What is the booking process?
This step is very important as this is where the professional relationship begins. I will learn about your travel requirements, personal travel likes/dislikes, and anything else I need to know in order to built the perfect vacation for you.
For new clients, our initial consultation will either be via telephone or video conference.
This is where I will take your travel requirements and begin putting the trip together. I will use my knowledge to put the perfect quote together. If I am not as familiar with your destination, I will take the time to learn about it.
I will then present the quote(s) to you for your consideration. Adjustments to the quote will be handled as necessary.
Once you have approved the travel quote, I will then work with the suppliers to get your deposit submitted. Once I receive the booking confirmations from our suppliers, I will then forward you a copy for your records. I will also keep a copy in your client file.
I will stay in touch with you periodically from the time the trip is booked until it gets closer to your departure date. I will be available to answer any questions you have, book excursions/tours, make necessary changes, etc. Once we get about two weeks out from your departure, I will submit all final travel documents electronically to you. In some cases, we will meet in person or via telephone/video conference to review together.
During your trip, I will be on-call should you need me. You will also have contact numbers provided by our suppliers who will also be able to assist.
Several days following your return, I will follow up with you to make sure everything went as planned and to get any feedback you may have.
Why should I book travel with you rather than booking it myself online or directly?
With me, you will get exceptional, personal (concierge) assistance before, during and after your vacation.
Knowing budgets are important, and I do my best to deliver your dream vacation within the budget you have set.
I’ll provide honest advice about all destinations to help you make the most informed decision possible.
You will also benefit from our agency’s personal connections, which goes along way when you need anything addressed. We will have an easier time getting you perks or dealing with any issues that arise.
Lastly, when you book a vacation online, someone on the other end is still getting a commission, yet providing you no additional service like you get when working with a travel advisor. So why pay for something you aren't getting?
Can you help me find the cheapest deal possible?
Travel advisors are not "bargain" hunters. Our agency works with the best suppliers to provide high quality options for our clients while keeping budgets in mind. Therefore, if you are only looking for a cheap bargain, then a travel advisor might not be the right fit for you.
Will I pay more for vacation if I book with you rather than booking online?
Our agency has access to all the same pricing for resorts as the online booking sites do, and we can typically price-match online booking sites when comparing apples to apples. Keep in mind that most online booking sites hide a lot of extra details and costs in the fine print. Plus, they will not be there to advocate for you in the event something goes wrong with your vacation.
In many cases, I can also find discounts and other promotional offerings that are not offered to the general public.
Keep in mind that a commission is being paid to the online booking sites just as they are a travel advisor. The difference is the level of service you get with a travel advisor compared to an online site. So why pay for service with an online booking site that you are't getting?
Does it cost to use your services?
In many cases, it does not cost to use my services. The supplier (i.e. Delta Vacations, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Universal, Disney, Sandals, etc.) pay a commission to travel advisors. However, there are times that I do charge for certain services. For example, when booking air-only, I do charge a nominal fee as the airlines do not pay a commission.
For fully-customized domestic and international vacations, I do charge a non-refundable planning fee.
Since group travel is more time consuming and can be more difficult to plan, I do charge a group planning fee. Other times may include when I create fully customizable packages that will include mostly non-commissionable components (i.e. booking speciality tours, bed and breakfasts, etc.
For first time clients, there may be a non-refundable planning fee charged if there is going to be a lot of time spent on researching that perfect getaway for you.
These fees are always explained upfront during our initial consultation.
What information do you need in order to plan my vacation?
Ideally, you should set a budget and share it with me so that I can give you a realistic, fun, and memorable itinerary for a price you are comfortable with. I will ask for the names (either as it is listed on the drivers licenses or passports, depending on the destination) and birthdays of all passengers traveling. In many cases, I am able to put a courtesy hold on your quote as long as I have this information.
What kind of travel can you book for me?
Even though I specialize in certain destinations, I can book most domestic and international destinations, all-inclusive resorts, ocean and river cruises, destination weddings, honeymoons, Universal Studios, Disney, corporate travel, group travel and fully-customized travel.
If you have a vacation in mind, let's discuss.
Do you just book my hotel and air?
In addition to booking your hotel and air, I can also assist with car rentals, transfers, excursions, tours, theatre tickets, dining reservations and many other special requests. Just let me know all of your needs during our initial consultation.
How do I pay for my vacation?
Depending on how far out your departure date is, you will only have to pay the required deposit amount set by the supplier with the final balance due typically 30 to 60 days out from your departure. If your travel is set to begin pretty quickly, the full balance will be due at the time of booking. Therefore, whatever the payment details the supplier requires is what we require. Your deposit amount and all payment due dates will be printed on your quote.
Aside from initial deposit and final balance deadlines you can pay any amount at any time as long as the final balance is paid in full by the required date. You will receive monthly invoices from Magnolia Travel Group until your trip is paid in full. Additionally, I will send reminders as your final balance due date approaches.
When working with groups, I will typically set a payment schedule to help everyone with budgeting.
Can you book my air with frequent flyer points?
I do not work with frequent flyer points, nor will most travel advisors. Therefore, if you wish to purchase your air with frequent flyer points, you will ned to handle that component yourself, but I can take care of the rest.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
Travel insurance is always optional. However, I will discuss your options at time of booking.
I will always encourage my clients to purchase travel insurance, especially on foreign travel and cruises.
The question you should ask yourself is “can I afford to lose the money I used to pay for my vacation in the event something causes me to delay or cancel it?” If you said “no” then you need to highly consider travel insurance.
All clients of Magnolia Travel Group who decline to purchase travel insurance will be required to sign a waiver indicating their understanding of the risks of not purchasing travel insurance.