Why should I use a travel consultant to plan my next vacation?

With today’s Internet, the consumer is inundated with many options to Do It Yourself.  However, the process is still time consuming, especially if you are unsure of the best destination, resort, and room category to fit your unique travel and budget requirements.  You can easily spend 10 hours or more, only to discover you are more confused than ever before with endless options in front of you!

A good travel consultant will make this process efficient and painless.  We are here to recommend the best vacation, resulting in a priceless memory for you to last a lifetime. Do we save you money compared to booking your vacation directly?  Probably.  Do we save you time and frustration?  Absolutely!  Plus we are here for you to ensure your trip happens without a hitch.

What is the process to use your services?

Prospective clients typically contact me by phone or email to initiate the vacation planning process.  We will then set up an initial phone consultation, which takes approximately 30 minutes, and we will discuss destinations, travel dates, your past travel experiences, budget, and travel party size.  I will then email (or call) with package recommendations, and we will follow up with a phone conversation to discuss your options and arrange deposit payments.

Is there an upfront fee to use your services?

For straightforward requests there are no service fees.  For bookings that require extra time upfront (complex European itineraries, large groups, destination weddings, custom requests, etc) there is a Retainer between $100 and $250 which can be paid using PayPal.

Are deposits refundable?

Unless otherwise noted, deposits are non-refundable.

Do you offer travel insurance?

Yes, we offer travel insurance, which is an optional and recommended addition to any vacation package.  Please note that travel insurance does not cover all cancellation situations.  In most instances, “change of mind” cancellation is NOT covered.  Ask about insurance options and cancellation policies for your trip.

What are the cancellation policies for my trip?

Cancellation penalties and cancel-by dates vary, based on airlines, airfare, wholesaler, hotel policy, and travel dates.  If you need to cancel your trip, contact us as soon as possible to review your options.

How far in advance can I book my trip?

Air-inclusive packages can be booked as early as 10 months in advance.  Cruises can be booked as early as 15 months in advance (not including airfare).  Escorted tours are announced in September for the following year.  However, if you would like to discuss budgets for your dream trip to occur a year or more from now, give us a call and we can give you an approximate budget for planning purposes.

What is the payment process?

Deposit amounts vary based on your particular package.  A deposit will be required to confirm your booking, with the final payment due 30-60 days prior to your departure date (typically it is 45 days prior).  Cruise lines generally have earlier final due dates of 60-75 days prior. Payment can be made by debit or credit card.  Third party payments are possible, but require written authorization by the card holder.  If you are booking your travel last minute (45 days or less prior to travel), payment in full is required at time of booking.

I’ve booked my trip already with an online travel service.  Can you help to plan our days?

Arranging activities, tours, private tour guides, transfers, rental cars, and dining recommendations are concierge services we provide for clients who have booked their travel package through us.  Accommodations (whether hotel or cruise cabin) are a minimum element to any package booked.  However, if you have booked elsewhere and would like to utilize our concierge services, we can provide this for a fee.

Contact:  email at cindy@expertfamilytravel or call at 972-625-6200.

Happy Travels!  ~Cindy Grant, Travel Consultant, Expert Family Travel