Booking Summer Vacations
Written by Marla Archer
summer travel season has started off with a bang! I have had
the privilege to handle the arrangements for several
different individuals heading to a variety of destinations
Jamaica Me Crazy
My first opportunity was working with two ladies who
wanted to go to an All-Inclusive Adult Resort in Jamaica at
the end of this month. I did thorough research on all
available properties within their budget and found the
perfect girlfriend getaway at the Secrets Resort in Montego
People often ask why they should come to me for their
vacation plans. Here is a perfect example as to why. I
provided that extra time and effort with diligent research
and found out that Secrets was offering a "Spring Fever
Special". The special included a reduced room rate in a
Junior Ocean View Suite, $200 resort credit, $100 credit for
spa treatments, $60 coupon for dinner, and $40 in coupons
towards wine. These ladies are going to have an absolute
blast! Plus I arranged for air on the carrier of their
choice, in addition to ground transportation for their stay.
These ladies do not have to think about anything once they
board the plane!
South of France and
My next project was HUGE! A lovely couple is celebrating
their upcoming 10th anniversary in July and wanted to visit
both the South of France and London.
I wanted to do my absolute best to provide a very special
experience for them. The gentleman has back issues and
needed to make sure he traveled Business class on a specific
type of aircraft. I must have spent days looking for the
best flight at the best price. For those of you who may not
know it, the airlines stopped paying commission years ago. I
finally found a good match and we booked the air.
Since they wanted to go to the South of France, I
remembered how much I loved Nice and the surrounding area. I
read countless reviews looking for the perfect hotel for
their stay in Nice. I finally found a boutique hotel
overlooking the Mediterranean. I personally contacted the
hotel manager to assure a pleasant stay. My couple will be
greeted with a chilled bottle of champagne upon their
In addition to the hotel, I arranged two tours for their
stay in Nice. I scheduled them for a half day city tour of
Nice for their first morning, so they could get acquainted
with the town. I remembered how much I loved the quaint town
of Eze, so I suggested a half day tour to Monaco, Monte
Carlo and Eze for the afternoon on their second day. I hope
they like the tour as much as I did.
On the afternoon of their third day they are leaving for
London, so I arranged for air transportation from Nice to
London, with all the ground
transportation, too. While in London, I arranged for a hotel
right in the heart of the city. I also booked an all day
tour to Bath, Windsor and Stonehenge. Stonehenge is one
place I really would like to visit some day. The couple
wanted to have some unescorted time in London, so I also
arranged for a Two Day London Pass. This way they can come
and go as they please.
Rick and I will be celebrating our 10th in August, I am
very jealous. Ricky honey,
are you reading this?
My third big travel booking adventure was with a very
kind gentleman who had recently lost his wife due to cancer.
He was planning a very special trip to Hawaii to spend time
with his son. The gentleman came to my home, and we
discussed that he wanted to go to Kauai for three weeks and
split the time between a condo and a high end resort.
Boy, this one was challenging. There were no specific
dates, so I researched when would be the least expensive
days to fly. I found him very nice 3 star accommodations
right on the waterfront at a reasonable rate. I searched
high and low looking at all the possibilities and decided on
this particular hotel because it was offering a 4th Night
Free promotion. Since he was staying for an extended time
frame, this was greatly to his advantage. He ended up
booking the 5 star resort through his son due to better
The son has a work affiliation with the resort and the
gentleman was able to take advantage of a family discount.
No hard feelings on my part, I only want what is best for my
guests. I also arranged for a car rental with Alamo. I found
a deal where he was given a $200 car credit. The air was
Not to disclose too much information, but there were
three airline tickets for three different dates involved in
this transaction. This was certainly more complicated that
my Jamaica ladies. I am sure my gentleman is going to have a
great time! ;-)
As I write, I am currently working on two different
cruise vacations. One is on Holland America for a 7 day
sailing to Alaska in August for a mother and daughter.
As I write, that booking is
The other project is for a
Western Caribbean sailing on Carnival's new Magic for this
November. I will let you know shortly how these turn out.
One thing I found out was that I definitely want to book
the Magic sometime in 2012. Well,
there you go, I just received a call with the credit card
for the guest sailing on the Magic! And
minutes later, the go ahead on the Holland America cruise. I
was able to capture a reduced fare on a balcony cabin that
was only $25 higher than the oceanview. Holland America had
a limited time promotion and the ladies definitely wanted to
take advantage of the promo.
As you all may know I am very experienced working with
Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and NCL, but I now am
well-trained with Princess as well. This
training with Princess recently came in handy.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to book two
14 day Panama Canal Cruises. I must say this was one of the
easiest bookings I have ever done. My guests let me know
exactly what itinerary they wanted, approximately when they
wanted to go and that they wanted two adjoining Mini Suites.
They told me that they had done this cruise before and liked
it. I looked up their past guest numbers and found out that
there was a Past Guest Promo running on this exact cruise. I
relayed the info and we booked the cruise.
The only tricky part of this was that one of the guests
is not a U.S. citizen, so I had to check each port to see if
a visa was required. I liked the itinerary so well, and now
that I am familiar with Princess, I am hoping to be able to
attempt a group cruise on one of their ships.
I started out by organizing group
cruises, but after ten years of experience, I now feel
equally comfortable booking individual itineraries.
Wish me luck on my expanded travel career!
I not only can save people a lot of time
and booking hassle, I have been to every place these people
want to go. I have complete confidence I can give you
some advice on each place that will not only save you time
and money, it will also enhance your trip. If I can
help, let me know!