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

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

Hacienda Tres Rios in Riveria Maya, Mexico – Review

Looking at the canal

Hacienda Tres Rios is an all-inclusive resort located 6 miles north of the town of Playa Del Carmen in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.  This area is known for it’s beautiful beaches, numerous day trips and amazing resorts.  Hacienda has all of this and so much more.  The resort sits on a 326 acre eco reserve.  The park encompasses tropical jungle, mangrove forests and coastal dunes.  of teh 326 acres 150 are a protected area with three rivers and ten cenotes leading down to white Caribbean beaches.

Through the mangroves

Hacienda Tres Rios is the only resort in the Riviera Maya that was “born green”.  The entire resort was developed and constructed by strict environmental standards.  The resort draws all of its water from the ocean and then purifies through a desalination process rather than pumping water from the aquifers.  They use cold water from deep wells to pre-cool the air conditioning system then captures that warm water from the air conditioning to warm water within 10 degrees of the temperature needed for showers.  The dedication of the resort to being eco-friendly while offering true luxury accommodations in the all inclusive arena if phenomenal.

The resort was developed to remind you of a family hacienda.  They boast 273 spacious suites with regional mahogany, classic Mexican marble floors and luxury bathrooms.  They strive to provide all the comforts of home with internet access, flat screen tv’s, Egyptian cotton sheets, in room bar, robes and slippers.

Suite view

Hacienda Tres Rios also took special care with the two lagoon style pools.  The pools are each beautiful and make you feel like the resort was built around them.  Whether you want to relax poolside or stroll the beach, you will find plenty of water time.

This resort is all inclusive and offers exceptional value.  The food alone will keep a smile on your face.  Not only do you have a choice of dining options ranging from Italian and Mexican to French and Asian, but you also have the option of 24 hours room service and in-room dining options.  For those who enjoy learning new cuisines, there are cooking classes available as well.  Try the cocktail lessons for a fun opportunity to learn to make the regional cocktails made by their bartenders.  Two other classes are the Sushi Lessons and the Cocina Natura where the chef teaches you to make food using the regional favorites and natural ingredients.  I highly recommend taking the opportunity to enjoy at least one of these classes.

All in all, this is just a fabulous resort.  The property is well maintained and cared for by a friendly staff.  The resort itself offers so much variety on the property that you may not want to venture out.  Playa Del Carmen is just a short ride down the road with it’s fun shopping, restaurants and night-life.  There are also an abundance of other day trips and excursions available.

Hacienda Tres Rios is a good match for many types of travelers.  It is a family friendly resort as well as a very romantic destination.  The resort offers wedding and honeymoon packages for couples.  As a destination wedding specialist I love recommending the unique wedding packages, beach side or at the edge of a cenote.  Marvelous!

The Yucatan Holidays group often runs specials on their properties in the Yucatan area.  Let us know when you would like to go and we will check the latest specials for you.  It is definitely a vacation destination you will want to visit.

Edwina Parker,

Certified Mexico Specialist

Categories: Beaches, Destinations, Eco, Luxury, Mexico, Weddings, Yapa Now Travel, Yucatan Holidays | 1 Comment

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