Hello again? Where have you been spending your time these days?
I grew up in a family that does not travel together. The first known travel I ever had with my dad, mom and siblings together was when I was about 22 years old when we celebrated my brother's passing in an Engineering licensure exam as a 12th placer together with relatives in Villa Escudero. The pictures of that event is family treasure.
Let's just say I started late. So I have much catching up to do ;)
The easiest and most relaxing way to travel is to hire a travel agent to package things for you.
I already mentioned in a previous post, going on your own is always more full of adventure and to some, may be more meaningful and fulfilling.
However, although this may be ideal, it is not always the way to go.
So you already know a travel agent. ;) What do we want to know so we could give you a spot on holiday.
In any holiday, it would be futile to think of a place any further than our budget. Expectations are managed and I'd dare say governed by the amount of money we have carefully set aside to go on a holiday. Personally, the after taste of a holiday depends on how I stuck to the budget while I was on the trip.
Do not be afraid to give your budget to your travel agent. This way, we could maximize the available choices for you as we plan the trip. In some cases, your travel agent can also give you a more accurate figure to aim at. Give it some thought. It might put you back on track and make things more "do-able".
The budget determines if you are going to a place reachable by air, sea, land. The budget dictates if you have to go to a posh hotel afforded by your money or happily share a quad room somewhere more rustic. It also sets the limit to the attractions you are to explore in the place.
Most of us work and the leave credits we have gives us the parameters of our get-away. Although you may have the budget for it, you might have to stay nearby or those places where a 3days 2night vacay is already enough.
If you can afford more time though, do make this information available to your travel agent. This way, she or he may be able to give you an idea of nearby places to explore while you are at it. A nearby province may be as interesting as the one you initially thought of. The Baguio-Banawe-Sagada route is one. Cebu-Bohol is another. Not to forget foreign country visits like Singapore-Indonesia-Malaysia route, Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam route and Beijing-Shanghai route.
Your travel agent will need full names - ALWAYS THE ONES WRITTEN ON YOUR PASSPORT or in local travels, the one written in a goverment issued ID.
Aside from the names, the following information are handy when making bookings with a travel agent:
1. Ages of the people traveling.
3. Passport numbers, nationality, validity / expiry of passport
4. Relations (this help in rooming assignments)
5. How many visas you already gotten for yourself (this eases up some requirements when a new visa needs to be secured)
6. Personal capability for the tour: senior citizens, babies, ability to swim, to hike, to take care of self, disability, other limitations.
I'm pretty sure I forgot some. But the list above is often enough.
Sometimes, the trip is personal. What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to meet? What is the underlying purpose of a travel?
An example is to bond with family, to party, to discover history, to have business connections, to be a kid again. I am pretty sure your travel agent can get you to a place that would meet these goals.
How can we help?
Aside from giving you an idea of a realistic budget, itinerary and aligning your plan based on your personal goals and travel companions, a travel agent also helps you/ assist you to
1. Get a visa.
2. Get airport transfers especially in places unknown to you.
3. Get tickets to attractions before you get there.
4. Connect you with a local tour guide that speaks your language and help you go around.
5. Offer full board packages when applicable.
6. Give you access to hotel promos.
7. Get you access to more difficult avenues to book online like cruises or diving, cooking, concert-themed holidays.
8. And many more.
Some people think they do not know how to go on a trip. Some people think they already know too much.
For both types of people, it does not hurt to get a package off the shelf next time they travel.
The former may find how easy things actually are.
The latter may find, that it is time to delegate the tour guide position to someone else.
Happy days ahead!