The big online travel agents like Expedia or Booking.com are fine if all you need is a hotel room, but what if you need more than just a place to sleep for the night? Making arrangements through a travel specialist company that covers a given region can end up getting you a lot more services, and at a price that’s a better value in the end.
I wrote before on here about the stress-relieving move of arranging Cancun airport transportation ahead of time. You can apply that principle to your whole vacation and in areas where tourist prices (and rip-offs) prevail, dealing locally with one company can eliminate a lot of uncertainty and hassle.
When the World Wide Web came along in the mid-1990s, the death of the travel agent was a regular topic, but agencies never went away. They just became more specialized. If you want to arrange a perfect honeymoon in Belize, you call up a Belize specialist. If you want to have a terrific vacation or holiday in the Riviera Maya of Mexico, you get in touch with Travel Yucatan.
Through a specialized agency, you’re going to get hotel prices at or below what you would spend booking them yourself. Either they’ve got negotiated deals in place for sending business regularly (very common in areas like Machu Picchu/Cusco, Patagonia, or Buenos Aires) or they’re pulling inventory info directly from the online travel agencies you know already. See this example from Travel Yucatan for booking any of the hotels in Holbox.
A Real Person to Deal With
If you’ve ever tried to make a change after booking something online, you know how tough it can be to reach a real person to sort things out. You can spend days going back and forth on e-mails with someone who may be in India or the Philippines and has no authority to fix a problem.
Working with a travel specialist who knows the region, you’re much more likely to have attentive service when things go wrong. That’s true before the trip and on the ground as well. These agencies have a different help line with the likes of Hotels.com and/or relationships in place with the hoteliers that get them faster service. If you have to cancel something for some reason, it’ll be easier and faster through a company like Travel Yucatan.
When you want to add a driver or guide after arrival, or want to book an excursion to some place you just found out about, you can do it locally through a company with feet on the ground. In most cases that means better prices and more consistent quality than using a faceless middleman conglomerate, one taking a cut from transactions made across the whole world.
Get More in Your Package
While the corporate online travel agencies need to please shareholders, they’re always asking, “What more can we get from each customer?” If you book with a company specializing in Chilean wine tours or San Miguel de Allende vacations though, they’re more likely to be asking, “What more can we give each customer?” They want you to be thrilled so you will provide positive referrals in the future.
Guests that book through Travel Yucatan get additional discounts for transfers and tours throughout the region. They also have access to local employees who can help with anything before, during, or after their vacation. If you get a vacation rental home through them instead of a hotel, you could end up with a complete package that includes transfers, a spa treatment, and two adventure excursions to places like Chichen Itza and Xcaret.
You’ve worked hard most of the year and when you take time off you want it to go smoothly right? If you book with a local specialist instead, you’re much more likely to be delighted instead of annoyed.