Have you seen those Booking.com TV commercials where the travelers are always so incredibly thrilled when they open the door to their hotel room and it is actually nice? Those ads always crack me up because they are actually doing more to validate the need for a Travel Agent than to promote their own internet booking engine! Obviously, there is always a huge chance that you will be disappointed in a room you book blindly online, or they wouldn’t be so darn relieved when it works out well. Professional Travel Consultants have loads of resources available to us to gather as much legitimate information as possible before you book (not just professional photos taken by the hotel and photo-shopped). And, if you get there and are disappointed in your room…Who are you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters…and try getting someone from Booking.com or Travelocity (or whoever) to answer the phone and solve your problem! I am always available to my clients when they are traveling to solve any problems that might arise. Basically, I have your back!
Travel is an eye-opening, heart-warming and mind-blowing experience…but it can also be sprinkled with those little “April Fools” moments…Any time of the year. Being prepared to handle them with grace and a sense of humor will go a long way towards ensuring a great trip. Here are a few ways you can be prepared for the inevitable “glitch”:
1. Do your research before you book…and that means more than just looking at Trip Advisor! Did you know that a good portion of the reviews on Trip Advisor are actually fake? There are people out there who are paid “per review” or “per word” to write positive reviews for some properties and negative reviews to post on other, more unlucky ones. Of course, all that does is confuse the actual traveler. Travel Professionals have access to more accurate, honest information and will be happy to assist you.
2. If you arrive at your destination and are seriously disappointed, or feel that you have been misled or not given the category of room that you paid for, go first to the front deskmanager at the hotel/resort and express your feelings (politely, please). If they are unable to satisfy you, and you have booked through your trusted Travel Agent, call, text or email themimmediately to fill them in on the situation. Don’t wait! Many times, the Agent can make a phone call or two to someone above the front desk manager’s head and make something happen quickly. We will certainly give it the old college try!
3. If you are unable to be satisfied with your situation, please document everything…who you spoke with, what the problem was, what was said…and take lots of photos (One picture is worth a thousand words)! Worst case scenario, we can try to get some form of compensation after you return home. But don’t sit on the info for weeks…The faster the problem is addressed, the better the outcome!
So, travel well…travel often…but travel SMART! Let’s strive to keep the April Fools jokes confined to April first and keep them out of our travel experiences! Remember….your trusted Travel Consultant can do a lot to help avoid any unwanted surprises…and you just may receive some small unexpected treats along the way!