In a time where 'instant' is increasingly becoming the norm, there are some areas where taking your time absolutely pays off, and planning a holiday is one of them.
With the surge of online travel sites offering to take you from planning, straight through to booking, it can be tempting to use a shortcut, but take a moment to reacquaint yourself with the benefits a travel agency could provide.
With Statistics New Zealand confirming that Kiwis are taking more overseas trips than ever before, it's the perfect time to take flight.
When planning a trip abroad, you may overlook travel agencies, believing they're more expensive than doing it yourself, when actually the opposite is often true.
As House of Travel consultants have strong, long-standing relationships with airlines and suppliers, they can provide great deals to locations all over the world. In addition to their competitive pricing, they're privy to many websites that the public can't access, giving them a wealth of knowledge to help you get the best rate possible.
Kirstin Curling from House of Travel Milford explains, "Customers are often surprised to find we are not more expensive than booking online. Only last week I had a customer decide to give us a go after seeing our advertisements and she was pleasantly surprised that we charged less than what she had found online.
However, as we often say, 'It isn't a great price unless it's a great holiday.' It's no good matching the cost for your romantic getaway when the resort we are matching is family-friendly complete with kids club and a hydro slide."
Although flights and hotels are frequently a top priority when it comes to planning a trip, it's everything else that comes together that makes a trip truly memorable, and House of Travel consultants understand this.
They can create bespoke holidays with every client's tastes, preferences, and visions an important part of the process. Once you've decided on where and when, they'll also make sure everything is easy. They can book in rental cars, day trips and tours, and make sure you're sorted with the right kind of travel insurance to suit you and your budget.
Belinda Fifield from House of Travel Christchurch City loves to add the finishing touches to a customer's itinerary.
"We often end up doing more than you'd expect to create the perfect holiday. From liaising with local florists for special occasions, booking hair and spa appointments or making reservations at the best restaurants in town."
A big part of the fun of planning a holiday is looking through the incredible options available, but it can also get a little overwhelming. House of Travel consultants are trained across all aspects of the industry, and because they're world travellers themselves, they can provide you with local knowledge and secret spots to help make your trip the experience of a lifetime.
"Our knowledge of destinations, hotels and airlines can really make a difference," says Judy Harkness from House of Travel Calder and Lawson.
"From insider tips like sharing the name of a great tailor in Hoi An or where to find delicious gelato in Florence, to finding the best room in a hotel and flight options, our job is to provide answers to questions you didn't know you needed to ask. I recently had a group of ladies enquire about a holiday package for one particular resort. After asking what they wanted to do on their holiday and why they chose this package, I ended up suggesting a completely different destination that would provide them with the holiday they really wanted. They ended up booking and had a ball."
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