“Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”.
Back in August, we had the opportunity to go on a river cruise up the Rhine in Germany. Let’s rewind… we knew we wanted to travel somewhere fun (out of the country), but we didn’t really want to have to plan anything or worry about setting up an itinerary once we got there. So, we chatted with our friends at Edwards LaLone Travel and they recommended this brand-new cruise line, U River by Uniworld. The cruise is set up for adventure lovers. They drop you off in a new city each morning then leave you to explore on your own or participate in guided excursions. You have as much or as little freedom as you want. And don’t even get me started on the gourmet food on board. For more about our trip, find the recap HERE.
Moral of the story, we never would’ve thought to go on a river cruise in Germany or even known where to start with the planning process without the talented professionals at Edwards LaLone. They were with us every step of the way booking our flights, hotels, cruise package, excursions, and giving us peace of mind during our travels. We knew we could check in with them at any point to receive guidance or help if we hit any speed bumps.
Travel agents have access to find deals, offers and discounts unavailable to the public. They could get us a better deal on our cruise than anything we found online. On top of that, they made sure we were taken care of once we got on board with drink/food accommodations previously agreed upon.
The agents at Edwards LaLone Travel work hard to form and maintain relationships with resorts, hotels, cruise lines, and other vendors, which they can then leverage to get their customers additional travel perks. We experienced this first-hand with our river cruise. In addition, they can offer added value, which we will talk about in #5.
2, COMFORT/ADVOCATE. Stress-free travel.
Your travel agent is your advocate. If something goes wrong during your travels, it was so comforting to know that the agents at Edwards LaLone Travel were just a phone call or email away.
The Edwards LaLone team knew the best airports for us to fly in and out of, taxis, buses, or subway transportation that would be the most convenient, safe and affordable in each city, and the hotels in the best area of town for exploration and comfort.
We had a point of contact back at Edwards LaLone during our entire trip in case we had any issues or complications.
My mom and stepdad recently went on a cruise to Greece, the first night on their ship, their room flooded from a pipe leak in the wall. The second call they made, after calling housekeeping, was to their travel agent. She immediately got on the phone with the cruise line and used her influence to get the situation fixed and my parent’s reimbursement for their inconvenience. The cruise line was very responsive to the travel agent, but not so much to my mom.
It was such a comfort knowing that even though we were in a foreign country, we had our travel agent team ready to help us whenever, if ever, we needed them.
They even gave us the option of setting up private transportation services to and from the airport and hotels throughout our travels. That’s another great part of using Edwards LaLone. They can give you as much or as little help as you desire. They can completely schedule your entire trip or assist you with getting there and coming home and leave the rest up to you!
3. KNOWLEDGE. They know more than you.
Often times someone at the travel agency has visited the place you want to go and know the best resorts, restaurants, means of transportation, etc. It’s like having a trusted local friend with firsthand knowledge of each town and city.
Like I mentioned, before we met with Edwards LaLone Travel we had no idea where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do. We wanted to leave the country, and we are both pretty adventurous, so we didn’t want to just go lay on a beach for a week (though I’m definitely not opposed to that next time). We met with the agents at Edwards LaLone and gave them our time period, budget, and talked about some of our interests, where we’ve been in the past, what appealed to us, etc. Within our first meeting, they suggested a Millennial River Cruise with U River by Uniworld. After looking over the brochure and hearing more about it, we were SOLD! Had we not met with Edwards LaLone, we would have never even thought of a river cruise in Germany let alone known where to start with finding the best one for us. The cruise they recommended was especially for younger people, full of on and off-board adventurous activities, and right in line with our budget and time goals.
Travel agents save you so much time planning. We always say, “Let’s go somewhere fun this year.” And then neither of us make the time to plan something exciting so we end up going to the same couple of places. Whether we don’t have the time, or we don’t want to make the time, the exciting trips don’t happen. This was really our main motivation to work with a travel agent. We knew if we kept leaving it all up to ourselves, a trip would never happen.
Once they helped us decide where to go, they took care of all of the flight, hotel, and transportation booking. We just gave them the dates, frequent flyer information and trusted them to find us the best deals with the most convenient layovers, and they delivered! Going back to reason #1, they were also able to get us a way better deal on our flights than anything we could find online because they packaged it with our hotel stays.
After everything was booked, they set us up with an organized package, so we knew all of the crucial details before leaving the country including flight information, transportation to and from hotels, and hotel stay information. We felt super prepared and much more at-ease during our travels than usual because of extra efforts like this from the Edwards LaLone team.
Another great bonus when you are traveling out of the country is that Ewards LaLone will help you with extras like filling out visa and passport applications and ensuring you have all the right documentations for your desired destination.
If we booked this same exact trip on our own, it would’ve cost us far more and we would have gotten far less. For example, the Edwards LaLone team knew this was our last big trip before our baby came, so they made sure to make it extra special. They surprised us with a special “Babymoon/Honeymoon” package which included breakfast in bed, a romantic private movie experience, a camping night on the roof of the ship, and a private date picnic and bike ride at one of our destination cities. These private moments, away from all of the other passengers were some of our most special memories during our trip. Had we not worked with Edwards LaLone, we wouldn’t have even known this was an option!
They also often have special connections and discounts with hotels, cruises, etc so they can save you money on package deals.
About Edwards LaLone Travel: “We are a full service, upscale travel agency located in downtown Spokane. Locally owned and operated for over 25 years with a dedicated staff of knowledgeable professionals each with many years of experience and a passion for travel.
With our specialized knowledge of the travel industry, our detailed-oriented travel consultants will provide you with expertise and personal attention to make your travel experience memorable and enjoyable.”