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Travel Agent FAQs

Q: What does a travel agent do?

A: Great question! We all operate differently, but here’s what THIS travel agent does!

  • First, I get to know YOU and YOUR needs to begin the customization process of your travel.
  • Then, I begin matching you up to the resorts and actiities that best fit YOUR personality, budget and wish list!
  • I present you with appropriate choices to save you TONS of research time and take the worry about picking the WRONG vacation!
  • I help guide you through the selection process and design a CUSTOM itinerary with transportation, accommodations, tours, meals, fun and more!
  • I provide you with the best VALUE for your budget and care about YOU.
  • I deliver superior customer service before, during and after your travel.
Q: How does a travel agent work?

A:  Custom Memories Travel is different from the rest because we offer CUSTOM travel planning services – we are not simply “order takers”. We have a specific plan that we follow to ensure that our customers are paired with the most fitting destinations and travel itinerary according to their wants and needs.  For a detailed explanation of our plan, check out our How To Plan A Vacation page!

Q: How much does a travel agent cost to use?

A: Our general planning services for air/land vacation package planning is FREE. We do require an advance deposit of $200 up front that will cover our time for researching your trip.  When you decide to book with us, the advance deposit is directly applied to your booking!  Please contact us for fees that apply to destination weddings, mystery travel or packages other than air/land or air/cruise.

Q: Why should I use a travel agent instead of booking online?

A:  Online travel agencies such as Expedia, Priceline, etc. are strictly “order taking” engines. Custom Memories Travel is DIFFERENT!

We strive to:

  • Customize itineraries to meet your needs and desires, not “sell you” a vacation!
  • Research options for destinations, resorts, airfare, transfers, excursions, tours and more!
  • Book everything for you, right down to dinner reservations if you wish!
  • Send you tips on weather, currency, packing and popular local “hot spots” specific to YOUR travel!
  • Remain “on call” during your travel to help with any issues that may arise such as delayed/canceled flights, lost baggage, etc.
  • Form a personal relationship with YOU that lasts far beyond your travel!

Destination Wedding FAQs

Q: What are some of the advantages of a destination wedding?

A: Many couples forgo traditional weddings in favor of a more intimate affair for many reasons.  For instance, destination weddings are often less expensive because of fewer guests (in most cases) and extends their traditional ceremony from hours to days.  Destination weddings also allow the couple and their guests to develop more intimate memories in a picturesque destination that they may not have otherwise traveled to together. Check out our Destination Wedding section to learn more!

Q: Who is a destination wedding suited for?

A: Obviously, a destination wedding is not right for absolutely everyone.  If it is important that specific family members and friends are present, make sure to consult with them to discuss the possibility of their attendance at a destination wedding vs a traditional hometown one.  If you are wanting a destination wedding that is particularly remote or luxurious, less guests may be likely to attend overall.  These are important factors when deciding whether or not a destination is right for you.

Q: How far ahead should I plan my destination wedding?

A: This is slightly complicated.  As far as dates and travel plans for the wedding, you should book at least 12 months in advance to ensure you are able to secure the specifics that you desire.  However, we are able to plan within a much shorter booking period, but with less options.  As far as the actual wedding itself, if you are getting married outside the US, it is important to realize that your wedding coordinator will probably not begin finalizing the ceremony details until approximately 6-8 weeks before your wedding.  This is very typical for most other countries outside the US.  However, our American brides are very surprised to hear this as it is common to plan the ceremony a year in advance.

Q: Who pays for the guest's travel and accomodations?

A: Guests are generally responsible for their own accommodations and travel expenses. However, some couples choose to pay for this when the event is small and intimate.  That choice will be left to the couple.

Q: What are the legal requirements for a desitnation wedding?

A:  Each country has its own requirements that change frequently. Custom Memories Travel will keep you updated of the latest requirements of your specific destination so that you can get married without surprises!

Q: Are destination weddings affordable for guests?

A:  Each guest has a different reference point of “affordable”.  However, the best way to ensure that your guests are able to budget for an event is to give them notice far in advance.  It is also important to choose a destination that is easily accessible for most of your guests depending on their location.  The last recommended way is to choose an all-inclusive resort that will include virtually all of their food, drink and activities at the resort.  This will lessen the anxiety of the “unknown cost” of all of these variables.

Q: Does the travel agent do the wedding planning as well?

A: Not generally.  The travel professional will put you in touch with a resort coordinator that will coordinate the ceremony and activities as well as finalize the details directly with you.  The travel professional is only the liason between you and the resort coordinator.  However, if you wish for the travel agent to be involved with the wedding details to take the pressure off the actual ceremony plans, we would love to help you out! Contact Custom Memories Travel directly for the fees associated with this service.

Q: What are the travel agent fees for planning and coordinating the destination wedding?

A: Custom Memories Travel requires a $300 non-refundable fee BEFORE beginning researching and organizing a destination wedding as opposed to our customary $200 advance deposit.  This $300 will not be applied to your final payment and is a separate charge from your actual vacation because of the extra coordiation and servicing required.

Honeymoon FAQs

Q: What should my honeymoon budget be?
A:  The cost of a Caribbean all-inclusive honeymoon package varies by couple.  It also depends on your preferences of destination, dates of travel, room category and other factors.  However, Custom Memories Travel can customize one to fit most any budget!
**We recommend a minimum budget of at least $3500 per couple to enjoy a moderate all-inclusive vacation for 4-5 nights booked at least 9 months in advance.  The budget should increase as the parameters change.
Q: What are some popular honeymoon destinations?
A: The most populars all-inclusive honeymoon packages that Custom Memories Travel recommends are in the Caribbean and Mexico.
  • Mexico – Riviera Maya, Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos
  • Caribbean – Jamaica, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Grenada
  • Bahamas – Bahamian Islands
  • South Pacific – Fiji, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora
  • Cruise ships  – Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, Bermuda
Q: How long is the typical honeymoon?

A:  Again, there is no standard answer for the length of “typical honeymoon”.  Some budgets only allow a night or two, while others allow for month-long getaways.  Custom Memories Travel will use your budget to help guide you toward your perfect all-inclusive honeymoon! Maybe a luxurious, week-long honeymoon is more appropriate than a 2-week “cheap” honeymoon? Or maybe not? We will help you decide!

Q: How far in advance should we book our honeymoon?

A: We recommend planning all-inclusives as soon as you know your dates of travel or approximately 9-12 months ahead of your travel date.  This will ensure that you have plenty of options to choose from vs. a last-minute honeymoon.  Most resorts sell out of their premium rooms 6 months in advance.  However, we can plan them short-term as well!

Mystery Trip FAQs

Q: What is a mystery trip or blind booking?

Blind booking is when you book a mystery trip for yourself or for someone else, including yourself.  The destination, accommodations and planned or suggested activities are a surprise to all travelers.  Only the travel agent knows where he or she is sending you!

Q: Who should try a mystery trip?
We recommend blind booking and mystery travel for those who do not have time to plan a trip for themselves.  We also think that people who LOVE thrills and the excitement of surprise would also enjoy blind booking.  If your personality is easy-going and you like to “go with the flow”, this is a great opportunity for you!  But, we also can plan a vacation for anyone…without the blindfold!

 

Q: Who should NOT participate in a mystery trip?
We do not recommend mystery travel for those personalities who desire full control over their vacation itinerary.  We also do not recommend it for those who are not spontaneous and need ample time to plan ahead.  The fun of mystery travel is the element of SURPRISE!

 

Q: How do I pack if I don't know where I'm going?

Custom Memories Travel will notify you of the weather forecast and suggested items for your destination approximately one week ahead of your departure date.  We will also mention specific items you will need to bring, if any.

Q: What is the fee for mystery trip planning?

In general, there is a minimmum $250 fee for a blind booking.  This will cover the time to plan, research and suggest activities that may not be scheduled or commissionable through a travel agent.  Once the fee is collected, the mystery travel planning can begin!

Q: What are the terms of booking a mystery trip?

A: Great question! You can read through the terms on the “Forms” page of the site…just click on the ones under “Mystery Travel“!

Q: What is the cancellation fee if I no longer want to travel on they mystery trip?

The blind booking fee of $250 is non-refundable.  Travel insurance will be included with every package made for each person traveling. Depending on what types of insurance are available for your particular package and the timeframe you are canceling, a partial or full refund of the package price may be available.  Each supplier has their own set of charges for canceling. (i.e. airfare, hotel, car rental, etc.)  A mystery travel contract will be sent to you before the process begins.

Q: How far ahead should I plan my mystery trip?
We recommend planning AT LEAST 6-8 weeks ahead of time.  Obviously, pricing usually increases the closer you get to your departure date. Therefore, the earlier you plan, the more value you will find in your vacation.  However, we do plan last-minute vacations as well!

 

Q: How do I budget for a mystery trip?

We suggest choosing a comfortable and realistic budget of what you would normally spend on a vacation.  We will help ensure your expectations are realistic.  For instance, if you are looking for a 5-star luxury experience in NYC for $1,000 for a family of four, you may only be able to vacation overnight!

Q: What happens if I don't enjoy my mystery trip?

Custom Memories Travel does its best to plan a custom mystery trip that matches your needs and desires. By using our blind booking services, you are agreeing that you acknowledge our intentions and that the funds used to purchase the trip and insurance are non-refundable.  This is also true of the service fee to set up the trip.