After some thought, I decided to ask a friend (whose husband is a travel agent) for some help and advice. Her husband, Joe DeFazio of Off to Neverland Travel, got back to me almost immediately with room availability, tons of dining suggestions and reassurance that everything would be alright. I truly wanted to believe him but I’m an overly cautious person by nature. My husband and I talked about his suggestions and I agreed that we would use Joe to book our rooms and dining package for the trip. I still wanted control of meal reservations and park touring plans despite Joe’s offers to help with those items too. He also helped my parents get their accommodations booked as well.
Our trip continued to get closer and closer and the pressure was mounting. My to do list was growing and I became so frustrated with myself about not having more things planned for the trip. About two weeks before our trip, I emailed Joe asking for help fitting in some Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) that I just couldn’t seem to get when I was searching for them. I provided a list of places we’d like to get into with dates and times that would work with our travel plans. Before long, I had an email back with confirmation numbers for what I’d asked for and more! While we did change some things up a bit at the parks, overall it was just what I’d asked for.
While I truly love planning all the details of our Disney trips, it was nice to have someone who loves Disney as much as I do as my “back up”. I’ve already emailed Joe about our trip in October 2012 (our baby’s first trip!!). He’s certainly convinced this Disney planning obsessed mommy to let someone help them make the most magical trip possible and was even able to give me some tips for taking our new little one next year since he’s taken his children when they were young. If you’re considering using a travel agent to help plan your trip, here are a few tips:
- Make sure they know Disney. Even if you don’t know it all (who does really?), make sure they’ve at least been to visit the Mouse before and have some good information to help make your trip awesome.
- Feel comfortable. If you can’t talk with your travel agent, you’re not going to have a great trip. I’m always worried about hurting other people’s feelings but came to realize this is money that I’m paying for this trip and need to speak up for what I want. Be sure you and your travel agent are a good fit for each other.
- Know when to ask for help. There might come a time in your trip planning that you need a little help with something – a room request, dining reservation or something else. Ask your travel agent to help you out.
- Know the costs. You shouldn’t have to pay to use a travel agent. Be sure you confirm this when you meet with them. If they do charge a fee, I would recommend finding another agent to work with.
- Travel Agents work great for groups. Instead of trying to juggle and track everyone’s payments, balance and things like that, let them all make their plans through the same travel agent and the agent will manage the details for you.
Do you use a travel agent to help plan or book your trip or do you do it all yourself?