Can you find the error in the math?
Did you find it? This is the kind of math many people use when they decide between using a travel planner or going it alone with their trusted online booking engine (OBE) and Trip Advisor.
Let me break down the numbers for you. These numbers represent a hypothetical family of four traveling to Mexico for five nights.
|A (Using an Agent)|
|Travel Planning Fee||$250|
|Cost of Resort in Mex||$2000|
|3rd Party Travel Insurance||$100|
|B (By Yourself)|
|Cost of Resort in Mex||$1900|
|40 hrs of work planning, researching booking, confirming and explaining to your husband at $10/hr (How much is your time worth?)||$400|
|Transfers (not included in OBE price)||$150|
|Extras and Resort Credits (not included in OBE price)||$300|
Most people cite the added cost as their #1 reason for not using a travel professional (call them agents, curators, planners or what ever). But the math doesn’t work out when you are fair about what you are actually getting.
Yes, I charge a fee. I work hard for my clients and I get paid for my time. Clients, who also value their own time and resources, pay it knowing it is a good deal for them. My fee is a reflection of the time and effort to plan your trip. I show $250 above but in reality unless you are asking to find a resort with very specific requirements I would probably only charge $150 because All Inclusive resorts in Mexico are not as complicated as an independent 10 day tour of Croatia for a family of four.
The Resort Cost
After 40 hours of researching, reading countless reviews and trying to get an opinion out of your spouse, you might find some savings depending on the resort you have chosen. I have even shown in my numbers above that you might find a cheaper price on the OBE sites. What I have also shown is that the "discount" may be deceiving because the inclusions will not be the same as you get when booking with a travel professional. And if there is still a discrepancy, my suppliers will price match.
3rd Party Travel Insurance
Your health insurance will most likely NOT cover your family outside of the US. So a kid gets an ear infection or sprains a wrist jumping off the slide, then what do you do? The resort you book with will probably offer you some kind of cancelation insurance but it will not cover everything you want it to. If you book your plane tickets with points (which half my clients do), 3rd party insurance offers some reimbursement even for that. It also covers cancelation for sickness of someone in the traveling party or for a family member back home.
Travel professionals add value, they do not take it away. If you don’t believe me, try my planning services one time and see for yourself.
Ready to see for yourself?
You can set up your free consultation today!