Today’s Travel Mantra: Using Dollars Wisely And Top Reasons To Use A Travel Agent

“Good going.” Two words that acknowledge significant achievement as well as tasks well done. For those of us in the travel industry where daily pursuits are aimed at getting you and others from “Point A” to “Point B,” the words have yet another connotation — one especially meaningful in light of today’s global economy. As you budget for well-deserved vacation time or business reasons in 2009, it becomes more imperative than ever that those who are your travel counselors find every possible way to help shave costs…ways that reflect “good going” and exceptional value Though global economic conditions may not have impacted on the travel intentions of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte (a Quebec billionaire who could spend an estimated $35-million to rocket into space aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft in September), there’s the rest of us. My challenge at R.W.T. which I accept gladly, is to make absolutely certain that whatever your travel intentions, in trips long and short, the returns not only leave you with a sense of gratification but a back-at-home realization that they were dollars well spent with expenditures that mirror great savings. I’ve been providing that service for over 25 years. Give me a call, and also check out my links and previous posts of cruise specials.  And don’t forget about my online booking tool for Travel Impressions.

Top Reasons For Using A Travel Agent

1. You’ve Googled “Mexico vacation“, and come up with 17.8 million responses. Need a little help editing those choices?

2. Remember when you used that obscure website to book your hotel, and when you got there you spent your beach vacation overlooking a parking lot?

3. How many hours were you on hold with the airline when your flight was canceled because of a snowstorm?

4. Did you really mean to spend your honeymoon at that resort whose one tiny pool was filled all day with 12 screaming children?

5. Who knew that when you booked that “villa” in Tuscany, it would be a small room with a kitchenette and no air conditioning? Funny, it looked much better on your computer screen.

6. No one explained to you that in July, it’s winter time in Rio, and so you showed up there with nothing but five Hawaiian shirts and three pairs of swimming trunks.

7. How about the time you really needed a restful vacation, and you ended up in New Orleans during  and someone threw up on your shoes?

8. Yes, I guess that hotel must have used a telephoto lens when they took a picture of those guest rooms that you saw on their website.

9. I suppose contacting the Attorney General to resolve the fact that that Internet site has billed your credit card three times instead of once is the only route to take at this point.

10. It was definitely odd that there were no cab drivers at the airport at 3 o’clock in the morning when you finally landed in Costa Rica, but booking a transfer to your very remote hotel would have been a good thing to remember when you purchased your airline ticket and hotel online.

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Travel Impressions Hot Land & Air Promotions

Click the image below to see some of the Hot Land & Air Promotions currently being offered by Travel Impressions.

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If you see something that interests you, click on over to our Booking Engine.

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Travel Impressions Cancel For Any Reason Travel Protection Plan

Travel Impressions’ Cancel For Any Reason Travel Protection Plan means exactly what it says. No hassles, no worries – a plan that we believe is the best in the industry. And now children can be covered at a lower price! Unlike other travel protection plans that provide reimbursement only for cancellations due to medical reasons, the Travel Impressions Plan provides your enrolled clients with a full refund in the event they need to cancel their trip for any reason right up to the departure time of the flight. The complete package is covered, including airfare regardless of ticketing penalties or airline regulations, if canceled prior to departure.

The Cancel For Any Reason Travel Protection Plan includes:

Section I – Cancel For Any Reason Waiver*

Cancel For Any Reason Waiver: Reimburses you for any cancellation penalties incurred if you cancel your trip FOR ANY REASON prior to your originally scheduled flight departure time. Travel Impressions will refund your money in full, with the exception of the cost of the plan

Section II – Travel Protection Plan**

Trip Interruption: Up to total trip cost: Reimburses the unused, non-refundable portion of your land/sea arrangement plus the cost of additional airfare or change fees to original airfare to return home or catch up to your trip should you need to interrupt your trip due to an illness, injury or death to yourself, a traveling companion or covered family member.

Medical Expenses: Up to $5,000: Reimburses you for doctor and hospital charges should you become ill or injured during your trip.

Baggage/Personal Effects: Up to $800: Reimburses you should your baggage or personal effects become lost, stolen or damaged while traveling.

Bag Delay: Up to $100: Reimburses you for the purchase of necessary personal items should your bags be delayed by the airline for more than 24 hours during your trip

How much does the Cancel For Any Reason Travel Protection Plan cost?***

Published vs. Bulk Air Protection Waiver

Effective Friday, June 29, ‘Cancel For Any Reason Travel Protection Plan’ pricing has changed. There is now separate pricing for published air vs. bulk air & land-only itineraries. On bookings with published air, the price has increased. The child rate remains the same — $45 across the board. The following holiday dates have increased by $30: 12/21/08-1/3/09, 2/14-2/22/09, 4/11-4/19/09 and 12/23/09-1/3/2010.

If Total Booking Cost Per Adult is Then Plan Cost Per Adult for Bulk & Land-Only is: Then Plan Cost Per Adult for Published Air is: And Plan Cost Per Child (Bulk or Published) is:

All Destinations except Europe/ Eastern Mediterranean

less than $999.99 $89.00 $89.00 $45.00
$1000 – $1499.99 $99.00 $114,00 $45.00
$1500 and higher $109.00 $129.00 $45.00

Europe/Eastern Mediterranean Destinations:

less than $999.99 $109.00 $109.00 $45.00
$1000 and higher $129.00 $139.00 $45.00

To enroll in the Plan, simply pay the Plan cost included on your travel invoice at the time you make your trip deposit. For additional information or to answer any questions concerning the Plan, please contact your travel agent.

* Section I Cancel For Any Reason Waiver provided by Travel Impressions.

** Section II Travel Protection Plan insurance is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, a Pennsylvania Insurance Company (NAIC #19445), under Policy Number 9500360, with its principal place of business at 70 Pine Street, New York, NY 10270, currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. This is a brief description of the insurance benefits provided. Other limitations and exclusions apply. For complete terms, conditions and exclusions, please review the Plan Description pamphlet.

*** Please note that in certain states residents are not required to purchase the Travel Protection Plan insurance outlined in the Plan in order to purchase the Cancel For Any Reason Waiver. Please contact 1-877-538-3815 for details or refer to the Plan Description pamphlet for additional information.

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Introducing Travel Impressions and Their GLBT Travel Products

I am thrilled to finally announce that our Travel Impressions Tour Operator GLBT Site is finally completed along with instructions, in order to help you navigate through the system. To learn more about Travel Impressions, I suggest that you read the previous post.

As we are all aware, there are several online travel booking engines and firms, some of which you may be aware. What separates Travel Impressions from the rest is that in most cases they offer a better value for your dollar as well as added amenities. Those added features can range from free hotel nights, free car rentals, hotel taxes all included, hotel room upgrades and a host of other offers. In my opinion it is a good product.

Once you are on the home page of the booking engine, you will see the name of the firm I work with: Rich Worldwide Travel; underneath that,  “Gay and Lesbian Travel.” This particular section has been specifically screened for those hotels and land tour operators that support the GLBT community. You will see that there are over 2000 properties worldwide that support all lifestyles and wish only to serve you in the most comfortable environment as possible; our goal is that you will enjoy your stay and make the most of it. The list of properties and destinations continues to grow to include destinations and properties that you may desire to visit or explore.

I would like to point out that should you find a destination and a product that you like, you will need to fax me a copy of your authorization to charge your credit card for the amount of the package within 24 hours of the reservation. Due to extremely high identity theft and other credit card issues, I must have this fax as a record. This will remain totally confidential and totally secure.

Next, you always hear about “those great deals.”. Travel Impressions has devoted a whole section to those deals, under the “Hot Deal Section” and I must say they are pretty inviting. For most of those deals, since they mature within a 60-day period,  the full payment will need to be processed at the time of the booking. The monetary penalties can be rather costly should you need to cancel your trip. Yet here again Travel Impressions offers you the ability to purchase trip cancellation insurance should  you need to cancel your trip for any reason, (such as a bad hair day ). If you should need to cancel the reservation, you will receive all the funds that were paid except for the cost of the insurance. I believe this is an excellent value and wonderful protection. I would also like to point out that on this site there is a section of “Activities” that you can select from; this is all about making your trip more enjoyable. Let’s say you are interested in a particular activity and you purchase this activity, but once you reach your destination you decide that you really do not want to do it. That’s no problem, just be sure to keep that paper voucher and return it back to me. You will receive a full refund for those unused vouchers, within 90 days after I receive them from you, no questions asked. The key is to provide a high level of service, and to provide you with a product that you feel secure and comfortable with.

Should you decide make travel arrangements at least 3 or more months in advance, this particular product will require you to pay in full at the time of your booking. In your best interests, I would suggest that, rather than making the booking online,  you contact me directly. By doing so, you will only need to put a deposit down on the reservation and then I can advise you of the date that final payment is due.  The deposit would insure that the package you want is held for you, at the advertised price.  However the cost of the trip insurance and applicable airfare would still need to be paid for at the time of booking. The balance of the total cost of the trip will be due at a later date, generally within 60 days of the date of departure.

Once any payment is processed and on record, you will receive an email response with the breakdown of the total costs plus confirmation that payments have been applied to your reservation. When the payment has been made in full, your documents will be mailed to me directly and then I will forward these documents to you via 2nd day Express Mail.

I am extremely proud to be working with Travel Impressions, and certainly thrilled to work with such an established, globally recognized firm that has over 50 years in the business . Our goal is to select the best value and properties for you, while keeping in mind individual budgets, tastes and preferences.

I hope you take the time and explore the site. If you have any suggestions, please feel free send them on.  I can be reached Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. (EST) should you have any questions and or concerns at 1-914-835-7600 Ext 226 or via email awright@richtravel.com

I look forward to working with, and getting to know you.

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NEW GLBT TRAVEL PROGRAM

WHAT THE GAY & LESBIAN TRAVEL PROGRAM IS ALL ABOUT

WHO WE ARE
Welcome to the Gay and Lesbian Travel Program, in conjunction with Rich Worldwide Travel and Travel Impressions.  The Program will become the online vacation source for our community’s gay-friendly vacations. Rich Worldwide Travel and Travel Impressions will ensure that the vacation experience you select is one that is right for you, your partner, friends and family – both immediate and extended.

Rich Worldwide Travel, an agency with over 50 successful years in the travel industry and has always been rated in the top 40 agencies in the industry. Rich Worldwide Travel is a member of IGLTA and Virtuoso Travel Association. They were recently acknowledged by Virtuoso to be recognized as one of the top-ten agencies in the “Luxury Travel” field.

Travel Impressions, Ltd. (TI), is an award winning vacation travel provider with more than thirty-three years of travel experience. Travel Impressions is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

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GAY FRIENDLY PRODUCT LINE
We know the importance of selecting a destination and property for your holiday that will make you feel comfortable and welcome. Each one of the properties available to you via the program has been hand selected to ensure that happens. We have taken this concern to heart. Before promoting any of the properties and destinations as gay-friendly, each one is contacted directly and confirms it is a property that is actively welcoming gay and lesbian vacationers and extending the same service levels, courtesies and professionalism as they extend to all other visitors. Being a “Property” in “The Program” also means that it is a property for the discerning vacationer who enjoys the finer things in life, as well as being gay friendly.

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IT’S ALL ABOUT GEOGRAPHY
The variety of destinations, hotels and resorts you find in the program range from Europe to Tahiti, from hip, urban hotels to luxurious and relaxing tropical resorts. You’ll find destinations as diverse as the variety of vacationers found within the gay and lesbian community.

We cover the most popular gay destinations in the US, including Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York City and the beaches of Florida. Crossing the border to the north, you’ll find a wealth of vacation options in one of the world’s gay-friendliest countries – Canada. For sun and fun outside the US, there are gay friendly options south of the border in Mexico and Costa Rica. If it’s island relaxation you are looking for, try the exotic Pacific islands of Tahiti or Hawaii or a variety of destinations throughout the Caribbean. And for true adventure and romance, explore the wide range of locations throughout Europe, just waiting for you in this great new Gay & Lesbian Travel program.

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IT’S ALL ABOUT EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Are you undecided about your destination? Want to see what’s going on? This Gay & Lesbian Travel Program has a comprehensive list of gay and lesbian events and activities at all its destinations. Looking for a gay and lesbian tennis tournament, a Pride celebration, a gay rodeo or a gay film festival? Zip over to News & Events. And while you’re there, check to see if there are any special offers in effect for that destination. Let us help you explore the myriad events which take place all around the world, and possibly there just be a “Hot DEAL” on your hotel stay!

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IT’S ALL ABOUT HOT DEALS
Promotions abound within the Gay & Lesbian Travel program. Free or discounted hotel nights, added amenities and upgrades, free car rentals with certain bookings or discounted airfare -it’s all there. Just check the Hot Deals section or look for special buttons and banners throughout the website.

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You can find a link to the web site for this program either on the GLBT TRAVEL PAGE or at the top left of the main page or just click the link below.

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Visit our GLBT Page

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