New York travel agents give tips on booking vacations

New York travel agents give tips on booking vacations

Why should people plan a trip through a travel agency?

Carl Bartlett: "Many times people are novices or they don't have relationships with travel companies."

Annelle Lagrasso: "Because we'll try to find you the lowest price available."

Jack Gaffney: "The service in general is just much better through a travel agency."

How do you charge?

Bartlett: "If it's a cruise, the commission is built in. If it's just an airline ticket, we charge a service fee."

Lagrasso: "We don't really charge. If you're buying an airline ticket only, we charge. But if you're doing a tour, we make commission on it."

Gaffney: "Our base rate is flat. There's no fee for hotel or car rental because we receive a commission. We charge $38 per person."

How far in advance should people plan trips?

Bartlett: "Ideally speaking, a year in advance."

Lagrasso: "It's hard to say. Sometimes you can get a great deal at the last minute."

Gaffney: "It's better to book it as soon as possible, but sometimes you can get last-minute deals."

How far in advance do people need to get their passport?

Bartlett: "They should get them as soon as possible."

Lagrasso: "People are receiving them in about three weeks now, but I say just get it right away."

Gaffney: "I highly suggest doing it as quickly and as soon as possible."

What's the one travel tip you always give customers?

Bartlett: "Don't flaunt being a U.S. citizen."

Lagrasso: "I don't give any specific tips. I advise them on certain places."

Gaffney: "Make sure you always use security for your documents at hotels."

What's one place you recommend everyone should visit and why?

Bartlett: "Barbados, because it's just a wonderful island to go to."

Lagrasso: "I don't think there's any one place everybody should visit."

Gaffney: "Outside the U.S., I believe Paris is the best city in the world."

What's the worst or funniest travel story you've ever heard from a client?

Bartlett: "We had 62 people who had three airline delays and had to catch up to their cruise."

Lagrasso: "Once my husband and I were traveling to Florida and this little gentleman who didn't speak English kept following us around. It was really cute."

Gaffney: "I had a client who decided to book their honeymoon on the Internet and unfortunately it was during the hurricane season."

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