAM trip, or familiarization trip, is travel agent lingo for a “working vacation”.
Cancun & the Riviera Maya are two of the best destination wedding & honeymoon locations for both value & style.
As a romance travel expert, this was a great opportunity for me to personally view exotic wedding venues & romantic honeymoon resorts. Funjet was able to show me a few properties, introduce their new destination wedding planning department, and I took notes. It was a great exchange for a four night Sun & Sand retreat in a junior suite at the Excellence Playa Mujeres. This is a 4.5 star, all-inclusive resort 20 minutes west of Cancun. The venue is just across from Isla Mujeres which is another tropical vacation hotspot.
In my next several blogs, I invite you to join me on this four day marathon of romantic vacation properties and beach weddings locations. This was a most enlightening journey where I discovered that not all 5 star, luxury, all-inclusive resorts are created equal.
Time Travels Inc.