Travel Agent for a European Vacation

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by kahpets, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. kahpets

    kahpets Mouseketeer

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    Can anyone recommend a travel agent who specializes in European vacations. I am trying to plan a trip for this summer and am overwhelmed with the different options and would be willing to pay someone knowledgeable to assist.

    We plan to go to Paris and Amsterdam - I have a broad outline of what we would like to do, but need assistance with lodging and organizing our itinerary / booking some day trips out of the cities.

    I don't want to do ABD or a different tour based trip.

    Thank you.
     
  2. BadPinkTink

    BadPinkTink DIS Veteran

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    first of all breathe, and take a step back. You can do this DIY , you just need to do it step by step.

    Most things can be booked online in advance and most websites will have an English option.

    lets start by what is stressing you the most and work through it with you :)
     
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  4. easyas123

    easyas123 Mouseketeer

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    I don't have a recommendation for a agent, but we (finally) did our first trip to Europe, and flew into and spent a day in Amsterdam. It was beautiful, you'll love it.
    We did a River cruise, our first cruise of any type actually. It was a great way to dip our toes into several counties...even if we were the youngest on the ship by about 25 years ha ha!
    Already scheming to go back.
     
  5. kahpets

    kahpets Mouseketeer

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    @BadPinkTink What's stressing me out most is the lodging and the day trips.

    I can book the plane and a train between Paris and Amsterdam with no issue, but I am not sure where to stay and the more research I do the more overwhelmed I get.

    I am going with my 77 year old mother and 18 year-old niece. My mom is in good health and very active, but she will be 77 by the time we travel, and figuring out where to stay that will make things easiest (but still somewhat affordable) is driving me over the edge. My mother can walk distances, but I do not want her to have to walk too far getting too / from wherever we stay - we will have so much other walking to do each day. I'd like to stay close to mass transit, so that's an option along with cabs (and Uber or Lyft or something similar if they have that in those cities).

    This is a special trip for the three of us and I want it to be special.

    I think we're going to stay in a hotel in Amsterdam for four days and then an apartment in Paris for eight days. We hope to do a few day trips (maybe one in Amsterdam and a couple in Paris) to see sites outside the cities.

    There are so many different options for neighborhoods and places to stay / different companies to take day trips with, etc. I'd also like to understand costs / options for a one-day private tour for each city. And I need to get insurance - both health insurance for while we are away, and trip cancellation insurance that will cover all the moving parts of this trip.

    I have always booked trips myself, and I have never had a horrible experience, but I know sometimes I've made better decisions than other times, and I am stressing myself out trying to make all "good" decisions for this trip. I think I may have done too much research, and it's all blurring together in my mind. I am overwhelmed, and I need to start booking this trip.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  6. Mom loves Disney

    Mom loves Disney DIS Veteran

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    I know a place that could help. I work with an agent that is great (specializes) in this area!
    Not sure if I can mention the agency...
    If so, I would gladly get you in touch with her.
     
  7. eyor44

    eyor44 DIS Veteran

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    DO NOT mention any travel agency on here unless it is the one that sponsors the Disboards or you will receive a warning or being deleted. I made that mistake. Sending a PM with that information would be a better option.
     
  8. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    I believe the action depends on how another company is mentioned:
    "7. ADVERTISING
    The advertisers/sponsors who you see on the DIS are carefully chosen. While we welcome discussion of them as well as other businesses that you have information or questions about, if it's determined that you are using the DIS to promote a commercial venture, you will lose your posting privileges. This includes choosing a username that refers to your business, organization, or website. In addition, links to the company's website will be blocked. Also note that we do not want the boards to be used for solicitations or for requesting referrals.Requests for advertising can be directed to corey@disneyinfo.com for consideration" https://www.wdwinfo.com/guidelines.htm

    While yes, a private message would probably be better (depending on each poster's settings), providing the name and contact information for someone with an entirely different specialty from the DIS/WDWINFO.com, should be okay.
     
  9. bananasplitkids

    bananasplitkids DIS Veteran

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    Have you looked at the tripadvisor forums? I'm planning a trip to South Africa for next year and have found a ton of information on that forum. Alot of the posters are also travel agents. I was able to find a travel agent based in South Africa that was knowledgeable of the area. I bet it would be the same for Europe.
     
  10. bigeyedfish

    bigeyedfish Mouseketeer

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    Good luck with your planning! I am on several Facebook travel groups and on several occasions I’ve seen TA’s posting and asking questions about traveling in Europe/abroad for their clients. So unless you find someone local you can meet with you may find yourself with a TA that oversells their knowledge.
     
  11. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

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    Do you have AAA they offer travel planning service a service as part of your membership as well they have travel book for the area you are going to... This is what I did when we went to Paris in May of this year... You do not have to use them to book your trip, I used them more for a jumping off point. I booked our trip, and save a lot of cash.... Then I asked questions lots and lots of questions on the Disneyland Paris Board, on transportation ( hop on hop off bus) , using the metro, sightseeing ( museum passes, day and half day tours), dinner cruise's and money conversion, and credit cards ..... such...

    Rick Steves books are a great investment - I got alot of good solid advice from them, I read it twice before we went, then we used it in the hotel at night...

    Paris is a walking city - You need to pick which Arrondissements (section of Paris) you would like to stay in...You can google the map...

    Spend some time on You tube, checking out Wolter's World and other videos that help you understand traveling to your destinations, and they offer tons of tips...

    Write a list of what you want to see, do and experience while touring... prioritizes them... don't plan every moment... walk the streets, sit in a Cafe`, take in the City of lights,

    Transportation - this is one tip that is very important to figure out... we used a private car service to our hotel, and DLP, which was really nice, and worth every euro that we spent... which was really not much more than what we would have spent on Uber or Lyft getting around.

    Use the Concierge's in the hotel to your advantage, we booked through the hotel, they have more local tour companies and suggestion at their finger tips... Also they let us know what areas to stay out of... there was a demonstration going on, and they made sure we knew not to go into this area... Listen to what they tell you...

    When buying bus passes, museum passes, know what you are buying... all the tickets run consecutive day... So when you buy a 3 day ticket... if you use it on Monday - then its good Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday... not 3 days of your choosing... So if you plan on a day trip to Versailles or to the Chateau region... take that into consideration when planning...
    Spend time before you go researching what everything has to offer and buy what you need....

    Metro, and trains are another area that you will need to understand exactly what is provided...

    Dealing with Taxi driver ask how much before you get in... Take picture of your hotel with address so that you can show it to the driver...

    Learn some basic French, and learn about french customs and manners... Such as you must ask for the bill when done eating... " l'addition s'il vous plait" - the bill please... When entering a shop greet the person Bonjour Madame, or Monsieur - Thank you - Merci, - Pardon me do you speak English - Pardonnez-moi vous parlez anglais... Check out you tube, google translate, and babble for some basic phrases to help you get around...

    Your Safety be prepared, we invested in smaller backpack for DH and a crossbody bag for me - they are slash proof, have locking zippers, and RFID protection... as well we did buy some credit card RFID sleeve for added protection, there are lots of options... these worked for us... another tip is how you dress... stay away from touring in work out clothing, leave your yoga pants, spandex, and running clothing at home...american big sneakers, like Nike or another major brands - pick pockets and scam artist look for this - as well keep jewelry to a minimum. Check out youtube for do's and don'ts.. I say this not to scare you or worry you, to help you be prepared so that you can protect yourself, and have a wonderful time...

    I spent hours and hours on-line, reading, researching and it did pay off...

    You can do it.... Take a breath and jump in....
    Have a wonderful time...
     

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