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How do your prices compare to shopping online?

At True Vacation Travel, you are going to pay the same or less than you do when you shop yourself online. Additionally, you will save countless hours of researching by using a travel professional. Beyond that, our agents will continue to check for discounts that might later become available for your vacation, particularly for s, and will automatically apply those savings to your existing reservation. We also provide our own 110% price guarantee to provide you with confidence that your final cost is the best available for your specific vacation.

Once upon a time I delighted in the hunt for the perfect set of flights – a good departure time, not too long of a layover and all at a price I was happy to pay. Now I have found someone who is good at doing that hunt for me, and who consistently finds tickets for at or below what I can (when I invest the 1-2 hours necessary for a thorough search). I heartily recommend Jason for all of your flying needs.D.R.G

Does it cost anything to use a travel counselor at True Vacation Travel?

True Vacation Travel provides vacation counseling services, beyond simply taking your order as is the nature of websites or other travel agencies. As such, our agents collect a modest fee to assist you in planning and arranging your vacation. This fee is charged upon completion of our planning services before travel has commenced.


Why use your agents when I can book it myself online?

The difference between the website and our agents is one of unbiased, professional consultation. Websites can only sell you the products you ask for, among their limited offerings. Try to make an airline reservation for Southwest on any other website except Southwest’s website – in fact, other websites do not even compare or show Southwest prices. This also applies to every other website out there, in the end, each site is biased in the products they can provide because only those products provide financial compensation to those website owners. Remember, nothing is really free, so what are you giving up by using a “free” website.


Do other travel agencies charge fees?

Over 86% of all agencies nationwide charge some sort of fee, including all online travel websites – frequently these are hidden in the fine print. Yet there are still some who say they are ‘fee free’ – so why is that, you might ask? We’ll that is a great question and may be a cause for some concern. Basically, because certain companies pay them more to promote their products over others. This is usually evident when you see primarily one cruise line or hotel on their building, signs or cars. Often this is who compensates them the best. We call this supplier bias, and we don’t like it. Rather we’d prefer our agents to be completely unencumbered by which cruise lines pay them higher commission, or which airlines they will not quote because they make no money from those tickets. So instead of directing our clients to earn us more money, we would rather direct our clients based off of their specific and unique needs. 

Can I use your planning services if I purchase elsewhere?

Absolutely! We are your vacation consultants and work for you – not the line or vacation destination. It is one of the best ways to ensure truly unbiased results! You are welcome to bring in vacations your purchased elsewhere for our expert advice and service, or use our planning services and purchase elsewhere.

Are there fees to cancel or change my reservation?

We understand that you may need to change your travel plans for various reasons. The best way to protect yourself against cancelation fees for unforeseen circumstances is through travel insurance. Our fees are comparable to your other options when purchasing travel including online travel websites, memberships like Costco or even other retail stores. Here is a list of our consolidated fee schedule. We will ask you for why you’re canceling or changing your trip so that can help reduce or eliminate the fees you must pay. However, please let us know if you have any specific questions or concerns.

How is the Internet affecting the travel industry?

The Internet has helped transform the travel industry. It helps educate the consumer by providing vast amounts of information about destinations and different travel options. Both consumers and travel professionals have benefited from the Internet, which makes the possibility of travel to exotic places more imaginable. It has helped consumers see in full color and, in some cases, real-time, where they would like to visit. The Internet gives travelers the ability to do comparative shopping for attractive deals or packages. It also has helped many travel agencies, hotels, resorts and other travel-related suppliers flourish by bringing in business through Web sites.

What are the benefits of using a travel agent compared to the Internet?

The Internet can be a powerful tool. It can increase the scope and reach of a consumer’s efforts and allow a person to check hundreds of options or research destinations in depth. But to make the Internet work effectively, a person has to understand where to look and what questions to ask, otherwise hours can be wasted surfing the Web and ultimately produce unsatisfactory results. This is where a travel agent can make a world of difference.

Another couple and us had planned a from Sydney to points in New Zealand. We had already selected our cabins but his knowledge of the Tasmin Sea and crossing it made her comment on our previous experiences and how the sea can be fairly rough. Sure enough, it was a bouncy crossing both ways and be being mid ship, we were much more comfortable than we would have been either in the bow or stern. He also gave us a number of tips on what to see and do during our six days in Sydney.Jim

A professional travel agent is trained to guide a client through the entire process of planning a trip, whether for business or for leisure. Travel agents take classes, participate in seminars, become destination specialists and join professional associations in order to ensure they make each client’s travel experience as personalized, convenient and memorable as possible. When planning a business trip or family vacation, the Internet can be a valuable resource, but it cannot replace the expertise and guidance of a travel agent. Also, during travel crises, the Internet can’t replace a human being who will persist to help a client get restitution.

Will the Internet replace the need for travel agents?

There are some things technology cannot replicate, and the personal touch is one of them. The Internet is a valuable resource, but it cannot replace the expertise, guidance and personal service of a travel agent. At a time when travelers are stressed out with hectic schedules, travel agents have all of the information at their fingertips, saving valuable hours of surfing on the Web. Agents also can offer insider tips based on personal experience.

Don’t simply take our word for it, here is what our clients have to say:

I used to think using a travel agent was passe. Why should I pay someone to do what I can do on the internet myself? After having used Jason Olson at True Vacation Travel, I have realized that I am better off leaving it up to the pros. He has consistently been able to get me better flights and hotels at equal or better than internet prices. While price is always a huge factor with me, even more important is the peace of mind, and ease of use I get from using an agent. I make one call, tell him what I want, and I am done. No more scouring the internet for hours trying to piece together the best deal. I used his services last to book a trip to Las Vegas to go to the international Rugby Sevens Tournament, after first having a friend try and book stuff on line. He made sure we got direct flights at reasonable hours, and was able to get hotel prices better than any I had seen on the internet. Andreas

Payment Information

When do I need to pay for my vacation?

An initial deposit is due at the time of booking, and thereafter a payment schedule will be defined by your travel consultant. In general airline tickets and insurance are due in full at time of purchase. Cruises are due 90 days prior to departure. Land vacations 60 days prior to departure. In about 50% of the cases, hotels or cars will be due at check-in. These are general timeframes but actually times may be different depending on the specifics of your vacations.

How can I pay?

We accept most major credit cards, but some vacations only accept Visa or Mastercard. Debit cards are accepted is most cases. Checks may be used for final payment at least 7 days prior to the actual payment due date. Cash payments are accepted only in our retail office at least 1 business day prior to the actual payment due date. Same day payments require credit cards.

Are payment plans available?

Yes! In most cases you need to be at least 4 months prior to your trip date. You can make payments on your own terms between your deposit and the final due date – which could be monthly, or any other frequency you desire.

How do I choose a travel agent that’s right for me?

Every travel agency is different and accordingly, some are better suited to a given consumer than others. Here are some tips on choosing a travel agent who is right for you.

  • Go with the Pros: Look for the ASTA and IATA label – two of the gold standardsof the industry. Through their continuing education and training programs, they prepares its members to operate high-caliber, competitive businesses.
  • Ask Around: Tap friends, neighbors and relatives who use an agent they trust. You may want to visit or call several agencies to find the one that best suits your needs. Consider everything from the appearance of the office to the agent’s willingness to listen and answer questions. The best agents want to establish a long-term relationship with a client, not just make one sale.
  • Ask about Fees: Good agents will notify their clients of any additional fees, including service fees, up front. Doing otherwise is pointless, as the fee will appear as a separate charge on the client’s credit card bill. Additionally inquire about all potential fees as well, including change and cancellation fess, after hour fees, or phone service fees.
  • Search the Web: Go to TravelSense (http://www.travelsense.org/) and use the “Find an Agent” tool. Search for agents with expertise in destinations or specific subjects that interest you.
  • Check Credentials: Many agents have been trained in business management, travel and tourism or geography. Others have supplemented their agency experience with extensive education and training courses. Some travel agents are Certified Travel Counselors (CTC) through the Travel Institute or Master Cruise Counselors (MCC) through the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
  • Find Out an Agency’s Track Record: Go online to ASTA.org and verify whether a travel agent is an ASTA member or not. Also, check with the local Better Business Bureau, while keeping in mind they will only have records of agencies that have had reports filed against them.

How many people still use a travel agent?

The amount of people depends significantly on the type of travel, such as:

  • 85 percent of cruises
  • 70 percent of all tours and packages
  • 50 percent of all airline tickets (increasing steadily since 2005)
  • 30 percent of all hotels
  • 25 percent of all car rentals

Is it true that I will spend more money when going through a travel agent?

quote2There are two major reasons this might occur:

  1. Most marketing that vacation providers put out (Cruise lines, Disney, etc.) are for the base cost, but it doesn’t include all of the taxes and fees associated with that trip. This is just like the $9.99 steak special at a restaurant, it doesn’t include drinks, taxes or gratuities. The same is true with most vacations – taxes and gratuities can actually be a more significant cost of a trip than a lot of people expect.
  2. The second is that most advertising is for what is called “lead in” or “starting from” fares, often they’re advertising the off-season pricing, or the most undesirable locations on a ship. For example, Alaska fares are often listed for May pricing; however, prime Alaska cruising is July, which is over twice the cost for the same in May.

Beyond that, we are simply here to help ensure you’re taking the right vacation. We will always respect what you come in the door with, but we’ll also present you with options that, in our professional experience, will likely provide you with the vacation you’re expecting.

Some information from ASTA & PhoCusWright – used with permission

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