Let me introduce my new relationship with Flight Centre. In this day and age when any information can be found by using the Internet, why bother using a travel agent? I certainly don’t. There’s a reason for that. I work directly with tourism boards, resorts and public relations companies who do the bulk of the heavy lifting. I tell them what I want to do, and they arrange it. I find that things go smoother that way.
Yes, occasionally I plan and direct every inch of one of my trips, but it’s amazing what can go wrong, even with the best laid plans. The main reason I flew to Dubai (aside from wanting to know what life is like in the Middle East) was to experience Emirates Air, rated the number one airline in the world. Somehow between Emirates and Air Canada, they managed to lose my luggage. It took an entire week to track my bag down, and I wore the same shirt every day. A good travel agent will assist you with such things, and other disasters like cancelled flights, lost passports and kidnappings (just kidding).
If you have a very good idea where you are going, exactly, and have friends and family to assist when you land, no problem. But if you need inside information on the destination, always best to ask an expert. For instance, on the Flight Centre pages located on this website, I give a frank and open opinion about travel to Tahiti, one of the world’s most exotic destinations. I discovered that few tourists actually stay on the main island of Tahiti; they are off to Moorea and Bora Bora. Why? Good beaches and beach resorts are hard to find on Tahiti. Yet I bet that a good travel agent will beg to differ. Chances are they have “been there, done that,” and know where the best beaches are located.
There’s an ongoing argument among travellers and travel writers whether it’s best to do lots of research in advance of a trip, or whether just to wing it. I find that getting blasted by heat, sunburned, not speaking the language and not understanding local customs is more than enough of a challenge. If you have your resort or hotel, and a basic itinerary, all chosen and laid out in advance, then your vacation will be so much more comfortable.
Of course, an adventure is a different story. Did I tell you about the time I trekked 700 kilometres across the Himalayas, most of it about 5,000 metres, with a Tibetan monk who had to be convinced to buy food and utensils in advance? There we were, at 6,000 metres captured by Maoists guerrillas, and ….
If you book a reservation with a Flight Centre travel rep, tell them I sent you. Ask questions, get your money’s worth. Don’t email me with all your worries; I’m busy designing my next adventure. If I am interested in bringing a few folks along, I’ll post a notice on this website. Check out my articles on this website about “transformative travel.” That’s the kind of adventure I like to enjoy.