Why Should I Use a Travel Advisor?

Time, Experience, Customization 

Life is busy.  Most people do not have the time to invest in planning a vacation, yet want an extraordinary experience. Planning a trip takes time and knowledge and most people do not have the time to invest in the detailed research that is involved in planning a trip.  A good travel advisor takes care of the many details of travel so travelers don’t have to.  

Because of our knowledge and experience, travel advisors can help take the stress out of planning a trip because we know the destinations, the cultural and legal aspects of travel, and can help travelers get the most out of their budget.  

 With over 28 years in the travel industry, I am experienced, knowledgeable, and detail oriented.   Every trip I manage is customized exactly for the people traveling, there is no cookie cutter travel plans done at Luxe Journeys Travel. When I first talk to a client, I learn their likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, and budget.  Once I have an idea of what my clients would like out of their travel plans, I work on the many details required to make every trip extraordinary.  And my work does not end with the booking, I am with my clients every step of the way, until they return from their trip.  You don’t get that kind of customized service from an online travel service.  

What destinations are you experienced/knowledgeable of?

My knowledge stems from two sources: my own extensive personal travel experiences, and destinations I have worked with again and again. I started as a travel advisor in 1990 and I know destinations, both for my corporate and leisure clients.  

My two main specialties are family and luxury travel.  I am accomplished in all United States destinations, including national park travel and road trip travel.  I  have extensive experience in Europe, Mexico, Caribbean, African, and South American travel destinations. In addition, I have comprehensive experience in ocean and river cruises, ski and beach destinations, theme park travel, and food and wine destinations.  

 My job as a professional is to have all the answers, yet sometimes I don’t.  While I have years of experience in the travel industry, I do not know everything there is to know about  constantly changing international destinations, travel policies, and regulations, so make it a priority to continuously learn and keep up with the latest destination news, travel security regulations, and traveler benefits.  I participate in seminars, educational classes, and training at least once a week to remain current on all things travel, so I can better serve your needs.  But…if I do not know the answer, I promise I will find it.  I have a team of experts at my host agency, respected colleagues, preferred vendors, and my Signature Travel Network affiliation to assist me.  The questions you ask help me to serve you better, so bring them on!

What about corporate travel? 

Corporate travel is my first love.  I started in travel as a corporate agent, progressed to an onsite agent, and then onsite management.  I worked for almost 15 years in corporate travel, managing small, midsize, and large corporate accounts (up to $15 million) including Virginia Power, Joseph J Pietrafesa, Tredegar Industries, Interco, Cigna, and more.  I worked for Rosenbluth International, one of the top corporate travel management companies in the world, for five years as an corporate onsite manager. My time at Rosenbluth fine-tuned my travel management skills.  In addition, as a meeting planner, I have managed small to midsize corporate group meetings and events up to 1000 attendees.  

As a corporate account manager, I am able to research and implement cost savings, corporate travel policies, corporate discount and reward programs, and team benefits.  With use of a computer reservation GDS system (Apollo Travelport), I have up-to-the-minute inside availability for flight schedules and fares, as well as hotel and car rental availability and pricing.  In addition, I have a suite of tools to manage all your corporate needs.  

If you would like me to help manage your corporate travel, let’s set up a consultation so I can determine your needs.  

How do I start working with Luxe Journeys Travel?    

To start making travel plans, please contact me by email, telephone, or Facebook Messenger.  You can also start the process by filling out one of the travel booking forms below that best serves your needs, and I will get back to you shortly.  99% of my business is referral only, so please let me know if you have been referred by a current or former client.    (If you would like to set up an account for corporate travel, please contact me by email.)  

Once I receive your travel request, I will schedule a 20-40 minute complimentary travel consultation to determine your interests, needs, and budget. After the consultation, if you decide to move forward with the planning/booking process, I will send you an invoice for my planning fee and start work on your plans.  

Once your plans are finalized, I will monitor all reservations for schedule changes, seat availability, dining reservations, and other details.  I will build you a customized itinerary that you can print or access by mobile device.  48 hours before you travel, I will re-confirm all reservations and update your itinerary with weather and flight information.  While you are traveling, you can contact me by phone, email, or through my mobile itinerary program.  After you return from your trip, I will follow up with you to see how your trip went and take care of any after-travel details.   When I say I am with you every step of the way, I mean it.  

How Can I Contact You?

I am located in Arizona, the land of the quirky time zone.  In the summer, we are on Pacific time; in the winter we are on Mountain Time.  

My hours are: Monday – Friday from 9am – 7pm  AZ time; Saturday and Sunday by appointment only.  I am a night owl so am usually up late to take emails and work on trip details. I am the only employee of Luxe Journeys, so if you cannot get hold of me, please leave me a voicemail message or email me and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.  If you are on Facebook, you can also send me a message through Messenger.

Email:  julie@luxejourneystravel.com

Phone:  480-448-2214

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LuxeJourneysTravel/ 

What kind of travel plans can we make with you?  

 

I have full access to a global distribution system (GDS) with inside availability for domestic and international air flights, hotels, and car rentals.  In addition, I have travel agency access to all major cruise lines, tour companies, luxury vacation rentals, and more.   Finally, as a full-service agency, I can book shore and land excursions, ground transportation, and travel insurance.  I can also book concert and theater tickets, golf tee times and spa reservations, restaurant reservations, assist with grocery/gift services, and many other concierge services.  Basically, everything you need to make your trip spectacular, I can assist with.

I am experienced in all types of travel but my specialties include family and luxury travel, river and ocean cruises, national parks, ski travel, and theme park travel.  I have traveled extensively, both by myself and with family, so know I destinations first-hand, including sites to see, restaurants to visit, and hotels to stay in.    

 

Why do you charge booking/planning fees? 

The travel industry has changed over the years and many suppliers do not pay commission to travel agents.  The commissions we do receive do not adequately compensate for the time, research, and customization we put into each itinerary.  A service fee ensures we receive appropriate compensation. 

Luxe Journeys Travel offers services beyond what you can get from an online DIY travel service, offering personalized customer service from the moment you contact us until you collect your last bag.  All clients receive customized itineraries with mobile phone access, airline seat checking, airline flight cancellation services, hotel amenities and upgrades, and more.  We go above and beyond for every traveler.  

 

 

What are some of the extra amenities you offer?  

 

Signature Travel Network

As a member of the Signature Luxury Travel Network, through our affiliation with Plaza Travel, we have access to special privileges at over one-thousand 4 and 5-star hotel, resort, and villa properties worldwide, offering amenities such as:  

  • Complimentary breakfast for two daily
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, based on availability.
  • $100 resort, dining, or spa credit*
  • Early check-in and late check-out, based on availability.

*Actual value of privileges varies by property, room type, length and dates of stay. Please inquire for more information.  Luxe Journey Travel also has access to amenities for cruise and land tours as well. 

 

Communication

I am in constant communication with guests, both verbally and in writing during every step of the booking process to advise rates, confirmations, rules and requirements, cancellation policies, deposit and final payment deadlines, city guides, dining and activity recommendations, and additional amenities.

 

Customized Itinerary Service

Luxe Journeys Travel has invested in itinerary building software services to provide our clients with up-to-the-minute flight information and customized trip details that can be accessed via a mobile phone. Customers can also chat live with Luxe Journeys Travel through the app.  

 

Seat Selection Services

If we are unable to get your preferred airline seating at time of booking, we will monitor air reservations for better seat availability. 

 

Flight Cancellation/Delay Services

If a flight is cancelled during regular business hours, I may be able to assist with rebooking on an alternative flight.  This will save you time in airport service lines or on hold with the airline.

 

Why do you ask travelers to fill out forms?  

When making travel plans, I request clients fill out 2-3 forms to find out travel destination, interests, budget, and other information.  My main forms are a travel request form, a traveler profile form, and a credit card authorization form.  These forms ensure I have all dates, names, and other important information correct when making reservations.  

I may also request additional information depending on travelers needs.  These forms are necessary to provide the most complete service possible and assist me with information to keep travelers comfortable and safe, with questions such as likes/dislikes, health requirements (allergies etc),  sleep, dining, and seating preferences, and frequent traveler reward information.  The traveler profile form is kept on file for future travel, so information is not requested again unless additional information is needed.  (Credit card authorizations forms will be needed for each transaction.) 

We comply with all state, federal, and international identification and passport requirements including matching all travel documents.  To fulfill these requirements, we need photocopies of all passport and other government identification that will be used for travel plans to match travel documents with passenger identification.  An incorrect name on an airline ticket or cruise manifest can be a costly mistake.  All passport or identification documentation is sent through a secure link.

Finally, to make certain all travel plans are accurate and approved and all charges we process are authorized correctly, we must receive all travel authorizations and documentation in writing, including travel agreements and credit card authorizations.   These forms are in place to protect your travel investment as well as the integrity of my business.  

Why do you need a photocopy of my passport?   

Domestic and international customs and transportation security regulations require the passenger name to listed on travel documents exactly as is listed on drivers license for domestic flights and passport for international flights.  If the name is entered incorrectly when making reservations, including middle name or initial, passengers can run into security issues while traveling, including denied boarding. Also, for non-refundable/non-changeable reservations, the airlines and/or cruise companies may charge a fee for any name changes.  Having a physical copy of the passport ensures we enter all names correctly into travel documents.  Once we have received the information and documented the guests profile, we destroy all photocopies of passports to ensure data privacy/security.  

Why do you encourage travel insurance?  Doesn’t my credit card company cover me?  

I have worked with several guests who did not purchase insurance and ran into problems during their trip, including medical issues, flight delays, flight cancellations, and lost luggage.  Unforeseen circumstances while traveling such as medical issues can be financially devastating. While most travelers do not run into difficulties while traveling, it is all the many unknowns that can occur during a trip that insurance protects.  Insurance safeguards you and your travel investment and is worth the small expense. 

Some credit cards offer some travel insurance, but are usually basic plans and do not cover for all travel expenses.  When booking reservations I will inquire whether you have coverage with your credit card and together we can determine if it will cover all your expenses and possible medical emergencies.  If not, I can quote and book travel insurance as part of your reservations.  If you decline insurance coverage of the travel reservations I complete with you, you will be required to sign an insurance waiver.  

 

If my reservation is non-refundable, can I cancel it?   

It depends.  For airline reservations, if the flight is non-refundable, I will advise cancellation fees and policy at the time of booking.  Once ticketing has occurred, you may be able to cancel the reservation within 24 hours of ticketing, depending on the carrier.  After that time, you will be required to pay a cancellation/change fee or penalty; the fees vary depending on carrier and if the flight is domestic or international.  

For cruise and land package/tour reservations, you will be required to pay an initial deposit on all confirmed reservation.  The deposit fee may or may not be able to be refunded depending on cruise carrier, amount of time before the sailing, and other factors.  Once final payment has been made, the cruise line will enact a final cancellation policy, again depending on a number of factors.  

For hotel or car rental bookings, the hotel will enforce cancellation policies for reservations, usually 24 or 48 hours prior to arrival, but cancellation policies will vary.  

One of my responsibilities as a trusted travel advisor is to inform my guests of all cancellation/rebooking deadlines, cancellation/rebooking fees and penalties, and all other booking requirements to guests at the time of booking so guests know the requirements before booking is completed.  I also document all cancellation fees/policies in writing on the travel itineraries/documents, and official travel contracts/documents from suppliers.  

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise and a reservation must be cancelled at the last minute.  If the guest has insurance, any travel expenses and/or cancellation fees will likely be covered by the insurance policy; if a guest does not have insurance, I will do everything in my power to get resolution within the boundaries of supplier policy.