What Do These Services Cost?

There is a minimal handling fee if Sally books a ski package, escorted tour, cruise, Disneyworld trip, resort stay, etc. for you. An additional charge is only applicable when Sally custom-designs a specific itinerary just for you, such as independent travel for two weeks in Europe - and the charge is a real bargain for what you get!

For customized trips planned and arranged just for you, Sally charges a flat fee for her time in doing the work and the knowledge and expertise with which she works on your behalf. The fee varies depending on the complexity of the trip and time involved. For a 10-day Italy trip the most common charge is $ 350-600.

Phi Phi Island, Thailand

Travel agents used to herald "We're free! We're free!" Major changes in the travel industry have, however, eliminated commissions to travel agencies from airlines, and have cut deeply into those from other suppliers. This has necessitated changes in the way travel counselors and agencies receive pay for work done. This new and healthier arrangement means that a client pays for a travel consultant's professional expertise just as for that of a building contractor or accountant.

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"Now some travel agents, bowing to the new rules of their business, are redefining their role and ambitiously seeking to offer something extra that can earn them revenue. These superagents...are known as travel consultants...."We have always marketed ourselves as "We're free, we're free." We should be saying, "We're smart, we're smart," says travel counselor Sally Watkins of Austin, Texas. Still, being smart is more than a marketing pitch. "There's a real difference between a travel agent and a travel consultant," says Ms. Watkins.

Grand Hotel, Cabourg, France
(Wall Street Journal, 16 Nov 1999)

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