by Elite Travel

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The TRUTH About Travel: The Destination Wedding Edition

When you’re planning your destination wedding, so much hinges on travel plans: Where to book, how to book, and with whom to book. Finding trustworthy sources is challenging because, when lots of money is involved (and let’s be honest, when the word “wedding” is involved), people get greedy. It’s the ugly side of weddings that no one wants to talk about. To help you know what to expect – or, at least, what you should expect – here are our best tips to help your destination wedding run smoothly with the best people on your team!

3 Tips To Finding A Great Travel Agent

  1. Only book with an agency that offers a price-match guarantee. That way, your coupon-happy, deal hunting father-in-law can cheerfully forward you the low prices he finds, and you can cheerfully forward them to your travel agent to bring your price down. That’s how price-match guarantees work: You find a better price, we match it.
  2. Travel agents should work for you for FREE. That includes helping you plan, fielding questions from guests, brides’ mothers, and mothers-in-law, communicating with the resort property to ensure everything is as you wish, helping when things go awry, and many, many other responsibilities! We do this for free because the properties pay us to bring them business. If we charged you too, it would be double-dipping.
  3. Good travel agents save you money when possible by not asking you to pay for everything all at once. If prices for your travel package decrease a month after you book, an agent can adjust your prices accordingly!


Travel Agency Due Diligence in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Before you sign on with a travel agent, check their record with the Better Business Bureau.
  2. Make sure they have a real office.
  3. Ask if they offer 24-7 service. If trouble finds you abroad, you have to be able to call someone who will pick up the phone day or night.
  4. Only book with agencies that are insured, licensed and bonded. That way, if a vendor goes out of business, your travel plans are protected.
  5. Ask if your agent has actually been to the property, or at least if they’ve had recent customer feedback.


4 Ways Websites Can Get You Into Trouble

  1. Beware of travel reviews on user websites – while they can be a great resource, they also provide a platform for competing businesses to plant comments trashing the reputations of their competitors. Don’t believe all the good, or bad, reviews you read.
  2. Read the fine print on online booking sites! Many say they can change the price you agreed to pay if they “made a mistake,” and they are not responsible to help if your trip is delayed, canceled, overbooked, re-rounted, etc.
  3. Online reservations are the first to get bumped  if a property is overbooked. Travel agents advocate for their customers, but online buyers don’t have many resources.
  4. If your travel agent is offering freebie upgrades or resort credits, read the fine print in your contract carefully. Many times these offers are “based on availability,” which often means you won’t get anything.