Why use a Travel Advisor instead of AAA Auto Club?
Is a membership club like Costco or AAA Auto Club better than consulting a Travel Advisor?
When it comes to travel, it seems easy to use a membership like AAA Auto Club or Costco. They seem to have great pricing. But do they?
Let’s run the numbers
Let’s take a quick comparison of services. Our hypothetical vacation is March 20-27, 2019, staying at the Hyatt Ziva All-Inclusive Resort in an Ocean Front King Room. This will include airfare from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta but not transfers. Note that March is the high season for Puerto Vallarta.
Our trusted Vendor is GoGo Vacations who quoted us $2,839. (They are having crazy good deals through March 15 for every location in Mexico with their Mexico Extravaganza sale.)
- GoGo Vacations: $2839
- AAA: $3139
- Expedia: $3456
- Costco: $3711 (which didn’t offer the Hyatt Ziva so we house the Hotel Mousai)
The most expensive is Costco who doesn’t offer the property we want, the least is the Auto Club, but Expedia surprised us. Be careful when accepting free airfare, too, because it may be an 11 hour flight for something Interjet or Alaska does for 3 hours non-stop.
Travel Agents are Advisors
Recently ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors) rebranded from Agents because Travel Professionals are more advisors that intermediaries or brokers. Maybe the Hyatt Ziva isn’t your favorite brand and you were more interested in an adults-only place like the Grand Fiesta Americana. Perhaps, you wanted to witness the turtle release and go whale watching in Riviera Nayarit (the other side of the Banderas Bay). You would want to book in Riviera Nayarit in that case.
Travel advisors can choose locations that suit your needs and desired activities. If all-inclusive isn’t important to you, you may want to choose a property closer to downtown and enjoy the nightlife in Puerto Vallarta.
Be Honest with Your Travel Advisor
Travel Agents or Advisors are your biggest advocate when it comes to travel. The age of buying over the internet has made things more deceptive and confusing. Even airlines these days advertise low fares that don’t include baggage or even complimentary beverages on board, let alone water. A travel advisor can guide you toward the best destination according to your personality, preferences, and yes, budget. If you are open about your budget, your travel advisor will create achievable goals and design the trip right for you. Often, being flexible in dates makes a world of difference in airline fares.
Travel advisors have many different vendors and can help design the vacation of your dreams -- with you. Sure, you may get a small discount from the Auto Club or Costco, but will it be the trip you really want? Are you ready to take that risk?
Where do you want to go? Let’s start making an actionable plan. Contact us today. We're your loyal travel companion.