What’s the next best thing to having your dream wedding?? DREAM HONEYMOON!
We have numerous brides ask us for recommendations when it comes to the vacay after the big day. When we started looking further into it, we were surprised to learn that travel agents are FREE. We knew we had to share with the bride tribe asap!
Our dear friend Victoria at Vacay Vibes by V sat down with us to fill us in on all the secrets to planning a bomb honeymoon!
Planning the perfect honeymoon Q + A
What is a common question you get from couples planning a honeymoon?
“What are your fees?” -This question comes up constantly! I love explaining that generally I don’t have fees for most of the packaged trips I plan. There are exceptions of course, for honeymoons or trips that require extensive amounts of time and research.
Why do you think it’s helpful to hire a travel agent for your honeymoon, and why should couples hire you?
If someone told you that you could hire a professional wedding planner, for free- would you have more questions? 😉
In all seriousness, planning a honeymoon is extremely stressful and time consuming. Most brides are already so overwhelmed with wedding planning that they come to me so happy that they don’t have to stress anymore about the honeymoon. One of the biggests parts of my job is to take the stress and guesswork out of the planning- and make it as simple and fun as possible.
What are the main things you consider when helping couples plan their trip?
I have a new client questionnaire that I send them to get us started. This is how I get to know the dreams of my clients, as well as the logistical details I need (dates of travel, proposed budget, wish list items, airport gateways, etc). I also ask if/where they have traveled prior to their honeymoon to give me a better idea of the type of travelers they are currently. I take all of that into consideration when suggesting destinations and resorts that I feel they would love.
Do you have specific travel packages you offer?
I can usually package anything that has multiple travel elements. A typical honeymoon package to something in the Caribbean will always include airfare, resort, roundtrip airport transfers, and taxes. Then we can add on extras like tours and spa treatments if the couple wants to pre-book them.
If I were to hire you, what are some things you would help me with?
I usually say that “anything and everything travel related- I can help with!” And it’s really true. From specific requests like room and building requests for resorts, to what they should pack- I’m here for my clients in whatever way they need me. (Within reason, of course). I try to package as much as I can to make it much easier to travel- the last thing a bride and groom want is to figure everything out DURING their honeymoon.
What are some common mistakes you see couples making when planning a trip on their own?
Flights! Clients will either have a 20 hour layover to save $50, or they will have “basic economy” flights selected…which I really don’t ever recommend.
Are they cheaper? Sure. But starting out your honeymoon HOPING you get two seats together on your flights, and God forbid you need to make a change… it’s just not worth it in the long run.
Can you give us a list of your top 5 honeymoon hotspots?
Honeymoon hotspots are constantly changing. I get a lot of clients that come to me wanting Bora Bora, Hawaii, and Greek Isles.
But once we talk about budgets and time they want to spend traveling, we typically land on something closer- and that they can get the most bang for their buck. Not always, but many times they want more value for their dollar.
What are some perks of hiring a travel agent that you wouldn’t get when planning a trip on your own?
This question is funny to me. I understand it fully, but to me being the agent, I am already doing all the work for my client, usually free of charge, so THAT is the perk.
You will have a travel pro doing all of the hours of work on your behalf so that you can focus on wedding planning. -A “funny” detail that many people don’t realize is that most of the time, I am getting you the same price you see online (or even better depending on current promos I have access to)
You’re technically paying for a TA whether you use one or not, because my commission is already built into the price of your honeymoon.
Aside from that, I also let my clients know that I know the difference between “cheap” and “good value”. I visit many of the resorts that I sell, and have direct connections with the brands that I love and recommend so that I can be there if there is ever a need to step in and help when clients are traveling.
Which also brings me to another thing you could consider a “perk”. -My clients have my personal number they can call while they are traveling if they have any issues. Which happens. I’d love to see someone get a personal contact number from booking on Cheap Caribbean. 😉 The personalized service is huge. To me, you’re an individual client with wants and needs and dreams. To an online booking engine, you’re a number.
I think we are finally coming back around to a place where people value connection, and being able to have that with a travel professional planning such a special trip is extremely helpful for the client.
About Victoria + Vacay Vibes By V
Victoria has been in the industry for a little over 5 years, and Vacay Vibes by V launched almost 3 years ago!
“Honestly, this job wasn’t something I went looking for or had ever thought about before I started. I had just left a job when a friend of mine mentioned that they were looking for new agents to help open a Chattanooga office and she thought I would be a great fit. After a lot of talking (and praying) about taking a job that would be 100% on commission I took a leap of faith, and am so glad I did.”
What is your goal as a travel agent?
This has changed over the last 5 years. Originally, I wanted to spread the word about what travel agents really do. (Or don’t do). There are a lot of misconceptions out there with the younger generations especially, about what a travel agent really is, but I really think that is changing for the better. Because I specialise in romance travel, the majority of my clients are under 30.
Most of the time I am the first travel agent my clients have ever worked with. And with that, comes a lot of responsibility (but also honor) to do the best I can so that they not only come back to me for future travel, but also to give the travel agent community a positive representation.
My biggest goal is just to make the entire experience as simple and stress-free as possible- especially for my honeymooners.
Do you have any advice for couples looking to book the perfect honeymoon?
Yes- to use a travel pro! And don’t be afraid to ask questions… you want to make sure it’s a good “fit”. Being on the same page with all of my clients from the beginning is really important to me, and I always hope it is for any new clients as well. We know the good from the bad, and we have inside looks at most of what we sell and recommend. At the end of the day, your travel agent is there for YOU, and to give you the best experience pre-during, and post travel.
Phone Number: (423) 771-9131
A huge thank you goes out to Victoria for taking the time to hang out with us and teach us more about planning the perfect honeymoon. We know you won’t go wrong with her. You can check out her website HERE and start planning your dream vacation with confidence!
Still planning your big day? Check out more vendor interviews just like this on our blog!