Choosing a holiday provider When booking a luxury holiday, it’s important to choose the right travel agent. Many agents will offer competitive prices but lack on customer service. High street travel agents generally offer good customer service but have large overheads which means higher holiday prices. High street agents also tend to offer a wide range of holidays, so may lack specialist in depth knowledge at the higher end.A good balance is important, a competitive price along with a high standard of customer service from experienced consultants, is ideal. Some internet based travel agents can offer fantastic value while also being able to specialise in specific areas or holiday themes. This can make the whole holiday experience more enjoyable, from looking to booking to flying. Make sure the internet agent that you use is reputable, while a large well designed website is a good indicator of a reputable travel company, it’s also important that your holiday is ABTA bonded for your security.BudgetGive your travel agent a good idea of your budget. However, to stick rigidly to your budget may exclude you from low cost upgrades that may make all the difference- sea view rooms, a private pool in your villa, Jacuzzis and other added luxuries.
Destination or Holiday ThemeIt’s always going to be a lot easier if you know where you want to go, or at least what type of holiday you want. However, if you have little or no idea, travel agents can always tailor make a few ideas for you to look over or variations on a theme if you’re not totally sure. Don’t forget to let your agent know if you can be flexible on your dates of travel, as prices may vary over periods.Choosing the hotel This is where you need to rely on your agents experience. Any agent worth their salt will already have a few top resorts in mind that fit your requirements. Remember, recommendations are gold dust as they are generally tried and tested hotels. Giving a good idea of your likes and dislikes will allow your travel specialist to tailor a holiday just for you. If you’re interested in the far east, beaches and wildlife for example, some resorts along the coast of Malaysia are based near Wildlife and Orangutan sanctuaries. If you’re a spa lover, some resorts in the Maldives have spa baths in the water villas with glass bottoms, so you can see the fish below! These are the extras that really make a fantastic holiday.Once you have an option you are happy with, if it’s a single destination holiday it may well be worth asking what stop over’s are available…if you’re travelling to the Maldives for example, there may well be options to stop over in Sri Lanka or Dubai for a few nights. Besides breaking up the journey this also adds another dimension to your holiday and is generally at little extra cost. A city and beach or Safari and beach holiday is also very well suited to honeymooners or those looking for something extra special.Adding Free Extras OK, so you have found the perfect luxury tailor made holiday. Now for some free extras! Most internet based travel agencies work from a fairly low margin, which keeps costs competitive but also means there isn’t much room for negotiation on the price. Instead, you’re better off asking for extras rather than a discount; VIP airport lounge passes or private hotel transfers for example, these will be somewhere in the region of £50 each if you were to buy them, but a travel agent may well be able to include these free of charge. Some resorts also offer complimentary extras over some periods of the year, such as Champagne and chocolates in your room on arrival, or a massage at the resort spa. All little extras, but can really make a difference.
Keeping the Best PriceHoliday prices can and do change from day to day due to flight price fluctuations and hotel availability; so if you’re happy with an option, get it booked! Most holidays can be booked with a small deposit of £100-200 per person. In some cases, holding off from booking for a week or two can change the price dramatically, especially over busy periods.Repeat Customer Benefits You may well find that over the course of making a booking with a travel company, you will get to know a representative quite well. Ask them to let you know of any special offers for the future, these are fantastic for those last minute getaways. Plus, cultivating a good relationship with your agent will help to guarantee you get the best deals on future holidays.
Tim Tavender is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For the very best in Tailor Made Luxury Holidays [web: littleluxuryislands.co.uk/] he recommends Little Luxury Islands.