There are a few factors that go into obtaining your best price on a Honeymoon and I’ll briefly describe the steps you need to take to accomplish this task.
1. Know what you want. This means you have researched the destination and hopefully the resort so you know your travel dates, number of nights, your air city if air is needed and the category of accommodations at the resort of your choice. Doing this in advance will help you obtain a quick quote for a travel package. A travel agent that deals with a client that knows exactly what they want will treasure your business and know you have taken the time to research what is needed properly. Knowing your budget in advance will also help you because if you can only afford a 6 night Honeymoon in a garden category and you ask to be quoted an 8 night stay in a ocean view suite, you are wasting your time and the time of your travel agent. Please don’t tell the travel agent your budget is $500 per person for a 7 night stay at a resort in Jamaica when it runs $1500 or more. This can lead to a travel agent not taking you seriously and not wanting to offer their time to get you a discount quote and check flight schedules and availability. They are working for free until you actually reserve your Honeymoon with them and most of them do not receive their commission until you return from your Honeymoon.
2. Get your quote in writing. A verbal quote is not good enough when you are ready to spend $3000 plus for your Honeymoon. A good travel agent will have no problem providing a written quote and send it over to you via e-mail or Fax. One thing to remember is that prices are subject to change and the closer you are reserving to your travel date, the less space will be available and pricing can definitely change.
3. Find out the Travel Agent’s policies. This means to ask how much the deposit is and when the final payment is due. You will also need to ask your travel agent about trip cancellation insurance. If for any reason you need to cancel your Honeymoon and you do not have this policy, it can be very expensive in terms of penalties. There is one travel supplier that offers a cancel for any reason policy and you can cancel up to one hour prior to your departure with no penalty. You only forfeit the trip cancellation policy which is normal for all cancellations. I know that many of you think you will be traveling no matter what occurs, but can tell you from many years experience, it can be something as simple as an improper Passport or the tickets printed in your married name, but your Passport is still in your maiden name. Many airlines will deny you boarding for this and without any backup, it will be an expensive lesson.
4. Know that a travel agent or agency makes their money in form of a commission which is paid by the travel supplier, not you. Many travel agencies will discount the price of a Honeymoon in order to close a sale and also to increase their sales. Since the Internet came into play, this has leveled the playing field and many high volume Internet only travel agencies earn much more than smaller local travel agents that elect to market only to their local clientele. The large Internet travel agency can very well sell more Honeymoons in a day or two than a small local agency will sell in a year’s time. This can mean the large Internet agency will earn a higher commission and can offer a greater discount to their clients. This does not mean you will not receive good service from the large Internet agencies as many have very good education and sales training for their agents in place. It is good to know that the majority of the time a specialty travel agent will be able to offer you a better price on your Honeymoon that reserving directly with the resort. Most representatives that answer the phone for resorts will want you to believe this is not the case, but 99% of the time it is true.
5. This does not have much to do with obtaining the best price, but one thing to know is get your travel documents printed (reserved) in the name you will be using on the day of travel. If your Passport says Smith and your married name is Johnson, the airline has every right to deny you boarding as the names do not match. If you cannot get your Passport in your married name, please use your maiden name for your Honeymoon and when you return you can get the Passport name changed and use it on all future trips with your married name. This does not sound like a big deal, but if you have ever been denied boarding, it is a trip wrecker!