So here you are… we’ve met before. You used to call me every month. Call me back within a moments notice. Depend on me to take care of you… then you went astray. You decided you were better off alone. I mean, you have all those cut rate sites to book your next rip and handle those little nuissances that seem to come up when you least expect it. Oh! No? That is not what you are getting? Just bookings you say? No service. No one watching your back. Oh! You can’t just enjoy your vacation, you also have to handle all of the details? So you need me back?
Well, let me think about it. And while I am mulling it over, why don’t you read over a little list I received from a fellow luxury travel consultant, Ruthanne Terrero.
1. You booked your own trip to Europe last spring and the volcano in Iceland erupted. You ended up spending two extra weeks in Paris because you couldn’t get a flight home using your online travel agency. Your hotel bill at the end of it all totaled the same amount you’d set aside for your son’s first year at college. He’s now working at Walmart while his friends are at freshman orientation.
2. You were certain that the resort you’d booked for your honeymoon was on the water because you could see it plain and clear in the photo on their website. Turns out there was a highway between your room and the ocean. You eventually learned how to dodge the cars but you felt funny doing it in your bathing suit, didn’t you?
3. How were you supposed to know it took three hours to transfer from the airport to your Caribbean resort? Either way, you ended up spending half a day getting to the place and getting back to the airport, which was a shame, since you were only there for the weekend.
4. You thought that new hotel in downtown New York looked funky and fun but you didn’t realize part of the fun was sharing the bathroom down the hall with five lovely young backpackers from Prague.
5. Your hotel was in the heart of it all, as the ad promised, but that meant it was near a disco that stayed open all night, so you never got to sleep and you still can’t get that ABBA tune out of your head.
6. You didn’t realize until you got to the airport that to travel to your destination, you needed to have at least six months on your passport before it expired. Now you know. So, you’ll go next year. Those mean immigration guys were just doing their job.
7. All of your friends who booked through a luxury travel advisor had special passes for a private tour of the Vatican, except for you, so you stood in line for three hours in the hot sun, just to see the main rooms. While you were waiting, your friends met the Pope and then went off to sip Prosecco cocktails in the garden of the Hotel de Russie.
8. Their luxury travel advisor also called them each day to be sure everything was going okay while you couldn’t even get an Internet connection to double-check what day your return flight was headed back to New York, or was it Newark?
9. You chose to see Europe on a luxury motor coach tour for two weeks and the price was so much better than other tours you saw online. Who would ever have imagined that your hotels wouldn’t actually be “in” the cities listed on the itinerary and that “seeing” the top attractions meant waving to them as the bus sped by at 70 miles an hour?
10. You decided to use your neighbor’s travel agent, who turned out to be his sister-in-law who had become an agent by signing up for a $49 course online. She has a diploma and everything. She can also perform civil ceremonies, sell real estate and make cute stuffed animals using only the lint that comes from her dryer. Did we mention she hasn’t left her house for eight years? And what if she did arrange for you to meet your cruise ship in Long Beach, NY, instead of Long Beach, CA? What’s the difference of a few thousand miles between friends?
So the next time you decide to go it alone… think about the hassle it may cause you. Now was it really worth it? You don’t pay more for experience, you get more.