Today we are going to continue our discussion about Why a Special Needs Family Should Use a Travel Agent to Plan their Vacation. Last time we talked a bit about Expertise, Personalized Service and Saving time.
4- Access to DIscounts and Special Offers
One of the services I provide my clients is that I am always checking the new promotions and discounts as they come out to see if they can be applied to their trips. Because not ALL discounts are created equal.
Sometimes, the discount you were originally booked with is a much better deal, although both Disney and Universal are experts at making it seem that the new discount is MUCH better! Often it requires that an upgrade to the room is necessary (due to availability or terms of the discount) or that a change in ticket prices will increase the actual cost to you. This is why I say I am a Wiz at Magic Math! I compare what you are currently booked at - verses what the new promotion or discount will be. Occasionally there is indeed a savings and I take advantage of that for you. Other times it is not so great. When it is marginal, I will let you make the final decision, but I always let you know that I did check on it. But... the majority of the time it is increasingly not available for those clients that are booked. Because let's face it. They only put what's not selling on sale!
5- Handling Special Requests
Sometimes, you simply don't want to travel with your personal wheelchair, scooter, or stroller. Sometimes, you'd rather get one once you arrive. I get that. Personally, I don't use a scooter at home, but there is no way I could do a theme park for one half day with just my cane, much less a week!
I have several trusted third party vendors that I use to rent these items for both my personal trips and those of my clients. They are generally less expensive than renting in the parks and much better quality! (not to mention you can take them out of the parks!)
6- 24/7 Support
My clients receive 24/7 support while traveling, which can be invaluable for families with special needs (because we all know problems NEVER happen during normal business hours!) I'm never more than a text or phone call away.
This bit of peace of mind is one that I hope you never need to take advantage of, but in those infrequent times when it's needed, I'm here. Whether it something as simple as 'where is the nearest pharmacy that delivers', or 'can you resend that pdf on how to use the DAS?' - I'm here.
In the event of any issues or problems during the trip, I can serve as an advocate for your family and work to resolve any issues with the travel supplier (ie Disney or Universal etc).
While this is not the most favorite part of my job, and is a rare occurrence, it does occasionally happen. Within the past year it has happened twice, with the same property, and both with an ADA compliance issue. The most recent one was my own personal trip. They are 'supposed' to be correcting it. But until I see for myself that they have - this property is on my do not sell list.
Most things that I need to advocate for my clients on are not as major as what happened above, but I've helped with things like wrong room was given at check in. While I do all I can to prevent that from happening (like requesting the appropriate room for Handicapped Accessibility), occasionally when the 'computer' does the scheduling, the code can disappear. Usually this can be handled by politely reminding that a HA room was requested at time of booking and was confirmed prior to check in - it gets corrected. Every once in a while it has to go a step higher. In those instances, having someone to go to bat for you while keeping the emotion out of it goes a long way. The fact that I have relationships with the supplier and management also helps.
So, there we are, Seven reasons why a Special Needs Family Should Use a Travel Agent to Plan their Vacation. Is this list exhaustive? No! It's just the first seven I thought of.
Ready to see what difference a Travel Agent can. make in planning your Special Needs Family vacation? Click this link and let's start the discussion with a complimentary call. Never worked with a Travel Agent before? Shoot me an email and ask for my free information on working with me.
Either way, I look forward to hearing from you! Keep checking back for more tips and ramblings from a Special Needs Mom about travel!
Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!