I booked a hotel in Orlando on Priceline. I was so excited because it was listed as a 4 star hotel downtown and the cost was so low! When I arrived, I realized that I’d been duped. The hotel exterior was dingy and hidden from the main road. The interior was ok but definitely not 4 star. The first thing the hotel clerk said to me was ” I see you booked with Priceline.” I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I did have to switch rooms twice because the first 2 were dirty. The 3rd room was not perfect but cleaner than the other two. I just didn’t walk around barefoot.
I had no one to call. I was staying multiple nights. I was upset and I felt helpless. Then, the traffic noise kept me up all night. I called Priceline the next day, went through their automated system, and held for more than an hour. When I finally reached a representative, it took me more than another hour on the phone and lots of fussing to get a refund for the other nights. I moved to another hotel and paid a very high rate to ensure a much better experience.
I did book through them again. I thought maybe it would be better and the cost was too good to pass up. I was sorry and I’ve learned my lesson, but it’s taken me multiple mistakes so I understand the hesitancy of the average traveler. If I had booked with a travel agent, I could have called them late at night for a solution. That’s the big difference between a cold computer and a human being. Travel agents have multiple options to find good rates, access to information about bonus', deals, incentives being offered, and a desire to ensure you keep coming back.
As a travel agent, I’ve had training in every aspect of travel. I’ve also had training from the companies (Marriott, Carnival, Apple, Sandals) to insure knowledge of their distinct offerings. I know which cruises and resorts are for partiers, families, older adults. I know the safe areas in countries with questionable backgrounds. I belong to a large host organization, Cruises & Tours Unlimited, which gives me access to forums with other travel agents (3000+) and Travel Leaders consortium, with deals not available to the general public.
Most of all, I’m a human being with your best interests in mind. I work hard to insure a fantastic and effortless travel experience. And if anything should go wrong, I’m available to help you any time of the day or night. That’s the true value of an agent.
VERONICA WOLD IS A CLIA ACCREDITED CRUISE COUNSELOR, A LICENSED FLORIDA SELLER OF TRAVEL, AND A DISNEY DESTINATIONS SPECIALIST. SHE HAS TRAVELED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND IS THE CONSUMMATE PROFESSIONAL. CONTACT HER AT 850-321-5477 OR VERONICA@MAKINGTRAVELEFFORTLESS.COM.