Travel agents take you on a tour of their business
Three highly rated travel agents give tips and tricks on how to plan the best vacation at the best price.
Why should people plan a trip through a travel agency?
Rozelle: "We can help you compare one destination to another based on real experience."
Goodgion: "The experience the agent can offer. We've been there, tasted the food and met the people."
Paille: "The customer service — people have someone to talk to and a place to go."
How do you charge?
Rozelle: "The good news is that we work off a commission paid by the cruise lines."
Goodgion: "Sometimes we charge service fees, but mostly we're paid directly through the wholesalers."
Paille: "We're paid on commission from the tour companies or cruise lines."
How far in advance should people plan a trip?
Rozelle: "From three months to a year is a reasonable time frame."
Goodgion: "I'd say three to six months."
Paille: "It's more beneficial to book six months early."
Do you have a region or country you specialize in?
Rozelle: "The Caribbean and Alaska."
Goodgion: "Israel, Mexico and cruises."
Paille: "Europe and the Caribbean."
Who we talked to
Jim Rozelle, owner
8012 N. Wildwood St.
Sally Goodgion, owner
1140 E. Seattle St.
Joanne Paille, owner
Cruise Shoppe International
2709 East Atlantic Blvd.
Pompano Beach, Fla.
How far in advance do people need to get their passport?
Rozelle: "At least six months in advance."
Goodgion: "At least three months ahead of time."
Paille: "At least four to six weeks."
What's the one travel tip you always give customers?
Rozelle: "There are some parts of travel that will always be a hassle — a smile can go a long way."
Goodgion: "Buy insurance."
Paille: "I recommend people take a copy of their passport in case it's lost or stolen."
Are more vacationers turning to Internet travel sites instead of agencies?
Rozelle: "People are coming back to agencies. They do it themselves online and get frustrated."
Goodgion: "Yes, but I think people will realize we have a lot to offer, and we don't, in many cases, cost them money."
Paille: "I think there's a reverse in the trend. People start online and need help."
What's the worst or funniest travel story you've ever heard from a client?
Rozelle: "The most unusual request I had was a family that took grandpa on a cruise to St. Thomas and sprinkled his ashes from the back of the boat."
Goodgion: "I booked a trip to Ireland with a travel company. We arrived and found out the company there had gone bankrupt. I had to drive a seven-passenger van with seven women on the wrong side of the road."
Paille: "On a cruise, you have to pack the night before and turn in your bags for departure. A customer packed everything and had to depart the ship in pajamas."