Providence travel agents give tips on booking vacations
Who we talked to
Ramon Blanco, owner
Ramon Travel Service
Why should people plan a trip through a travel agency?
Ramon Blanco: "Well, travel agencies have access to all the airlines and companies."
Nancy Gigiglio: "It doesn't cost you any more, and we can save the client $200 to $600."
John Sousa: "When you go to a travel agent you have a face and someone to hold responsible."
How do you charge?
Blanco: "If you buy just one airline ticket, we have to add a $50 fee. A lot of companies pay commission, though, and we wouldn't charge the customer."
Gigiglio: "We get paid from the providers."
Sousa: "We get commissions from reservations. If there isn't commission, we charge a service fee."
How far in advance should people plan trips?
Blanco: "Six months in advance, if they are trying to book for the summer."
Gigiglio: "I think they should plan as much as a year ahead, simply because they'll get the best availability."
Sousa: "It depends on the destination and season."
How do you help customers narrow down their travel destination?
Blanco: "If they mention the Caribbean, there are certain places we know are better. We suggest where to go."
Gigiglio: "We try to get to know them and meet their needs."
Sousa: "They tell us where they want to go."
Do you have a region or country you specialize in? If so, where?
Blanco: "Dominican Republic."
Gigiglio: "No, we're full service."
Sousa: "Portugal and Brazil."
What's the one travel tip you always give customers?
Blanco: "Be at the airport on time and make sure you confirm the flight three days in advance."
Gigiglio: "I tell them to arrive at the airport at a specific time and have all their documentation."
Sousa: "It depends on the destination. There are countries that are safer than others."
What's one place you recommend everyone should visit and why?
Blanco: "Dominican Republic. The resorts are all-inclusive and the value is great."
Gigiglio: "I think it's really important to find one's roots. People should go back to their homeland."
Sousa: "Portugal or Brazil."