Technology has replaced or is replacing personal relationships. A couple days ago I ordered 3 dresses online because I was busy and the online options were convenient and attractive. However, when the dresses arrived, they didn’t fit. The convenience of online shopping cost me a trip to the post office plus shipping charges!
Does this sound familiar? Do you find yourself opting for the convenience of online booking engines to plan a highly personal experience such as your honeymoon or destination wedding? Just as my online order proved to be a misfit, your online honeymoon plans could be too. The convenience of online services just cannot trump personal relationships!
Many of us have dreamed about our wedding day since we were little girls and I daresay it is one of the most important days of our lives. Who doesn’t want to be a princess for a day? Sometimes we can get so involved with all the wedding planning details that we pay very little attention to planning the honeymoon.
BUT…a honeymoon is an important time…the time when you leave the celebration with friends and family and focus on each other…just the two of you.
This is no ordinary trip. In fact, it’s not a trip at all, it’s an experience.
Booking a trip typically involves investing a lot of time in research to find the perfect fit.
Convenience is one thing but a relationship where someone who cares is guiding you is quite another.
An experience is all about you … an itinerary is coordinating components of travel.
The job of a professional is to get you the best value and not necessarily the best deal. A deal can result in a discounted experience.
How surprised would be if I shared a real life comparison with you?
I just coordinated a package (flight, hotel and transfers) on an online booking site that is priced at $2,991.51. Using all my travel agent skills, I designed the same package for a price of $2937.60. The savings is not major but when you think of the time you have saved, the experience, the knowledge and personal relationship that is developed, the benefits far outweighs that of booking the package on your own. Oh, did I mention that the same package that I designed now comes with added amenities that was not available on the internet?
We all know, that even the best laid plans can have hiccups. Booking on your own means if something goes awry, you will invest more time doing all the troubleshooting.However, along with personalized recommendations, professionals are available before, during, and after your trip to answer any questions or address any problems that may arise. Need a last minute itinerary change? Your travel professional is an email or phone call away.
According to IBM Institute for Business Value, nearly 20 percent of more than 2,000 travelers worldwide said it took them more than five hours to search and book travel online. 5 hours is a very generous estimate, it may take you 3 to 4 times that investment of time.
How do you see your honeymoon? How much is it worth to you? How much time do you have to plan the perfect experience or will you be satisfied with online options.
A wedding is special...as women, we have been dreaming about the event since we were little girls.
My wedding was not the fairy-tale I imagined. In fact, my photos are in an album…digital images weren’t very popular then.
I got married in Jamaica but had no idea about how stunning a garden or a beach wedding could be.
backdrops of the ocean or the lush, beautiful gardens of a fabulous resort...
My wedding was cool, but there are so many things I would do differently if I was planning it now. We are talking over-water chapel with stunning ocean backdrops, horse-drawn carriage, fireworks etc.
Uhm, I think I am the beach wedding kind of girl!
And…I would have this fabulous beach wedding for less than a traditional wedding.
Are you kidding me?
Nope…it’s all true!
If you want to have a casual, intimate ceremony, outdoor weddings are magical. There’s something about hosting a beach or garden wedding that makes the whole affair feel more relaxed and leisurely. The scenery of either makes for breathtaking photographs and natural light tends to be the best friend of your photographer.
As you may already know, there is lots of luxury resorts with luxury inclusions in the Caribbean and Mexico. These resorts offer inclusions that are designed to dazzle and impress you. Everything you need is available so your your experience can be complete.
So what do you know about these luxury resorts that offer more than the ordinary…they offer luxury inclusions a a great value!
My son has a large vocabulary and he uses these words that have my mind wondering whatever does that word mean. In an effort to appear that I’m “in the know” I go along with the conversation but as soon as I can, I get on my device to type in the word and get the meaning.
Most of my clients want an “all-inclusive” experience…and they tell me that they do. I typically share with them what is included. But it never dawned on me that a list of inclusions would probably not be enough.
So Mr. and Mrs. went off to a luxury resort in Jamaica and I felt confident that they would have a great time. I was excited when Mrs. called me to report on her trip (I get the warm and fuzzies when couples come back and gush over their amazing experience!)…I can’t help it! I am extremely passionate about what I do and I’m in the business of transforming lives.
So how was your trip, I asked.
“It was good. But my hubby only had 4 shrimp on his plate. That was disappointing. We thought we would have more to eat”.
Did you order more? You know you can eat at every single restaurant and you can have more than one entree, I said to her.
They were both unaware that they could have more than one dish or could eat whenever they wished.
If you looked up the word “all-inclusive,” Wikepedia defines it this way:
An all – inclusive resort is a holiday resort that includes at a minimum lodging, three meals daily, soft drinks, most alcoholic drinks, gratuities, and possibly other services in the price. Many also offer sports and non-motorized water-sports and other activities that are included in the price as well.
At White Sand Travel, we work with top rated resorts and you can expect “all-inclusive” to mean the following luxury inclusions:
Luxury Accommodations: Rooms and suites that can be as opulent and sexy as you can imagine and can include a dedicate concierge team or butler services
Gourmet Dining: Enjoy amazing cuisines from themed restaurants from around the world, by world renowned chefs. Wine pairing makes the experience even more delectable.
Beverages: We’re talking unlimited premium spirits 24/7 at various locations on the resort…at dinner, at bars, swim-up bars or even in your room.
Entertainment: Daily themed shows and events ranging from fire-shows, big screen movies, live bands etc. You won’t be bored.
Activities: Non-motorized water-sports, includes scuba, snorkeling (some include lessons,) land sports such as tennis, basketball, racquetball etc.
Tipping: Tipping is at your discretion.
You can do as I do…
Most often I travel for 5-days/4-nights and I may have a choice of dining from 6-16 different restaurants (depends on the resort.) It’s almost unlikely that I will be able to dine at all the restaurants so I may have dinner at one and dessert at another. However, I try to dine at as many different restaurants as possible. It may appear that the portions are small but appetizers and drinks can really fill those spaces. And unlike my clients above, order two entrees…no one will tell you know or bring you an extra check.
We are experts in designing the type of experience that has the luxury inclusions that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve not had enough. Let us help you select the option that best suit your needs.
Call us today at 770.469.7370 or click here to schedule an appointment to get started.
I’ve always wanted to capture the details of a real wedding!
I can still remember the day I met them…my first thought “beautiful and a very discerning couple.” Karen was stunning in a beautiful blue dress and Brian was sharp in shirt and tie. As we started our dialog, they listened intently, asked a ton of questions and they both took notes. Our meeting lasted over an hour and two things were pretty clear – they were deeply in love and they wanted a wedding that would capture their individual personalities and lifestyle.
Brian and Karen had a vision of their wedding and they were adamant that their guests have the time of their lives. They wanted the “wow” factor. That meant finding the perfect location, affordable pricing for their guests, having amazing food and a place to party.
We went to work and about 15 months later, we met at Moon Palace Cancun for the big day.
To describe the wedding is an impossible task but I’ll try.
The eve of the wedding, the couple hosted a welcome reception at Lake Terrace. OMG! Open bar, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, music/dancing and about 55 guests having an amazing time. We couldn’t have asked for more.
Except on the day of the wedding...
The chapel overlooking the ocean was the most spectacular location for them to say their vows. It was charming, it was beautifully decorated, it was inviting and it was imitate. As I sat in the pew towards the back of the chapel, I spied the carriage …OMG that is Karen in the horse-drawn carriage! Kleenex please!
And here she comes….
OMG, she’s stunning (I heard myself say while everyone else was totally quite, speechless to be exact)… More Kleenex! Not just for me this time, but for almost everyone!
Her stunning dress was a Provonia…and she couldn’t have looked lovelier. She looked like a princess.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many photographers at an event in my life. Well, maybe at Princess Diana’s wedding (I think.) May I say, it will be a task to select pics for this wedding album (I would not want that job!)
We went on to a cocktail reception while the couple and bridal party took more stunning pics.
We were ushered to the reception and every single guest stood there for a minute or two in utter amazement. Where did they get these fabulous favors? There were two armoires with pictures, favors, flowers, trinkets…and a table with hand-made plaque. Every thing was personalized for Brian and Karen. It was like being in a candy store as a kid…so many things to capture my attention.
The decor was impeccable, the dance floor changed colors, the music was incredible (a mix of Caribbean and Spanish) and the tables were absolutely stunning. The wedding team deserve an award for transforming the terrace by the ocean into the most amazing reception area I’ve ever seen.
The bridal party came out dancing (their own signature dance to music) and the moment came…the announcement of the newly-weds. Shut the front door…(my saying for when something is utterly amazing) they took this to a whole other level. More Kleenex! I really didn’t think Brian could dance like that, but we were in for a real treat.
Dinner was just absolutely to die for. I could have gone back for more but I wanted to behave. Pictures aplenty, everyone was snapping. I had to recharge my phone. I was in paradise experience a magical wedding. Where do they do that? Only in Cancun I guess!
Then it was time for the first dance! A standing “O” for the couple…they dazzled us!
I didn’t dance but I watched everyone else, I was having way too much fun. It was a party to remember. This couple…they set the bar for weddings. To have 55 guests echo one word over and over is kind of hard to imagine. But, the theme among the guest was “ Perfect , i t was perfect .”
The following day we bumped into the couple. They said, they had the magical wedding they dreamed of. It was definitely my honor to help them make their dream come true. It’s a wedding I will treasure for a lifetime.
And…the best part, I have grown to love Karen and Brian and I now think of them as friends. What more can I ask for?
There is nothing I like better than taking the dreams of a couple and transforming those dreams into reality so they can have their magical moment.
Planning a tropical beach wedding and want to be sure it knocks the socks off your attendees in addition to being the first day of the rest of your life with your spouse? Here are a few ways we’ve learned to make destination and beach weddings we’ve assisted bring to life WOW family and friends over the years. (Why should the happy couple be the only ones who gush over the momentous occasion?)
As a travel agent, it is my job to be as familiar with as many services as possible so I can make the best recommendations to you.
I have used both shared and private transfer but on my last trip to Jamaica, I made a decision that I will use private transfer in as many instances as I can.
Here are the reasons why:
A couple days ago as I discussed honeymoon planning options to a bride, she had questions about round-trip airport transfers.
When you fly internationally, you need transfer services to take you from the airport to your accommodation and back again once your trip is complete. What kind of transfers should you purchase?