With traveling comes making travel plans,
— and sometimes, there’s a lot of money and red tape involved. Well, we want to help make that a bit easier. We chatted with Deborah Orgel-Gordon, a travel professional and owner of Extravagant Travel, Inc., and asked her for some of her trade secrets.
Should millennials use a travel agent rather than booking online? Why?
When I book a hotel for my clients, that is not the end of it. I’ve then reached out to the managers of hotels to make sure they know my client is coming and to “VIP them.” My agency has over 1,000 hotels all over the world on our “Hotel Collection” program. If one of these hotels are booked, even more benefits come like possible upgrades, amenities to the room, possible early and late check outs and many times, extra food and beverage credits or more. What millennials need to understand is travel professionals have connections to many of the destinations they go to. In a world where life is so busy, and everyone works longer hours to survive, why not use the professional who will go the extra mile to book restaurant reservations, transfers, tours, tickets to shows, and more? The key is
: that not all travel professionals are created equal just like other professions like attorney, accountant and doctor. You need to find the right one by recommendations and possibly one that specializes in the destinations where you like to travel.
Are millennials better off with the booking process in person or through the internet?
I suggest finding a travel professional in person, rather than booking though the internet, to book vacations. Interview your travel professional like you would if you were looking for an attorney or accountant. Find someone from recommendations other friends and family have used. Travel professionals with years of experience have the knowledge of properties and destinations. Mistakes are easily made when booking on your own, and then really difficult to fix. If you are booking
What are the perks to using a travel agent?
Travel professionals have the connections to many places traveled to. Most have relationships with hotels and airlines. For instance, as an example, I booked a honeymoon couple on Delta Vacations package to Italy for a honeymoon and they made a deposit on — air and hotels — and I always watch carefully all my bookings to see if a price drops before final payment. In this case, it dropped $700.00. I contacted my sales rep and they honored the drop in price and I saved them the $700!
What do you think is a great low-budget option for a weekend trip?
Traveling off-season to a destination can get you some better low-budget vacations. I have planned some low-budget trips to Dominican Republic off-season for quick three-night getaways. Also some shorter cruises can sometimes over very low prices for three-night sailings.
Based on your clientele, where are millennials traveling?
The top destination I book for millennials is Italy.
Where can you find the best deals?
Stick with a travel professional. Do your homework on the internet, and many times, the travel agent can get you these same deals.
Depending on where you’re going, is it worth it to join a tour group?
If you are the type that wants to make new friends, or be with others, then it is worth considering a tour group. Not everyone is set up to be their own tour guide, and tour groups hit all the highlights that one would see at a destination. Not everyone likes to travel this way, so if you are more adventurous type or like to be more flexible when traveling, I would not recommend a tour group.
What’s the best month to travel?
That is based on the destination that is picked. For instance, if you’d like to go to Europe, the high season is summer, and low season would be winter. Spring and fall would be called “Shoulder Season,” which sometimes offers good deals. With the Caribbean, from September to mid-December, you can usually grab great deals. So, it all depends on the destination.
Is “booking a flight at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday night” really the cheapest?
Sometimes, but if you have your heart set on a specific flight and exact date, and there are limited seats on those flights because they are popular, “booking on a Tuesday,” as they say, would not matter.
Do you think travel agency is a dying business?
Definitely not. I am very busy and my company that I am an Independent Contractor (IC) specialist for has thousands of agents all over the world. They actually started a travel school to now train the millennial generation in the travel industry because there was a need for it. The millennial generation likes services, and once they try a great travel agent they are very loyal and recommend that agent to other millennials. If you want a quick Florida flight or one night somewhere, sure, use an app or a website, but when you want to go away and know you will be in good hands from A to Z, seek out that recommended travel professional. I have no doubt everyone would become a loyal client.
Deborah Orgel-Gordon is the proud owner of Extravagant Travel Corp., a boutique travel agency in Glen Head, NY, committed to offering standout, customized service. As a successful travel consultant/agent for over 17 years, Deborah has enjoyed traveling the globe, jetting to destinations around the world. She specializes in booking travel to Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, as well as honeymoons, senior travel, family travel, inter-generational travel, cruises, and escorted tours. Extravagant Travel offers customized concierge services for personal leisure travel needs including spas, restaurants, theater/concert tickets, golf vacations, limousines, personal jets, meetings, and more. Deborah is also a certified IC specialist with a reputable international travel company.