Orlando travel agents give tips on booking vacations
Who we talked to
Why should people plan a trip through a travel agency?
Bob Durnan: "You'll get a lot more information from an agent than you will online. You'll definitely get a better deal."
Greg King: "The biggest reason is that they get our cell phone number and have access to help 24/7."
Nanci Londeree: "If you have a problem - no matter where you are in the world - you have someone who can resolve it."
How do you charge?
Durnan: "We're paid a commission by the cruise lines. We don't even charge a cancellation fee."
King: "Typically, the supplier pays us. But if the customer doesn't book with us, they forfeit the consultation fee, which starts at $150."
Londeree: "The tour companies pay us commissions. We don't charge our clients."
How far in advance should people plan trips?
Durnan: "I personally ask they start planning a year or year-and-a-half out because they'll get a lower rate."
King: "There are last-minute deals available, but it's good to give it some time. A two-week trip to Europe in the summer will need to be planned a year ahead of time."
Londeree: "If you're going to Europe, as soon as possible. For complicated vacations, it would be good to call at least a year or two in advance."
How far in advance do people need to get their passport?
Durnan: "Between 10 and 12 weeks."
King: "I'd say the minimum should be six weeks."
Londeree: "Everyone should have one - go get it now."
Do you recommend customers get trip insurance?
Durnan: "Absolutely. If you cancel [without insurance] the cruise lines will try to work with you, but you may get fined."
King: "Yes, absolutely. They can get it directly from their cruise line or through an insurance supplier."
Londeree: "It depends. For out-of-country trips, yes. For cruises, not particularly."
What's one place you recommend everyone should visit and why?
Durnan: "I'd tell them to go someplace different each time. Been to the Caribbean? Go to Europe."
King: "Africa, because it's a life-changing experience. There's something to see in every part of it."
Londeree: "The world is so large, I'd recommend they get out of their comfort zone and try going to a place significantly different than any place they've been before."