Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

Only a spider trusts the web, but if you book online, book “my site” instead

I’m a personal travel advisor. I am a knowledgeable and resourceful consultant who can look at your family’s needs and wants, and come up with solutions to ensure you have the vacation of your dreams. I’m a memory maker, and I love it.

I specialize in made-to-measure travel – or, travel that “fits” you right! 🙂 (Pun on the “fit” – for those in the travel industry. FIT=foreign, or free, independent tour… or full individual tariff… It means something that isn’t a cookie-cutter, off the shelf product.)

But, I have clients who sometimes want the cheapie getaway package that a tour operator has put together. Sometimes you feel like a Big Mac. Of course, I still look out for those clients. I am their advocate, and the person they call when they run into issues.  I help them navigate the multitude of info out there – such as help them understand why that 4* hotel in the Mayan is still available at cheapie prices on March break, and whether it would really meet their family’s needs. 

Many people say that price is the overriding factor on getting away on a cheapie vacay, but few come back and say “I got what I paid for” – more often, folks will say what they didn’t get.

So – please, don’t book a holiday online based on what you read at an online rating agency. Consider all the info there, for sure – but please, don’t put ALL your faith in what you see there. (Do you know whether the rating was given by the hotel itself, or maybe it’s competitor? Do you know anyone who’s ever submitted ratings? Do you know that the majority of people who post are faceless, and overly negative posters?) Wouldn’t you rather have independent and objective reviews done by travel industry folks? (And ones not being paid to give positive reviews?)

Call me. Let’s talk about what is most important to your family, and what memories you want to take away from your vacation.  And if you really want to comparison shop, and find it hard to resist the “do it yourself” mentality that is so prevalent with holiday making these days, use my site – .  My site has the same inventory as “sell of vacations”, etc, the same pricing. So, have at it – comparison shop. You can use my site to narrow the range of options you want to consider, and then we can talk about what you’re seeing.  Let me check the industry reviews of the hotels you are considering, and what my personal experience (and/or the experience of my colleagues) is with that hotel.

And, if you’re really stuck, it’s 3 am in the morning, and you feel overwhelming pressure that you really have to book that getaway NOW, go ahead. You can book on my site, with confidence. 

Any booking made through my site is affiliated with me – so if you have issues while on vacation, I am the travel advisor of record. I can call the supplier, the airline, the cruiseline, or the hotel; and get you the assistance you need. 

Of course, my involvement in bookings made on my site isn’t restricted to problems you might have at destination. I still act as your advocate  before you leave. I still touch the file. Think of me as an extra set of eyes. I have various quality controls (e.g., making sure the credit card number matches the billing address), and I go through titles and legal names (e.g., making sure my client “Bill” has booked according to his passport name “William”, so he’s not turned away from boarding the plane). I can still call the supplier, and make requests for you (e.g., connecting rooms, bedding arrangements). I review the itinerary with clients, and advise them about travel documentation. I ensure their vacation insurance is in order. I still send e-advisories about the country they are visiting, and get them to check their passport details to ensure all is up-to-date.

Only a spider trusts the web. But if you really must book online, please book on “my site” instead. You still have your personal travel advisor acting as your advocate. I’m only a call away.


April 14, 2011 - Posted by | Lush Life Value - Why Use a Travel Advisor

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