Monthly Archives: April 2011

Top 5 Reason to Use a Travel Agent

Potential clients often ask me, why should I use a travel agent instead of just booking it myself through (xyz) . com.  In fact, I am asked that question so often I felt I should share my answers with you.

First, with an online travel agency that deals in “last minute” deals or bulk travel, you will get a decent deal for your money but that’s where things start to go muddy.  You have to do all the work researching your vacation destination, then you click boxes until it asks for your credit card.  Once you have completed your transaction, you are done!  Did you know you can get the same great “deal” with a travel agent?  Plus, your agent will do all the research for you, send you quotes with real information about each resort and take care of all the arrangements for you and all at no extra charge to you!  And, that is not even including any special upgrades or extras that they can provide through their relationships with the vendors.

Second, you develop a relationship with your agent.  They will ask questions to get to know you which help determine exactly which destination and resort will be the best fit for you.  Can you imagine a romantic getaway for you and your spouse only to find out the room you booked was in a family resort with a 50/50 split of children to adults?  Not exactly what you had in mind but the pictures didn’t show that, did they?

Third, your agent is an advocate for you.  If there is ever a problem of any kind, whether by your fault (cancellation, change of date, etc.), the airline or the resort, your agent is there to make it right.  Imagine trying to change a vacation you booked online by calling the automated number and hoping to get a real person on the phone who is courteous, caring and works for YOU.

Fourth, your agent is an expert.  Agents spend countless hours in training on the latest products and offerings from their suppliers and countries in which they specialize.  They have received certifications in proficiency and product knowledge.  You may not realize it but agents actually go on site visits to properties they promote to you.  These are not vacations in the true sense of the word.  Sure we get to go to exotic locations and see all the sites, but it is always a learning experience.  We do not spend our days leisurely strolling the beaches or shopping for goodies.  We spend them taking pictures, evaluating the consistency of the resorts, their food and their service, the amenities and locale. (Then we come home and blog about it!)

Fifth, there are no surprises!  Your travel agent will make you aware of everything you need to know before you go.  You will not get to the airport only to find out that the name on your passport is not the exact same as the name on your plane ticket.  Believe me, as crazy as it sounds, if you use your middle initial on your passport do not buy your ticket with your full middle name on it.  When you book that luxury couples retreat, know that you will be in an adult only resort that specializes in romance.

Your travel agent knows that all of these things make your travel much more enjoyable and that is what we love about our jobs.  Please, next time you think about taking a vacation, contact a travel agent and experience the true joy that travel can bring.

On the lighter side of things, I came across this list quite a while back but it is always worth repeating.

Happy travels,

Edwina Parker

Yapa Now Travel

Categories: all-inclusive, Beaches, Cancun, Cuisine, culinary, Destinations, Eco, Luxury, Mexico, Tours, Uncategorized, Weddings, Yapa Now Travel | Leave a comment

Romantic Travel in Mexico

I would like to take you on a little virtual journey to a romantic vacation in Mexico.  Come on along and discover how to get a little romance in your life.

After departing your plane at Cancun International Airport, you are escorted to a limo supplied with champagne and strawberries to take you to your destination, an all-inclusive, adults only resort.  As you enter the resort lobby you are again greeted with a glass of champagne and a cool towel as you are escorted through the check in.  To your surprise, your room has been upgraded to a junior suite (a little “yapa”)  and upon entering your room you see a welcome basket with Batab, the best after sun lotion in the world and other goodies, then notice the scattered rose petals.   Did I mention luxury was part of the romance?

Your first afternoon is spent acquainting yourself with the resort, where everything is located and spending a couple of hours lounging on the beach.  You realize, the Batab will come in handy!  Dinner that night is served to you at a single table beach side.  After dinner, you take a stroll together down the beach, just enjoying the moment.

Day two of your vacation begins with breakfast in bed, a short snorkeling excursion then a couples massage under a palapa at the beach.  You decide to opt for a small shopping trip in Playa Del Carmen and dinner at a romantic beach side restaurant in Playa to finish out the day.  Don’t forget to grab two of those incredible hammocks for hanging on your deck when you get back home.

Day three is a chance to indulge your adventurous side.  Your tour guide meets you in the lobby and escorts you to Hidden Worlds where you try your hand a zip-lining and diving a cenote’ for the first time.  The day closes back at your resort with a fabulous candle lit dinner and relaxing walk along the beach.

Day four is another opportunity to visit the spa and choose which of the multitude of relaxing treatments you will indulge in after a couple of hours pool side.  A sunset catamaran cruise with lobster dinner on the beach is the end to a perfect day.

Day five is, unfortunately, the day you must return to the real world.  After you have packed and enjoyed a fine breakfast it is time for the limo to arrive for the trip back to the airport.  As the two of you settle in on the plane, you begin to realize how relaxed you are and how much you have enjoyed just being together and experiencing the wonder of Mexico.  Memories last a lifetime but you know you will return again to make even more.

Let us help you design your romantic getaway.  The variety of experiences and destinations in Mexico is so extraordinary, there is something for everyone.

Edwina Parker

Yapa Now Travel

Categories: all-inclusive, Beaches, Cancun, Destinations, Luxury, Mexico, Weddings, Yapa Now Travel | Leave a comment

2011 Vacation Trends for Mexico

As we closed out the first quarter of 2011, I am not surprised to see that vacation planning has not slowed down due to the economy.  What I am seeing is that clients want to do their planning further in advance than they ever have before.  For some it is a matter of being able to take longer to pay off the balance of their trip, yet for others it is more of a matter of planning far enough in advance to insure they have set aside the time for their much anticipated vacation.  As early as February, I had requests for 2012 vacation proposals.

I have also noticed a trend towards longer vacations.  Many of my clients opted for a couple of “long weekend” vacations in years past but have now decided to take one vacation of at least a week to 10 day.  The reasons for this are as varied as the clients themselves but the most common comment I have heard is directly related to the cost of airfare.  I have not noticed a drastic change in the cost of airfare over the past few months, but with the cost of oil skyrocketing, there is always that possibility.

My favored travel suppliers have exceptional last minute deals for those who cannot or do not want to plan far in advance.  The prices for last minute getaways whether they are for a weekend or a week long stay are well below the average.  Great last minute deals can be found here on my website.

As in years past, Mexico is again a hot spot for vacationers.  With the wide variety of vacation destinations and it’s proximity to the US, Mexico is becoming a favored choice of clients looking for variety.  No longer is Mexico considered only for it’s beautiful beaches.  With culinary and historical tours, eco adventures, world class golf courses and, of course, breath taking beaches, Mexico has it all.

Take heart travelers!  The vacation of your dreams is available.  Share with me your ultimate vacation and let me show you how to get there!

Happy travels,

Edwina Parker

Yapa Now Travel

Categories: Beaches, Cancun, Destinations, Eco, Luxury, Mexico, Tours, Uncategorized, Weddings, Yapa Now Travel, Yucatan Holidays | Leave a comment

First Time Travel in Mexico – Romantic Travel

A young couple, Chloe and Eric, contacted me through another client with a desire to take a romantic getaway.  They had been married for a few years and were trying to have a child. Neither of the two had ever been outside the country and had no real destination in mind. They wanted someplace warm with a beach and that pretty much completed their want list.  Well, that narrowed it down…

After asking questions about budget, travel documents, what type of activities they enjoyed, how long they intended to stay, I found out everything I needed to help them make this dream a reality.  They wanted to stay a week, they wanted to enjoy as many outdoor activities as possible but also wanted to have romantic nights alone together and the grandparents-to-be were paying for the trip.  Apparently, Chloe’s parents were hoping this getaway would jump start the baby process.

The first order of business was to get the couple their passports.  As they wanted to go within a couple of months we short cut the process by having them apply in person.  There are stations all across the country that allow you to do this at your convenience.  You can find more information here.

I chose three resorts for them in the Cancun/Riviera Maya area.  Each of the resorts had close access to wonderful day trips and excursions, had onsite spas, were adult only resorts, beautiful beaches and plenty of activities to keep them occupied during the day.  As they browsed the pictures and the information on each resort they asked questions about everything.  I love this part of my job.  Remembering that this couple had never been out of the country made it very important to share all necessary information with them from the start in a format that they could read over again before they go such as currency conversion, language, travel tips, etc.

Chloe and Eric chose their resort and shared the info with Chloe’s parents.  We had the vacation and a couple of excursions booked for them the next day.  I even managed to get a room upgrade and a beach-side romantic dinner thrown in for good measure!  I shared more information with them about their travel documents, their resort, the area and the excursions they had chosen in pdf form so they could print and carry with them.

I’m happy to report that they did not wait to call me when they returned from their trip.  They called the day after arrival just to say “thank you” for making their dreams come true.  They said the resort was perfect and exactly what they had hoped for.

I called them after they returned from the trip and found that they wanted to start planning another trip in the Spring.  It is such a joy to share knowledge with someone that allows them to experience the joy of travel without having to venture into the total unknown.

Romance is alive and well in Mexico.  Just ask Chloe and Eric!

Edwina Parker, Owner/Agent

Categories: Beaches, Cancun, Destinations, Luxury, Mexico, Yapa Now Travel | 2 Comments

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