How does it work to book with a travel agent?
The process to book with Jennifer Maselli Travel is easy and transparent. I like to think of it as a conversation. We start by having you fill out a detailed questionnaire that will be used as a road map for planning your trip. Then I conduct research with my suppliers and travel partners, often using Google, Pinterest and a map app to put together a proposal.
You can accept the initial proposal or make changes, tweaks and requests. Once we come up with the right travel plan for you, we make deposits with travel suppliers and I'll put your detailed itinerary together through Travefy. I use a company called TravelJoy to securely collect and store your contact information, travel preferences, passport information, and credit card information.
I offer guidance with things like travel visas for international travel, checking on any warnings or alerts issued by the State Department, and advice for the specific region you might be traveling to.
Once final payments are made and your documents and vouchers are in hand I'll mail out a package to you that includes any hotel and transfer vouchers and a hard copy of your itinerary. Your itinerary will also be sent to you via an app on your smartphone that can be accessed offline. I call ahead to hotels and suppliers when necessary to make sure that your trip goes as planned. You can reach out to me with any issues you run into during your travels.
You go, have an amazing time, and return home happy, invigorated and ready to plan your next adventure.
Does it cost more to book with a travel agency?
It should not cost more to use a travel agency versus booking on your own. In fact, in many cases it will cost less as we are able to access suppliers and consolidators who offer highly competitive rates to travel professionals. Our buying power as a member of a large host agency and the Virtuoso travel network also ensures competitive prices. In addition, many travel suppliers will match the prices found on consumer websites, so not only do you get that great price but it comes with the professional customer service and upgrades only found through travel agencies.
I may charge a Plan-To-Go fee for my services depending on the type of trip you are planning. In the case of a custom independent trip I may request a negotiated planning fee in advance, depending on the length of your stay and how many destinations are included. In the case of group tours or destination weddings I will request a negotiated planning fee up front that will go toward the final cost of your package.
When we book your trip you will not pay any money to Jennifer Maselli Travel directly - I will make payments to suppliers on your behalf.
If you retain Jennifer Maselli Travel to plan a trip for you or create a custom itinerary without using my agency to book the trip then I do charge a flat negotiated fee for that service.
why should i use a travel agency when i can book my own trip?
This is a great question. It's super easy these days to book a trip using consumer facing booking websites like Hotwire and Expedia. This is a great way to book a vacation! I am a longstanding Expedia customer and have booked many trips for myself over the years. The reason you use a travel agent to help you plan something you might be able to book yourself can be summed up int two words: expertise and access.
Expertise - travel agents are able to draw upon a wealth of knowledge, not only from personal experience (although most agents are intrepid travelers) but also from other agents, their host agencies, supplier contacts, regional sales people, and contacts at hotels. There is a network among travel professionals that agents utilize to help find their clients the best properties, flights, tours, cruise ships and packages to fit their needs.
Access - travel professionals have access to suppliers that only sell to the travel industry. We have access to tours, contacts, and people on the ground in your destination who can create the most authentic experience for your travel dollars. As a member of the Virtuoso travel network, when I book my clients into a Virtuoso property, tour, or experience, there are upgrades and amenities included that are not offered to the general public. Automatically upgraded rooms, meals, spa and resort credits, free wifi, and early check in times are a few examples of the upgrades offered by our Virtuoso partners.
In addition to expertise and access, booking with Jennifer Maselli Travel assures you a level of support and customer service that simply isn't available through consumer websites. I'm here to answer questions if you have them. I'm here if you run into problems while traveling. It's what I do.
If you're interested in booking a trip or want more information about booking with an agent, click the button below. Let's talk.