Travel Agent or NOT Travel Agent that is the question

Travel Agent or NOT Travel Agent that is the question |  How does your brain work when you have to travel for work or decide to set away on holidays and book your flights, hotels, tour packages etc. ? Most of the gay travelers, nowadays, specially in the range of +/- 35 years old, find themselves booking online. They spend incalculable amount of hours researching online, trying to pick the brains of every single well travelled friend, not to mention if they happen to have a fellow travel agent in their close circle of friends… and then, in the end they book online.!!! Thinking HELL YES I made it, I got the best deal, and if not who cares, most of the online sites nowadays would send me a check, if someone books the same flight or hotel at a lower rate. Yeah right. !!!! don’t wait for too long next to the mailbox. Gays are very savvy travelers, I have to give you that, but nothing can compare or match the experience of an Old School / Well Traveled / Specialized Travel Agent (aka. ME – Carlos Melia ) ha ha ha.
I have recently joined the family of Virtuoso®, becoming part of an ELITE, and one of the few openly gay Virtuoso Travel Agents in the world. For those not familiar with organization, Virtuoso® is a network of the world’s finest travel agencies with knowledgeable advisors who draw upon first-hand experience to craft the perfect vacation for you. Virtuoso affiliated travel advisors have global connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies, restaurants and concierges. For you, this means access to exclusive travel offers that you can’t get on your own, along with your best value for the money. That’s the Virtuoso difference.
On the last issue of the magazine Virtuoso Insights (February/March 2011), they published a very interesting article that I want to share with all of you. The article was titled VIRTUOSO ADVANTAGE, and basically outlines the reasons by relaying on a Virtuoso Travel Advisor for your vacation planning makes A REAL DIFFERENCE in the way your experience travel. The case of study consisted on DO IT YOURSELF vs. VIRTUOSO Travel Advisor: They gave a budget of USD 4000 each to plan a three-night to the Big Apple, centered on a Broadway show. They compared the shocking final results, showing that while booking the exact same services, the Virtuoso Travel Advisor performance came with:
(1). Savings over the final Grand Total of USD 400
(2). The booking through the Virtuoso Travel Advisor took 30 minutes in total, while Do it Yourself spent over 7,5 hours.
(3). The Virtuoso Travel Advisor got extra amenities and room upgrades at no cost.
(4). The Virtuoso Travel Advisor added extra services to the package, like Transfers without adding extra to the final cost.
…among many other benefits and perks, that I invite you to check on your own reading the article (click on the image below)

So now you know, next time you plan to travel, think twice and give your travel agent the chance to show you, that not for nothing we think, breath, dream Travel and spent 8 hours a day, 5 times a week talking to vendors, hotels, airlines, tour companies… so we know what we are talking about. In the end do you know what the BIG Truth is…? most airlines, hotels are trying to cut distribution costs reaching out directly to customers, this way charging you the exact same price keeping to their own pockets that 10 – 15% Commission they are supposed to pay to Travel Agents. So Travel Agent or NOT Travel Agent, That is the question. Trust me they wont share that candy with you. Thank God, there are still out there many hotels and other travel related businesses willing to work with us, and offer exclusive benefits for our clients to reward their loyalty. CM

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Carlos Melia global bespoke Travel Agent, Travel Blogger, Concierge, Hospitality Consultant and Wedding Planner. Member of VIRTUOSO. Has earned, after over 25 years of Mainstream and Gay Travel experience, the mote of "Little Marco Polo". Jetsetter, bon vivant curates the world of luxury travel & lifestyle by experience, one destination at the time. Associated to First in Service Travel and Tzell Travel Network. Founder of LGTNetwork - Luxury Gay Travel Network. Follow, read and share my travel experiences worldwide at

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