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Time, Experience, Customization 

Life is busy. Most people do not have the time to invest in planning a vacation, yet want an extraordinary experience. Planning a trip takes  knowledge and influence most people do not have, nor do they have time to invest in the detailed research involved in planning a trip. A great travel advisor takes care of the many details of travel so travelers don’t have to. Travel advisors can also save money and have the resources and influence to get extra amenities and perks for their clients such as room upgrades, resort credits, and more.  A good travel advisor is a dedicated partner who can anticipate wants and needs to offer exceptional customer service. 

Now, more than ever in such uncertain times, travelers need an experienced and knowledgeable travel advisor to help them navigate the uncertain and confusing landscape of COVID. Travel advisors are able to properly advice on travel restrictions, assist with reservation changes and cancellations, and work with suppliers to resolve travel issues that arise due to the pandemic.  If you travel, you must use a travel advisor to assist you with your plans. 

Because of our knowledge and experience, travel advisors can help take the stress out of planning a trip because we know the destinations, the cultural and legal aspects of travel, and are able to help travelers get the most out of their budget.  

A great travel advisor is worth their weight in gold and will become a trusted friend and confidante.  I am that person for you.  ♥

With over 32 years in the travel industry, I am experienced, knowledgeable, and detail oriented.   Every trip I manage is tailored specifically for the people traveling, there are no cookie cutter travel plans. 

When I first talk to a client, I learn their likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, and boundaries and budget.  Once I have an idea of what my clients would like out of their travel plans, I work on the many details required to make every trip extraordinary.  

My work does not end with the booking, I am with my clients every step of the way until they return from their trip.  You don’t get that kind of customized service from an online travel service.  

My knowledge stems from two sources: my own extensive personal travel experiences and destinations I have worked with again and again. I know destinations, including restaurants, for both corporate and leisure travelers. 

My job as a professional is to have all the answers, yet sometimes I don’t.  While I have years of experience, I do not know everything there is to know about constantly changing international destinations, travel policies, and regulations, so I make it a priority to continuously learn and keep up with the latest destination news, travel security regulations, and traveler benefits.  I participate in seminars, educational classes, and training at least once a week to remain current on all things travel, so I can better serve your needs.  But…if I do not know the answer, I promise I will find it.I have a network of experienced colleagues, destination contacts, and vast travel agent resources at my disposal.   

My main specialties are family and luxury travel.  I am accomplished in all United States destinations, including national park travel and road trip travel.  I  have extensive experience in all areas of Europe, Mexico, Caribbean, Africa, and South America. In addition, I have comprehensive experience in ocean and river cruises, ski and beach destinations, theme park travel, food, wine, & cultural destinations, and women’s inspirational travel.  

I have full access to a global distribution system (GDS) with inside availability for domestic and international air flights, hotels, and car rentals.  In addition, I have travel agency access to all major cruise lines, tour companies, luxury vacation rentals, and more.  Finally, as a full-service agency, I can book shore and land excursions, ground transportation, and travel insurance.  I can also book concert and theater tickets, golf tee times and spa reservations, restaurant reservations, assist with grocery/gift services, and many other concierge services.  Basically, everything you need to make your trip spectacular, I can assist with.

I am experienced in all types of travel but my specialties include family and luxury travel, river and ocean cruises, national parks, ski travel, and theme park travel.  I have traveled extensively, both by myself and with family, so know I destinations first-hand, including sites to see, restaurants to visit, and hotels to stay in.  

I started as a corporate agent, progressed to an onsite agent, and then onsite management.  I worked for almost 15 years in corporate travel, managing small, midsize, and large corporate accounts (up to $15 million) including Virginia Power, Joseph J Pietrafesa, Tredegar Industries, Interco, Cigna, and more.  I worked for Rosenbluth International, one of the top corporate travel management companies in the world, for five years as an corporate onsite manager. My time at Rosenbluth fine-tuned my travel management skills.  In addition, as a meeting planner, I managed small to midsize corporate group meetings and events up to 2000 attendees.  

As a corporate account manager, I am able to research and implement cost savings, corporate travel policies, corporate discount and reward programs, and team benefits.  With use of a computer reservation GDS system (Apollo Travelport), I have up-to-the-minute inside availability for flight schedules and fares, as well as hotel and car rental availability and pricing.  In addition, I have a suite of tools to manage all your corporate needs.  

If you would like me to help manage your corporate travel, let’s set up a consultation so I can determine your needs.  

To start making travel plans, please contact me by email, telephone, or Facebook Messenger.  You can also start the process by filling out one of the travel booking forms below that best serves your needs, and I will get back to you shortly.  99% of my business is referral, so please let me know if you have been referred by a current or former client. 

If you would like to set up an account for corporate travel, please contact me by email. 

Once I receive your travel request, I will schedule a 20-40 minute complimentary travel consultation to determine your interests, needs, and budget. After the consultation, if you decide to move forward with the planning/booking process, I will send you an invoice for my planning fee and start work on your plans.  

Once your plans are finalized, I will monitor all reservations for schedule changes, seat availability, dining reservations, and other details.  I will also build you a customized itinerary that you can print or access by mobile device while traveling. 

72 hours before you travel, I will re-confirm all reservations and update your itinerary with weather, flight, and COVID information.  While you are traveling, you can contact me by phone, email, or through my mobile itinerary program.  After you return from your trip, I will follow up with you to see how your trip went and take care of any after-travel details.   

When I say I am with you every step of the way, I mean it.  

Travel agents only make money when travel is completed and are not compensated when they do research for a potential client. We make a small commission on certain hotel, car rental, cruise, and tour packages and sometimes make a small commission on shore excursions and travel insurance once a reservation is confirmed.  We rarely make commission on airfare, especially domestic air. Once a booking is completed, we do not receive our commission until 60-90 days after trip completion. In order to stay in business and offer clients the best in customer service, travel agents must be compensated for their time in other ways, including consulting/planning fees. 

Travel agent compensation is low for the time and experience we put into our work, so many agents (including myself) now charge consulting fees. While I may suggest a specific supplier that might be tailored to a travelers needs and budget, I will not “push” a specific supplier just to earn a higher commission. My top priority is my clients and their individual needs. Charging a consulting me allows me to focus on my clients, not on supplier compensation. 

Please see the next question below for more information about my consulting fees. 

The travel industry has changed over the years and many suppliers do not pay a reasonable commission to travel agents. Some do not pay any commission. In order to keep up with the times, travel agents must charge consulting fees for the hard work they put into each reservation. Plus, with the unpredictability of COVID, we offer peace of mind, accurate and up-to-date information on testing, quarantines, and travel restrictions, and experience in navigating the logistics of cancellations and changes. The payments travel agents do receive from suppliers does not always adequately compensate us for the time, research, and customization we put into each itinerary. A consulting (planning) fee ensures we receive appropriate payment for our time and experience. 

Wander & Bloom Travel offers services beyond what you can get from an online DIY travel service. From from the moment you contact us until you collect your last bag, you receive customized itinerary choices, lowest fare assurance, customized itineraries with mobile phone access, airline seat checking, airline flight cancellation services, hotel amenities and upgrades, and more. 

Wander & Bloom Travel is your personal travel concierge, offering care above and beyond what you would get with DIY travel services. If you are looking for cheap service, stick with the online travel agencies.  If you want to your trip to be flawless and handled with tailor-made care, we are worth our consulting fees.  

I am located in Arizona but handle clients throughout the United States. 

Note:  If you contact me on the weekends, you will likely not get a response until Monday morning. 

You can reach me by:

My office hours are:

  • Monday – Friday from 9am – 6pm  
  • Saturdays by appointment only  
  • Sundays: For emergencies only

I am a night owl and usually up late to take emails and work on trip details. If you cannot get hold of me, please leave me a voicemail message or email me and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.  If you are on Facebook, you can also send me a message through Messenger.

As a member of the Signature Luxury Travel Network through our affiliation with Plaza Travel, we have access to exclusive benefits at over 1000 four and five-star hotels, resorts, and villa properties worldwide, offering amenities such as:  

  • Complimentary breakfast for two daily
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, based on availability.
  • $100 resort, dining, or spa credit*
  • Early check-in and late check-out, based on availability.

*Actual value of privileges varies by property, room type, length and dates of stay. Please inquire for more information.  Wander & Bloom Travel also has access to amenities for cruise and land tours as well. 

In addition, we have preferred partnerships with several air, cruise, and resort suppliers with VIP promotions and amenities. 

Additional Amenities 

Cruise Track  

Our cruise track program will keep track of your cruise reservation. If the fare goes down anytime before final payment, I will contact the cruise company to lock in the lower fare. 

 

COVID Restrictions

We have access to a database with up-to-date information on COVID restrictions including state and country restrictions, testing requirements, and quarantine information.

Air Upgrade Program  
 

Through our partnership with Frosch, we are able to offer air upgrades to business & first class as well as private fare pricing to many destinations.  

Communications

I am in constant communication with guests, both verbally and in writing during every step of the booking process to advise rates, confirmations, rules and requirements, cancellation policies, deposit and final payment deadlines, city guides, dining and activity recommendations, and additional amenities.

Customized Itinerary Service

Wander & Bloom Travel has invested in special itinerary building software services to provide our clients with up-to-the-minute customized travel details and flight information that can be accessed via desktop or mobile phone via a special app, so your reservation data is always at your fingertips. Customers can also chat live with Julie through the app.  

Seat Selection Services

If we are unable to get your preferred airline seating at time of booking, the seat checker program will search for a preferred seat to become available. 

Flight Cancellation/Delay Services

If a flight is cancelled by the airline during regular business hours, I may be able to assist with rebooking on an alternative flight.  This will save you time in airport service lines or on hold with the airline.

Because my work is so personalized, the more information I have about my travelers, the better I am able to plan their trip. When making travel plans, I initially request clients fill out 2-3 forms to find out travel destination, interests, budget, and other information.  I also have a credit card authorization form for all transactions. These forms ensure I have all dates, names, and other pertinent information when making plans.  

I may also request additional information depending on travelers needs.  These forms are necessary to provide the most complete service possible and assist me with information to keep travelers comfortable and safe, with questions such as likes/dislikes, health requirements (allergies etc),  sleep, dining, and seating preferences, and frequent traveler reward information.  The traveler profile form is kept on file for future travel, so information is not requested again unless additional information is needed, with the exception of credit card authorizations, which are required for each transaction. 

We comply with all state, federal, and international identification and passport requirements including matching all travel documents and in order to comply with these requirements, we need photocopies of all passport and other government identification to be used for travel plans to match travel documents with passenger identification.  An incorrect name on an airline ticket or cruise manifest can be a costly mistake.  All passport or identification documentation is sent through a secure link and kept in a locked file cabinet.

Finally, to make certain all travel plans are accurate and approved and all charges we process are authorized correctly, we must receive all travel authorizations and documentation in writing, including travel agreements and credit card authorizations.   These forms are in place to protect your travel investment as well as the integrity of my business.  This protects our travelers and our business from unlawful behavior.

More than ever, with so many unknown variables in the world, it is important to protect your travel investment. I have worked with several guests who did not purchase insurance and ran into problems during their trip, including medical issues, flight delays, flight cancellations, and lost luggage. 

Unforeseen circumstances while traveling, such as medical issues, can be financially devastating. While most travelers do not run into difficulties while traveling, anything can happen.  Travel insurance protects travelers from the many unknowns that can occur during a trip and is worth the small expense. 

Some credit cards offer basic travel insurance, but usually do not cover for all travel and medical expenses and certainly not COVID related expenses.  When booking reservations I will inquire whether you have coverage with your credit card and together we can determine the best solution for unknown emergencies.  If a traveler declines travel insurance for any reservations, you will be required to sign an insurance waiver. 

Bottom Line:  I purchase travel insurance for every trip I personally take and recommend my clients do the same. 

It depends.  For airline reservations, if the flight is non-refundable, I will advise cancellation fees and policy at the time of booking.  Once ticketing has occurred, you may be able to cancel the reservation within 24 hours of ticketing, depending on the carrier.  After that time, you will be required to pay a cancellation/change fee or penalty; the fees vary depending on carrier and if the flight is domestic or international.  

For cruise and land package/tour reservations, you will be required to pay an initial deposit on all confirmed reservation.  The deposit fee may or may not be refundable depending on cruise carrier, amount of time before the sailing, and other factors.  Once final payment has been made, the cruise line will enact a final cancellation policy, again depending on a number of factors.  

For hotel, car rental, and/or tour bookings, the supplier will enforce cancellation policies for reservations usually 24 or 48 hours prior to arrival, but cancellation policies will vary by supplier.  I will advise my travelers of cancellation/change policies verbally at the time of booking as well as on their final itinerary.  

It is my pleasure as a trusted travel advisor is to inform travelers of all cancellation/rebooking deadlines, fees, penalties, cancellation/rebooking fees and all other booking requirements to guests at the time of booking. All cancellation/refund policies will also be referenced in writing on the travel itineraries/documents section of your Axus/Pocket Travel itinerary. It is important that you take the time to read the terms & conditions of every booking you make so you understand the legalities of your travel plans. I will do everything in my power to advise you of cancellation/change fees and requirements but it is ultimately your responsibility to abide by supplier terms.

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances arise and a reservation must be cancelled at the last minute.  If the guest has insurance, any travel expenses and/or cancellation fees will likely be covered by the insurance policy; if a guest does not have insurance, I will do everything in my power to get resolution within the boundaries of supplier policy.    

It depends.  Sometimes the lowest fare is not your best option for your needs.  If you need more flexibility in seats or bags for air, cancellation or change policies for packages and tours, and other requirements, the lowest fare may not be your best choice. I will advise you of all options and let you decide what works best for your needs. 

I specialize in affordable luxury travel but do not compete with online discount travel agencies or websites, or big store travel services; I offer experience and personalization an online agency cannot.  If price is your only concern, we would not be a great fit. My goal is to create an unforgettable experience based on the budget you give me, but in order to provide the best experience, I work best with travelers who trust my knowledge and experience and put their travel needs in my hands. 

It is important to note that fares change constantly and any fare/price quoted for air, cruise, hotels, etc. will be guaranteed until a deposit or payment is made. 

Oh my goodness, yes!  I love my clients and appreciate when they enjoy my services and refer me to others. 90% of my business is referral and I work with clients again and again. 

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