Start Designing Your Vacation Today
Founder / Travel Consultant / Chief Concierge
SOCCCD Travel and Tourism certification | Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
I grew up traveling the world, with a very unconventional childhood. My experiences have ingrained a wanderlust that has become a vital part of who I am. When you combine that with my passion for research, and an innate desire to help others, you’ll get a travel consultant that takes pride in the product. With my experience and breadth of knowledge, I’ll help you create vacations that become your most treasured memories.
go as many places as you can.
You can always make money,
you can’t always make memories.
~ Mark Twain
Lost Winds Travel & Tourism Blog
Ah, vacation.....the excitement that builds when it's time to start packing. You know your journey is just around the corner. But what to pack? Here are some tips to streamline the challenges of 'not too much and not too little'. Let’s start with the not so fun, but...
Well, first off, let me share the literal background with you. I live in beautiful San Clemente, California, which is right on the border of Orange and San Diego Counties. San Clemente is famous for being the quintessential beach town, where dozens and dozens of world...
DOES USING AN AGENCY MAKE MY TRIP MORE EXPENSIVE?
Using a Travel Consultant doesn’t cost you any more money, either. In almost all circumstances, you, the client, pay me nothing. Let me say that again: You do not pay anything extra for my services. I am paid by the companies that I have a relationship with (but rest assured, I will always seek out the best deals, discounts and offerings available to you; from all options). So, why wouldn’t you use me to plan your vacation?
Another perk that’s most often lost when booking your own vacation is the power of networking that’s available to me. For example, if you were to book a hotel room in London, you may get a decent room at a decent price, but with a view of the alley. But, with the affiliations at my disposal, I could book you a room in that same hotel, at the same cost or less, yet with a view of Westminster Abbey, champagne waiting for you in your room and a complimentary massage for two. Which sounds better to you?
WHAT SHOULD I REASONABLY EXPECT FROM A TRAVEL AGENT?
A reliable travel agent should be able to keep you posted on any deadlines for making payments and getting the necessary paperwork to travel. However, you alone are responsible for meeting all those requirements, not your agent. That being said, I will make sure you adhere to any deadlines by reminding you of upcoming due dates.
A good travel agent should support you during your trip, if not with a 24-hour phone number you can call, then by phone or email, during regular office hours. It is reasonable to expect an agent to help you when something goes wrong while you’re on your trip, instead of pushing you off on the airline or cruise line. Remember: I am being compensated for this work. I will monitor the progress of your trip and work diligently to fix any problems before they happen.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TRIP MYSELF, INSTEAD OF THROUGH A TRAVEL AGENT?
- If it’s a simple transaction, like buying a train ticket, a point-to-point plane ticket, or a hotel room.
- If you know enough about a destination or a product that you don’t require the advice of an expert, and can easily resolve any disputes directly with the airline, car rental company, cruise line, or hotel.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST MISTAKES TRAVELERS MAKE WHEN SELF-BOOKING?
- Wrong date or time. An easy mistake to make, and far too common. The pull-down menus can be confusing, especially if you’re dealing with a European site, which formats Year-Month-Day instead of Month-Day-Year. Foreign calendars also often group Saturday and Sunday at the end of the week, so it’s easy to click on a square the you believe is Friday and have it actually be Saturday. Also, DIYers frequently confuse a.m. and p.m.
- Incorrect name on a reservation. Remember, the name on your airline ticket must be an exact match. “Frank” instead of “Francis” or “Bob” instead of “Robert” could mess up your vacation. If you’re traveling internationally, the name on the ticket must match your passport exactly.
- Not shopping around. One of the biggest benefits of using a website to buy travel is that you can compare prices. If you’re pressed for time — and if you don’t really care how much money you spend — then find a travel agent, and let that person book the most convenient itinerary.
- Basic trip research. When you book something online, everything is up to you. That includes not only passports and visas, but also ensuring your own security. I can help guide you through these essential aspects of your trip, but when you self-book, you’re entirely alone. If you’re not prepared to at least look up your visa requirements, and consult the State Department site to ensure your safety, you should use an agent.
- Failing to read the terms of your purchase. If you’re booking online and directly through a company, the terms will be available on its website. Read everything. If you don’t, you could be surprised by what’s in it. Then again…that’s what I’m here for. To take the headache away from you.