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Old 03-28-2009, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Cottonwood CA
336 posts, read 950,795 times
Reputation: 304

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Wife and I want to take a vacation in September. We'd like to fly to Florida, take a short (Bahamas) cruise, then return to port, rent a car and spend a couple of days in the Orlando area before returning home to CA. Trouble is the travel sites (Orbitz, Travelocity, etc.) seem to be organized to arrange either flight/hotel or cruise type vacations, but not the "combo" we'd like. I don't see an easy way to schedule this "multi-faceted" type of vacation online. Has anyone experienced this problem and resolved it? Looking fo advice-thanks in advance!
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,542,637 times
Reputation: 2639
You're talking about a travel agent. That's what travel agents do: they take all the pieces of a puzzle and fit them together in a way that pleases the traveler. I've used a travel agent occasionally over the years; I chose the one used by my office because their service was excellent.

"Travel sites" aren't travel sites -- they're just airlines, hotels and rental cars. That's quite a lot of "bundling" as it is, if you think about the enormous number of combinations they entail. You won't find any site, other than travel agents -- actual human beings on the phone -- able to research, choose, secure and combine the products of so many companies in one place such as you want.

If you don't want the organizational help, industry knowledge, ideas and discounts of a travel agent, you have to do the work yourself. Go to the various websites and make your reservations there. Be certain to PRINT OUT ALL YOUR RECEIPTS -- and PACK ALL YOUR RECEIPTS IN YOUR CARRY-ON so they don't get shipped to Chicago.

In Orlando, I hope you make time to go to SeaWorld and see the dolphins show. Breathtaking! The Shamu show is also thrilling. I wish you well in hurricane season.

Last edited by allforcats; 03-28-2009 at 12:57 AM..
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:01 AM
 
13,200 posts, read 20,890,658 times
Reputation: 35579
For a multi step trip, I agree with allforcats, a travel agent is the way to go. Last year we booked a trip on Travelocity, and the airline canceled our flight home. It was a major pain to try and correct the hotel to match the new flight, using Travelocity customer service. Their call centers are in India. We actually got a refund we didn't realize we were getting, because we couldn't understand the CSR's accent. And, it took 6 hour-long calls with lots of hold time. It didn't cost us any more to rebook the trip ourselves, but that was just flight and hotel. If something should go wrong, like a delayed flight, a travel agent can be a big help in rebooking.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,542,637 times
Reputation: 2639
Mattie's story is an excellent example.

Everything in the world can go wrong during a multi-stage trip: intense weather, cancellations for mechanical reasons, security threats, revolutions, infestations, world or local politics, traveler's illness, accident, change of mind, etc.

In my experience, having someone "at the helm", on the other side of an 800 phone number or email, who knows everything and knows how to fix and change things is so well worth the tiny fee the traveler pays for that service.
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