CR - Did you/are you using a Travel Agent?

Old May 7th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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CR - Did you/are you using a Travel Agent?

When planning your trip to Costa Rica did you use a travel agent?

If yes, why did you use one? And who did you use (please provide email or contact info).

I am unsure if I should book everything on my own or use a TA.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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If you're not doing anything complicated, it's pretty easy to book everything on your own. We've booked all our own trips just by asking questions on this board and getting the info. ourselves. The hotels and airlines are pretty easy to work with. If you're going to use an agent, Pat Hewitt is very popular; I think someone just provided you with his contact info. on the other thread.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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I kind of used a hybird. I booked it myself using the website www.latindestinations.com. What was great about this was that I was able to browse on-line and make a custom itenerary and then call/confirm and book with a live person. They take care of confirming everything...including air-fare, hotel rooms and all transfers. I did a trip report where I mentioned how professional they were and the fact that each transfer was either early or on time.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 05:25 AM
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Our first trip we used Pat Hewitt, he was great w/recommendations, etc.

The second trip we booked ourselves, using lots of recommendations from this board, especially BDC in Osa
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Old May 8th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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I have used a travel agent for a few different vacations and I see the total value it in. I did some initial research online and got ideas for hotels, but in the end I didn't want to be accountable for making a bad decision and didn't want to spend any more time on the Internet. I would give Jody a call at Fox World Travel. 800-236-8475. She just got back from Costa Rica and some friends of mine just booked their trip with her. It maybe costs $20 more to have someone else offer advice and take care of the booking and negotiate rates, so I say go for working with a travel agent, especially to somewhere like Costa Rica.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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We've also had good luck using latindestinations.com. If nothing else, their website can help you get a good idea on pricing, available flights, etc. The "build your own trip" has some limitations but for me, playing around on my computer seems easier than contacting an agent with dozens and dozens of possible scenarios. If the website doesn't give me what I want, I shoot off an email and have an answer by the next day. I'm really only able to do my vacation planning after hours so a website is especially handy. I also do a lot of reading before I ever begin planning so I know what areas I want to visit and why. Another nice thing about their website is that you can choose many different locations plus arrange your transportation (ground or air) all within a few mouse clicks. I can understand where some travlers would not feel comfortable not speaking directly with an agent - everyone is different.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 05:41 AM
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We didn't use a travel agent, but I too would recommend Pat Hewitt at www.lovecostarica.com if you want to go with an agent. He was really helpful to me when I had some general Costa Rica questions, he posts on this board, and many on this board have used him and were very happy.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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We did not use a travel agent for our trip last month, but asked for lots of input from forum members. It turned out great, and was easy to put all the pieces together. All of our hotels were recs from the board and/or Fodor's Choice selections, and no one steered us wrong.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 10:13 AM
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well that's just ridiculous. in this day and age, there is no reason one can not do his or her own research and put together a trip on their own. it requires a certain amount of due diligence and some people may prefer the convenience of having someone else make the arrangements, but going through a travel agent is no guarantee either. if you don't thoroughly who you are working with, you are opening yourself up to disappointment regardless.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 10:19 AM
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k, this was travelnut's first post; I think someone is just bored.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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And now the post is gone - that was quick!
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Old May 16th, 2009, 05:50 PM
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I am using a travel agent for my trip to Costa Rica. I never have been before. I don't speak fluent Spanish. We don't want to drive because of the differences. I am arranging a trip for my family - two in Texas, one in Montana, and one in New Jersey. We want to do a variety of outdoor adventures and beach time. And again, I don't know the lay of the land or the number of things available to us. I needed someone on my side and covering my back. Our agent, Julie Hanen of Earth Visions Travel, is young, hip (that appeals to my 20 something kids), knowledgeable, and picks up on what I trying to get when we talk either by email and phone calls. For a US trip, use an agent. Probably not. For first time to Costa Rica, oh, yes.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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YES and NO...
I agree with volcanogirl, you can pretty much book everything on your own in CR if traveling for simple vacations especially for a beach Holiday or if you have a lot of time to plan everything. If you are looking for a little more complex tour of the country and a more thorough overland journey arount Costa Rica's major sites and parks, especially for a nature oriented tour, you may want to consider a guided ecotour with a specialized tour operator. We traveled many times to Costa Rica in the past my family and myself and our last tour was truly the most interesting of our trips. We did this trip with a tour company that specializes in birding trips and nature ecotours. The organization of our trip was very good and our tour guide Marcos was really exceptional. They have regular departures year round on 8 days trips and more or they can tailor your own trip. There name is Amerika Venture, they are based out of San Jose Costa Rica and Canada. Their website is http://www.amerikaventure.com, they have a toll free number, talk to Marcos, he's really good! Good luck...
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