Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't see what you're looking for in the FAQs below, please contact me with your question(s).
If you don't see what you're looking for in the FAQs below, please contact me with your question(s).
How far in advance should I book my trip?
Destination weddings should be booked 9 months to over a year in advance to ensure resort and venue availability for your wedding. Honeymoons should be booked anywhere from 6-9 months in advance. Booking early ensures that you get the room category, resort, cruise, cabin, etc. that you prefer.
If I wait to book my travel plans last minute, will I get the best deal?
Travel is based on supply and demand, so contrary to popular belief waiting to book your travel plans will not save you money—it will likely cost you more! As resorts and cruise lines reach capacity, the cost of the remaining rooms or cabins increase. The same holds true for airline seats, so booking early will get you the best deal.
Why isn’t airfare available for the trip I want to book?
Airlines generally release their tickets 331 days before the travel dates. Some airlines do not follow this general rule. For example, Southwest Airlines releases their tickets 5-6 months in advance of the travel dates.
If airfare isn’t available for my trip, am I still able to book my all-inclusive resort stay or cruise?
If you want to ensure that a specific room category or cabin is booked for your getaway, it is possible to book that part of your travel and add airfare when it becomes available.
Do you book airline tickets only?
Due to airlines not paying travel specialists any commission on airline tickets, we choose not book airfare only and would have to charge a per ticket fee and other cancellation fees in addition to what the airline charges. Tickets or airfare only should be booked directly with the airline.
Do I have to pay for my trip in full at time of booking?
Unlike online travel agencies, when you work with a travel specialist (aka travel agent) you will not be required to pay the full amount of your trip at the time of booking unless you are traveling within 45-60 days. Working with a travel specialist gives you the benefit of being able to put down a deposit and then make payments as you would like on your travel package. Generally, travel suppliers require travel packages to be paid in full 45-60 days before travel.
Why should I book with a travel specialist (travel agent)?
Travel specialists can provide you with peace of mind while you travel, have firsthand knowledge of destinations, and stay up to date on resorts, cruise lines, and their amenities. In the event that something should happen during your trip and you need assistance, you won’t be left on hold for hours with a travel supplier or deal with frustrating automated menus, you will deal directly with your travel specialist who will work to remedy the issue as quickly as possible.
What if I book my trip and then find the same travel package for a lower price?
If you find the travel package that you purchased for a lower price, please contact me. If the flights, hotel accommodations, dates, and all information on the lower priced travel package that you found are the same (this will require you sending me a screenshot), we will be able to reach out to the travel supplier that your travel package has been booked with and they will almost always match the lower price.
How is my travel specialist/travel agent paid?
All cruise lines, all-inclusive resorts, and travel suppliers have a commission built into their package prices. If you book directly with the cruise line, resort, or travel supplier they keep that commission. If you book with your travel specialist or travel agent, they receive the commission as payment for their work in planning your travel. Your travel specialist is not paid until approximately a month after you return from your trip. If you cancel your trip, your travel specialist does not receive any type of compensation.
What is a Plan to Go Deposit?
A plan to go deposit is a deposit that you give your travel specialist once you have decided that you will be a good fit working together. The deposit amount can vary depending on the type of trip that you would like to book and the complexity of the travel arrangements. If you decide to book a travel package, the plan to go deposit it put toward your final payment. On the contrary if you decide not to book a travel package, your travel specialist keeps the deposit for their time invested in researching your travel plans.
What if there is an issue during my travel? Who do I contact?
While we hope that you won’t experience any issues during travel, unfortunately sometimes things beyond our control do happen. If there is an issue during travel, you will reach out to us, and we will work to resolve your issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. You will also have emergency numbers listed on your travel documents as a backup.
What is travel protection?
Travel protection is designed to protect your investment in your travel plans. If something unexpected happens, such as illness, a death in the family, trip disruption, lost baggage, or job loss most travel protection plans will prevent your monetary investment from being lost or reimburse you for added expenses you may incur. Most travel protection plans also offer coverage for medical incidents that may occur while you are on vacation.
Will my health insurance cover me when I travel outside of the United States?
Most health insurance programs will not cover you when you travel outside of the United States. If you need to seek medical treatment in another country, you may be required to pay out of pocket BEFORE you are treated. Travel protection often includes some type of medical insurance for emergencies while you are traveling. Be sure to ask your travel specialist about this topic before booking your travel.
Do I need a Passport or a Visa?
If you will be traveling outside of the United States, you will need a valid Passport. Visas are not needed for all countries. More information on Passports and Visa requirements can be found at http://travel.state.gov.
Should I change my name on my Passport before my honeymoon?
If you are planning to go on your honeymoon right after you get married or if you haven’t changed the name on your passport yet and it is still valid, you should wait to change your name on your passport until you return from your trip. Name changes on passports can take 6-8 weeks or longer to be processed.
My Passport is due to be renewed soon. How do I know it is valid for travel?
Most countries require your passport to be valid for a minimum of 6 months before the last day you are traveling. It’s a good idea to consider renewing your passport 7-8 months before it expires.
Do I need to get vaccinated before traveling internationally?
You should speak to your physician about where you are traveling and inquire if any vaccinations are needed. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control website for more information regarding recommended vaccines.
How is COVID-19 affecting travel and what are the current travel requirements?
Travel restrictions vary and change on a continual basis, as do testing, vaccination, and other requirements. For the most up to date information visit http://travel.state.gov.
What is a round-trip transfer?
A round-trip transfer is terminology used for the transportation that your travel specialist will arrange for you between the airport and resort both at your arrival in the destination and day of departure.
Do I need to take money with me on vacation if I am going on a cruise or an all-inclusive vacation?
The US dollar is widely accepted, especially on cruise ships and all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. There is no need to take a lot of money with you on vacation, although you may want to take some small bills for tips (ex. driver, housekeeper, etc.).
What are taxes and gratuities? Should they be paid in advance?
Taxes and gratuities cover the taxes due to the resort in your destination and the tips for the staff at the resort or on the cruise. Cruises also include port fees. These can all be paid in advance and are included when you pay for your all-inclusive resort stay. It is optional to pay for the taxes and gratuities at the time of booking your cruise, but if you pay them in advance, it is one less thing to worry about when you travel.
Should I tip the housekeeper at an all-inclusive resort or on a cruise?
While tipping is not required because gratuities for an all-inclusive stay or cruise have been paid in advance, tipping a few dollars a day may get you a more attentive housekeeper.
Should I get money exchanged to foreign currency?
The US dollar is widely accepted. There is really no need to exchange your money for a foreign currency if you are travelling to Mexico or the Caribbean. You may want to contact your credit card company to determine what fees they charge, as carrying a credit card is often safer than cash.
What is the difference between an ocean front and an ocean view room?
Ocean view rooms are often set back from the ocean and located in the upper floors of a resort. Ocean front rooms are generally directly facing the ocean and will sometimes have direct access to the beach. All-inclusive resorts often have several confusing room categories. Your travel specialist can help you choose the right room for your getaway.
What is an excursion?
An excursion is an off resort or cruise ship activity that is offered by a tour company. You should always be sure to book excursions with a reputable tour company. Excursions may be booked in advance through your travel specialist or in destination/on the cruise ship.
What is a pre-cruise and a post-cruise stay?
This is a 2-3 day stay either before or after your cruise in the city from which your cruise departs. It is often recommended that you fly in a day early for your cruise, so you are less likely to miss your cruise if any travel issues arise (ex. delayed or canceled flights). There are often many sights to see and experience in the city from which the cruise departs, so why not add a few days pre- or post-cruise to experience all that city has to offer.
What is a CruiseTour?
CruiseTours are popular for Alaska cruises and offer either a pre-cruise or post-cruise stay in the interior of Alaska to see and experience the sights, such as Denali National Park. You are transported via train to the cruise port or from the cruise port to your lodge in the wilderness and other stops along the way. This allows you to experience the best of Alaska, such as the beauty and magnificence of the glaciers, National Parks, and fishing villages.
What is a destination wedding?
This is a wedding that you, your family, and friends will travel a significant distance to and requires hotel reservations for you and your group. Popular destinations for destination weddings are in the Caribbean and Mexico and they are often part of an all-inclusive resort package. Destination weddings usually cost much less than traditional weddings.
Are there specific requirements for a destination wedding?
Requirements vary by destination. Some destinations require that you arrive up to 3 days in advance of your wedding ceremony. As your travel specialist, I can advise you about any specific requirements for the destination you choose.
How do I reserve my destination wedding date?
Many all-inclusive resorts have a wedding day calendar online, where you can go and see what dates, times, and sometimes even venues (ex. wedding gazebo, rooftop, beach, garden, terrace, chapel) are available for the date you are looking for. It also allows you to request a reservation for the wedding date, time, and venue of your choice, if available. It is best to book your wedding date as early as possible to get your top choice.
What is the difference between a symbolic wedding ceremony and a legal wedding ceremony for a destination wedding?
A symbolic ceremony is much less complicated than a legal ceremony when you are having a destination wedding. In a symbolic ceremony, all your legal paperwork is done at home before you leave for your destination wedding (ex. marriage license). The ceremony will be the same as you were to have with a legal ceremony, with the exchange of vows, but requires much less paperwork. Most destination weddings are symbolic ceremonies. Legal wedding ceremonies require filing of paperwork in destination, transcription from one language to another, and filing when you return home to the United States.
How do I get a free wedding package?
All resorts have their own requirements for their free wedding packages. Often there is a minimum number of rooms that your wedding group must book. Some resorts offer additional incentives to wedding couples for additional rooms that are filled.
What is a destination wedding test drive?
Some resorts have a program that offers couples a short stay to tour the property, see wedding venue options on site, choose a décor theme for their wedding day, sample cake, food and more. As your travel specialist, I can advise you which resorts provide this option.
What is a honeymoon registry?
This is like a wedding registry but instead of putting money towards items for your home, your guests can put money towards your honeymoon experiences. Honeymoon registry funds can be used to help pay for your travel expenses, room upgrades, spa treatments, couples’ massages, a candlelight dinner on the beach, excursions and more. On average, couples who set up a honeymoon registry receive approximately $2,500 in gifts.