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I was born into the tourism world and I’ve been in the travel industry for almost nine years now. I’ve owned my own travel business for five, and have been affiliated with Virtuoso as a “Specialist in the Art of Travel”, for four years now. I’ve built my whole business through social media – mainly Facebook and all of the wonderful people and friends I have met along my path in life. I think most of my friends and the people that I know are well aware that I am a travel agent by now. I book a lot of their travel and get referrals from many of them now days. So, more times than not, when I see friends posting vacation pictures online I feel really great knowing I had the honor of having a hand in orchestrating those very special trips and memories. Especially if it is a honeymoon or [destination wedding](https://wedding-recycle.com/blog/category/destination-maven/) I have booked.
However, occasionally I see that a friend has obviously booked their own [travel](https://wedding-recycle.com/listing/travel-themed-wedding-favors/) through Expedia or Travelocity or one of the other online monsters. It took me a while to learn not to get hurt feelings over not getting to take care of them. I realize that some people think that with the online capabilities that are out there now, that they think they can do just as good of a job booking a trip on their own. And I suppose if you are looking for the bottom of the barrel vacation option, with a hotel I won’t even represent – then that dirty gnome is your man. But let me tell you a few things that people don’t realize when they book online with such companies. The fine print: the old adage: “You get what you pay for”. If you price-bid and got the cheapest seat on the airplane and they oversell their flight… Guess who gets bumped first? Oh, and that “insane deal” on your hotel? Facing the hotel’s cement tennis court wall. Pretty sweet [honeymoon](https://wedding-recycle.com/listing/wedding-fund-jar/) view, hey?
![Online travel sites are always an option too](https://wedding-recycle.com/media/pics/Wedding_Recycle_online_travel.jpg “Online travel sites are always an option too”)
I think the biggest misconception among the public is that most people think that having a travel agent is a luxury. A service that is going to cost them more money. When the reality is – if you have a good travel agent, it very well may be quite the opposite. I am partnered with Coastline Travel Advisors, a Virtuoso agency. Virtuoso? What does that mean? We are the world’s leading network of luxury travel advisors. We carry a serious amount of clout in the travel world and can pass on VIP amenities not available to the general public. If you book one of our preferred properties I can probably get you a free upgrade, breakfast included, a discount or voucher to use at the spa, early in/late check outs and sometimes private transfers. And just FYI: that gnome is not going to leave you a bottle of iced champagne with [chocolate covered strawberries](https://wedding-recycle.com/listing/chocolate-fountain-2/) upon your arrival either.
![Photo credit: Photo credit: Arbor View House](https://wedding-recycle.com/media/pics/Wedding_Recycle__champagne_chocolate.jpg “Photo credit: Arbor View House”)
I have a handful of friends who love pouring hours of time into research and planning, but for the most part my clients hand the reins over to me. Like a financial advisor, I manage something that is much more important than money. Precious leisure time while broadening your horizons with those you love most. Those “memories of a lifetime”. With there being SO much on the internet now days it can be easy to get discouraged as well as overwhelmed with all of the options, prices and reviews. I find (more so now days) that I get people coming to me because they don’t want to deal with the headache of all of the online options and planning, and want to ensure they are well taken care of, and not bumped from their flights, with a honeymoon room facing a cement tennis court wall.
I DO invite my clients to shop online if they wish. If you’re not going to trust that I am going to qualify you with your best options – by all means: Go for it. Back to the issue of people thinking having a travel agent is going to cost you additional money. I offer a price-beat guarantee. I am here to be the best steward of your hard earned dollar. So, if you can prove to me that [apples to apples](https://wedding-recycle.com/listing/apple-baskets/) you are getting a better price else-where – I am happy to beat it. But, then again – all that fine print that I mentioned earlier applies: “You get what you pay for”.
![Even Dorothy knew to use a travel agent!](https://wedding-recycle.com/media/pics/Wedding_Recycle_Kansas.jpg “Even Dorothy knew to use a travel agent!”)
Got a problem? Go ahead – call the gnome. Tell me what he says and how helpful he is? I guarantee you I care a lot more that you are stranded in an airport than he does. I had a recent issue with a client who was traveling to Hawaii just as Hurricane Iselle was headed in. Instead of spending hours on the phone trying to reschedule flights, hotels and tours – guess what he was doing? That’s right – having a Pina Colada on the beach, watching his kids play in the surf.
Another thing I’m wanting to accomplish? Lifelong clients. I love that after I get to know someone or a [family](https://wedding-recycle.com/listing/like-burlap-signs-i-love-them-and-have-two-for-sale-in-great-brown-frames/) and all of their preferences – likes and dislikes – as well as what they like to do and accomplish on a vacation, all they have to do is call me and say “Hey Taegan – we need to get away. We’re thinking the Caribbean in later February – 7K budget. GO” and that’s all I need to have to be able to orchestrate another trip of a lifetime for them.
Having a travel agent by your side in the case of a [destination wedding](https://wedding-recycle.com/listing/this-dress-is-a-dream-come-true/) is supremely important. They will help advise you of the legalities involved as well as offer suggestions for the type of property that will best suit all of your wants and needs. My whole point of this blog: Don’t be so quick to reject the idea of working with a travel professional. We may be able to offer you a heck of a lot more than you can do on your own as well as offer you sincere customer service that isn’t available so much in this day and age. Travel agents are NOT dead – we are VERY MUCH ALIVE AND WELL and would LOVE to help you!
![Love a Destination Wedding and Honeymoon!](https://wedding-recycle.com/media/pics/Wedding_Recycle_honeymoon3.jpg “Love a Destination Wedding and Honeymoon!”)