Should I use travel agent for AI?

Old Jul 19th, 2006, 10:59 AM
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Should I use travel agent for AI?

I try to plan 5 or 7 night AI in Riviera Maya for 2 adults and 11 year old. Originally my plan was for Christams week, but prices are too high, so I desided to switch to 5 nights around Thanksgiving in hope that it would be cheaper. I look though CheapCaribean, but all I see is connected flight, when I switch to non-stop prices still too high. Should I use travel agent? Do they may have better deals? Is budget of $3,000 is unrealistic for 3 people for AI for this period of time? Please help.
Thanks,
Mariya
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Check with TA & see. You can ask with out buying. 3,000 enough? Who knows depends on how far to fly & how fancy the food & digs.
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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I'm sure you can find something for $3000 for 5 days. We had 10 day vacations in Tulum (not an an AI, though) for $4000 for a family of four including airfare.
Airfare is going to be your determining factor. You'll probably have to call a few agents and see what they can offer you package-wise.
And do some research with various airlines and hotels.
What city are you flying from? Charter service may be available.
What AI are you looking at? There are many to choose from with different price levels.
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Old Jul 20th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Of course use an agent. They will be able to help you pick the best deal and will have access to booking engines that you can not get to. WHy be afraid to use one? I know that often people think they are getting a better deal booking online and skipping the agent - aint't true in most cases because online you will likely pay rack rate for the room which is always an inflated figure.
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Old Jul 25th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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I always check both ways, but usually I can do equal or better on my own. There are plenty of ways to get the special rates and avoid rack rates. The main reason I avoid agents and tour companies is that, even if you have trip insurance, they are horrible about actually paying up in various situations. I was down there when Hurricane Emily came last year. Had booked everything on my own and booked us a flight out before it hit at an even lower price than my original flight. The next day all of the air went sky high. Knew several people who were there on an Apple Vacation package and Apple didn't do a thing to help. They paid out of pocket to fly out and never got reimbursed. One couple said they didn't know what to do. They were waiting on there tour company to call them. I felt badly for them because it was their first time in Mexico. I told them they needed to make the effort to communicate with the company, not vice versa.
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