My mom owned a travel agency for years, and she took such pride in helping people plan the perfect vacations. I remember thinking she had the best job on earth. I would sit in the floor of her reception area as a kid, leafing through all of the colorful pamphlets she received, advertising exotic locations I couldn’t pronounce. My favorite pastime was looking through the cruise brochures — I was so intrigued by the floorplans of the ships and how these tiny little cities floated across the water. She was one of very few people who were able to book plane tickets via the Sabre system, and I have a weird knowledge of airport codes because of my time spent in her office. We were heartbroken when Expedia and its ilk all but exterminated the travel agent in the late nineties, but my mother is still the best person to travel with and the best person to call in a travel pinch because of her years of helping people. Recently, though, consumers have started abandoning the internet and returning to travel agents. Maybe after twenty years of sterile websites and no human interaction, travelers have tired of the lack of personal detail and customer service. I know I have.
If you’ll recall, I have a tendency to overanalyze myself into paralysis, and the world is a large place, full of possible honeymoon destinations. When it came to our own honeymoon, Dale and I had so many choices that we needed a ringleader of sorts, and we decided pretty quickly that in order to avoid short-circuiting ourselves with subpar options, we wanted to find professional travel planners to make the experience as easy on us as possible.
When Dale and I started working with Maggie and Ben at BlueSun Vacations, we had a vague idea of what we wanted in a honeymoon, but no hard-and-fast locations musts. We only knew we wanted three things:
- Adults only (sorry, kids!)
One of the biggest selling points for us was that BlueSun is not only U.S.-based, but located right down the road from us in Fayetteville … major plus! BlueSun took our preferences, and within a week or so, called us back to their offices for a meeting. They had pre-selected four resorts for us, spanning across Mexico and the Caribbean. They put together a Powerpoint slideshow for us to look at that compared all the different resorts, from what the rooms offered to what the beaches looked like. Maggie, who is also a vegan, made sure to focus on what food options would be available to us in each location. It helped that she had visited a few of them on various work trips and knew exactly what was available. We ended up selecting El Dorado Maroma, a beautiful resort in the Riviera Maya (more on that next Wednesday!).
I could go on and on about our love for BlueSun. They offer payment plans for their vacations (with deposits as low as $200!!), and guarantee their low price — like, if you can book your vacation via Priceline, Expedia, etc. and it’s cheaper, BlueSun will match it. You literally get a personal travel assistant for the same price (or cheaper) than you would doing it by your lonesome, and you’re getting a much better experience because the resorts work with them on a regular basis. You don’t pay more using a travel agent, so why wouldn’t you? There’s literally no reason not to — it takes so much stress out of planning!
And the assistance doesn’t end when you board the plane. We texted Maggie from the Phoenix airport when I was crying about losing our passports (more on that later, haha!), and she very calmly contacted the resort and the transfer company to let them know we would be arriving a day later — and extended our vacation an additional day to make up for the lost time. Seriously the best customer service we could have ever asked for. We’ve actually become friends now (hanging out later this week — she’s pretty much one of the coolest people I’ve ever met), but we’re so lucky that she helped us plan one of the most important vacations of our lives. Our honeymoon was incredible, and I can’t wait to talk more about it next week!
BlueSun Vacations has very graciously gifted y’all $100 off your next vacation!
Just call (800) 817-9791 with the code “Benfield100” and the world is your (vegan) oyster!
**This post is sponsored by BlueSun Vacations. All thoughts and opinions are my own.