Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why Use A Travel Agent

Why Use a Travel Agent?

It’s a really good and valid question, and to be honest, sometimes the answer might actually be that you don’t need one! But we’ll come back to that.

Most travel agents now prefer the title travel consultant or similar. Why? It has a lot to do with the advantages they offer today. Still, with all the websites, deal finders, mobile travel apps, and online services, a lot of people ask: why use a travel consultant?

It’s not hard to do it yourself. It might even be fun! Or, it could turn into a huge disaster. Below are a few points to consider before clicking the BUY button or tapping yourself into a nonrefundable corner.

1. Experience. Think about what you do for a living. For nearly every profession, you can find a website, video, or app that gives potential customers a way to do it themselves. With a little help from the Internet you can fix your car, build cabinets, replace plumbing, write wills, draft contracts, cut hair, make clothes, buy shoes, do accounting, buy stock, cook, bake, and let’s not forget edit videos and touch-up photos.

Finding instructions or tools is not the problem. Doing it RIGHT is the issue. If you put the wrong screw in the wall, it’s no big deal. If you put your family in the wrong resort, it’s a much bigger deal. It becomes even bigger if something goes wrong.

Most people deal with planning a vacation once or twice a year. Travel consultants deal with it all day, every day and many have been doing it for years. Their livelihood fully depends on using their knowledge and experience to craft a vacation you’ll love so much that you’ll keep coming back for more.

Websites and apps with advertising-driven, biased offerings are counting on your own lack of experience to push you to options that will earn them the most profit. Your satisfaction is not part of the display algorithm.

2. Real Deals. Have you ever wondered why some cruises, resorts, or hotels seem to have cheaper deals on some websites? There’s always a reason. Sometimes, it’s a good reason. Sometimes, it’s a very bad reason that you won’t know about until you arrive and it’s too late. There’s always a reason, and a great price is not always a good deal.

For example, every hotel has “undesirable” rooms they have trouble filling. Smaller rooms in noisy areas, rooms that haven’t been renovated lately, or those that overlook the dumpsters are always cheaper than nice ones in quiet areas with good views.

Websites are perfect for liquidating those rooms at bargain rates. Unfortunately, these so-called deals rarely mention things like smelly carpet or noise. It’s also no coincidence that many require full payment upon booking and are nonrefundable.

Even the most beautiful cruise ship has cabins they have trouble selling. The ones directly under the dance floor of the all-night disco, or the ones near the anchor chain that bangs against the side of the ship are just two examples. There are plenty of hard-to-sell cabins that are perfect for online deals.

To be fair, sometimes you can get lucky online! Sometimes the deals are real and worth the risk. Sometimes.

Travel consultants know the legitimate deals from the come-ons. They’ve been trained to uncover the reason behind the bargain. They understand travel lingo, know what to look for and most importantly: they know what to avoid.

3. Transparency. With websites and apps, you may not know what you’ll actually be paying! Many hotels add nightly “resort fees” of $25 to $50 on top of the discounted rate apps and websites display. Of course, you won’t know about them until you check out. Even rental cars can end up costing double the online rate once extra charges like airport fees, taxes, surcharges and such have been added.

Travel consultants know these little details. They make sure you are never unpleasantly surprised. You’ll always know exactly what you’ll be paying and what you’ll get for it.

4. Options. When you buy a cruise or vacation package online, you’ll almost always be required to pay for the entire trip up-front. Did you know that travel consultants offer another option? Usually they can hold the space for you for a small deposit of around $150 to $200. Final payment is not due until between 30 to 60 days prior to departure. In many cases, you can change your plans or cancel entirely prior to final payment!

In addition to the payment options, travel consultants can research and suggest alternatives to what you may have requested. While “Resort A” may be wonderful, its website will never tell you that “Resort B” has a nicer beach or better rates, or that that its own casino is closed for loud and dusty renovations.

5. Advice and Connections. Travel consultants offer something you’ll never find online or in an app: professional advice. Online, every resort or cruise is made to look beautiful and appealing. But, it’s no bargain if you end up regretting the trip. The main reason to use a travel consultant is to make sure you never waste a penny on a vacation you won’t truly enjoy.

There’s one more thing you’ll only get from a travel consultant: relationships. They have real one-to-one personal relationships with travel suppliers that can fix things should something happen to go wrong.

If a travel app messes up your reservations, you’re on your own. But with a travel consultant – you’ll have an advocate on your side with connections. In other words: a human who cares. To the machines, you’re nothing but their data.

Also, you might have heard that some travel consultants charge fees for their professional service. Like other skilled advisors, the best often do. But fees don’t mean you’ll always pay more. In fact, they’re likely to save you more than you ever imagined.

When You Don’t Need a Travel Consultant

It’s true. Sometimes you might not need a travel consultant. If you’re willing to take some risks, and not be concerned if something goes wrong, you might get lucky with the apps and websites. Many people do. Travel consultants just prefer not to gamble.

by Nolan Burris, Chief Visioneer, Future Proof Travel Solutions

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Transat offers The Distinctive Collection

Romantic Planet Vacations and Transat Holidays is proud to offer the Distinction Collection, an outstanding line of renowned resorts providing even more inclusions, so you can escape the ordinary and enjoy the honeymoon, vacation or destination wedding that you've ever dreamed of.

Located on the finest beaches in Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, these resorts welcome guests with a refreshing cocktail and a cold towel as soon as they get to the hotel, as well as a bottle of wine, rum or tequila in the room for an earlier start to their vacation celebration. Accommodations are equipped with a mini-bar restocked daily with water, soft drinks and more, as well as a complimentary safe and beach towels, bathrobes and slippers. Roundtrip transfers between the airport and the resort, golf or spa discounts, the services of concierge, unlimited select international drinks, additional a la carte dinners at a selection of gourmet restaurants, turn down service & nightly entertainment.

Experience all this and more when staying at the following resorts:

• Bahia Principe Royal Golden Ocean Sapphire Club
• Iberostar Star Class Palace Crystal Club
• Marival Grand Section Palladium Imperial Club
• Melia Elegance Club Paradisus Emerald Club
• Occidental Preference Club Sirenis Le Mirage

If you book your stay with any of these resorts through Romantic Planet Vacations by September 30, 2014, you will also receive these additional benefits:

• Complimentary Option Plus
• $100 per person deposit
• A travel voucher of $50 per person for your next vacation

Contact your Certified Specialist today! or

Romantic Planet Vacations

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Destination Wedding Planning Process #Infographic

Friday, June 27, 2014

New and Noteworthy in the world of #Destinationwedding and #Honeymoons

Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, St. Thomas
AMResorts will take over the 294-room Sugar Bay Resort & Spa in St. Thomas next Tuesday, rebranding it as the Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas Resort & Spa in November after several months of renovations that will include guestroom upgrades.

Riu Hotels & Resorts unveiled new menu options at its themed restaurants at the Riu Palace locations in Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, the Riviera Maya, and the Riviera Nayarit. The changes include almost 100 new dishes, giving guests six main course choices (up from four).

The One&Only Hayman Island private island resort in Australia's Great Barrier Reef region will open after a huge makeover, including a redesigned "pool wing" that's now all suite.

Air Canada Vacations will roll out new nonstop flights on January 1st, 2015 between Montreal and Curacao, with introductory package prices on the route when you book by July 31, 2014.

The Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort in Jamaica will add a beachfront water park in December with water slides, raft rides, a "lazy river," a dining plaza with a bar, and other amenities.

The 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino will open ahead of schedule (Aug 23) rather than Labor Day). It will be the first brand-new Strip resort to open in almost five years.

The 124-room Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina in St. Lucia will re-open officially on August 15th, (after a "soft opening" next month) with new suites, restaurants, health and wellness facilities, a cigar bar, and a "rum cave." (It's the former Discovery at Marigot Bay property.)

Investors announced plans to resurrect the Moulin Rouge Casino and Resort in Las Vegas on a 15-acre site in the city's downtown district. The former Moulin Rouge property was known for being one of America's first racially integrated casinos.

Azul Fives Resort, Mayan Riviera
Transat Holidays rolled out a groups promotion at the Azul Fives Hotels in Mexico's Riviera Maya region, with $300 discounts per couple and lower minimum deposits ($100, not $250), plus agent benefits, when you book by June 30th for travel Nov 1 - April 30, 2015. (Starting Nov 1st, Azul Fives will only be bookable in Canada through Transat Holidays.)

Air Transat began its new Prague packages this week, with Tuesday flights from both Montreal and Toronto set to run through Oct 7th.

For more information and to request your free Destination Wedding or Honeymoon Quote, please contact the experts at Romantic Planet Vacations 1-866-247-8123 or

Friday, June 20, 2014

Moon Palace to open in Jamaica

Palace Resorts acquires Sunset Jamaica Grande

By Gay Nagle Myers, Travel Weekly

Palace Resorts will assume ownership of the 730-room Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on July 7, and will close it on Sept. 1 for renovations.

The resort will reopen as the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in early 2015.

"When we designed our strategic five-year growth plan, we listed several destinations as priorities, and Jamaica was at the top of that list," said Gibran Chapur, executive vice president for Palace Resorts.

"We believe Jamaica is the most important tourism destination in the Caribbean, and we found the Sunset Jamaica Grande to be the perfect opportunity for us to enter this market."

Palace Resorts currently owns and operates seven properties in Mexico, including the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Cancun.

Sunset Resorts has three other properties in Jamaica: two in Montego Bay and one in Negril.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Forever Starts in Barbados: How to score free travel and a wedding for bride-to-be

Canadian brides fly, stay and wed for free in Barbados!

In the competitive market of destination weddings, the Barbados Tourism Authority has just come up with the cleverest promotion to bring more brides to Barbados - by offering them free trips!

Photo provided by The Barbados Tourism Authority
For the first fifty brides from Canada who book and register their group to Barbados with Romantic Planet Vacations from now until May next year for travel Sept 1, 2014 to December 15, 2015, they will receive complimentary airfare (valued up to CAD$1000), complimentary accommodations at select hotels in Barbados, and a complimentary wedding package. Now that's a bargain!

Flights are available with Air Canada or Westjet to Barbados from most cities across Canada with a connection in Toronto. Most people buy a full travel package to include accommodations, airport transfers and airfare, all of which can be arranged with group travel and destination wedding specialists, Romantic Planet Vacations. 

Romantic Planet Vacations has been serving destination wedding brides and grooms and their wedding groups since 2004 and will be celebrating their tenth anniversary this November. All of their agents are certified Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Specialists and all have been trained in the Barbado's Tourism Authority's 'Barbados Elite Club' making them exclusive leaders in travel experiences to Barbados.

As long as the wedding group books a minimum of ten rooms for four nights, the bride qualifies for all of the benefits. The participating hotels are;

Photo provided by the Barbados Tourism Authority
1.    Sugar Cane Club
2.    The Crane Residential Resort
3.    Turtle Beach Resort
4.    Crystal Cove
5.    Tamarind
6.    Colony Club
7.    The House
8.    Bougainvillea Beach Resort
9.    Island Inn
10.  Mango Bay
11.  Accra Beach Hotel & Spa
12.  Ocean Two Resort and Residences
13.  Sea Breeze
14.  South Gap
15.  Little Arches

And if that's not enough, the participating hotels are throwing in a free wedding! This includes;

o Officiant’s Fees/ Minister’s Fees
o Transport to Registry Office to obtain marriage license
o Bottle of Sparkling Wine for Ceremony
o Wedding Cake
o Decorated wedding area/arch
o Bridal bouquet
o Groom boutonniere
o Recorded Music

To obtain your free discounted group quote today to Barbados, please contact the specialists at Romantic Planet Vacations at 1-866-247-8123 or and they'll be happy to get you on your way. All you need is the groom! 

For more information, please visit; 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Honeymoon like Kim Kardashian and Kayne West

So you may not have the same honeymoon budget as Kim Kardashian and Kayne West do but it doesn't mean you can't still travel like them.

After exchanging their vows in an over-the-top ceremony at Florence's 16th-century Forte di Belvedere, Italy on Saturday, May 24, the newlywed couple Kim Kardashian and Kayne West, headed off to Castlemartyr Resort in the Cork woodlands of Ireland to enjoy their five-day honeymoon.

The 103 bedrooms and suites at The Castlemartyr 5-star Resort boasts lavish views of ornate gardens, parklands and lakes. The property has a 10-room treatment spa, a fitness studio, a Ron Kirby designed golf course, four restaurants, and 800-year-old castle ruins. The 18th century classic manor was originally built by the Knights Templar under Richard Earl De Clare, also known as Strongbow. 

Even though the famous Kardashian and West couple may have forked out upwards of US$67,000 a night to stay in the luxurious Presidential Suite, you can still have the same experience at the same resort a fraction of the price. Romantic Planet Vacations, specialists in destination weddings and honeymoons, is offering the standard double deluxe room for 4 nights from only around US$900 in total. Or upgrade from there and live like a lord and lady of the manor in one of the four exclusive suit residences located in the heart of the manor from only around US$2500 for 4 nights in the Grand Suite category. 

The resort is nestled in 220 acres of parklands and nature with an abundance of wildlife and gardens. You can take a walk with "Earl" and "Countess", Irish Setter dogs and residents of Castlemartyr Resort. You can also hire a car and drive through the nearny city of Cork and the countryside to visit the many ancient and historic sites that Ireland has to offer. Perhaps you want to impress your new wife or husband with your archery and laser clay pigeon shooting skills or go for a bike ride, horseback ride or carriage ride throughout the grounds. In evening, hang out at the Knight Bar, the center of activity at the resort. 

Regardless of what you do or don't do at Castlemartyr Resort, Romantic Planet Vacations has made it easy to honeymoon like the style.

For more information on this or other unique and romantic honeymoon options to Ireland and Europe, please contact Romantic Planet Vacations at 1-866-247-8124 or

By: Laurie Keith
Romantic Planet Vacations

@KimKardashian @kanyewest @TourismIreland @romanticplanet @CastlemartyrRes #kimye #kimyewedding #kimyehoneymoon