Travel Agents, Airlines, and Tickets
Your Travel Agent can be your lifeline when things go wrong; things do go wrong! i.e. If you book a hotel that has advertised kids club and there is none; they have overbooked, or lost your booking etc.
Know the agent’s first and last name – write it in front of your travel folder with their phone number and add their name, email, and their phone number on your mobile phone. You want to be able to call them when things go wrong.
I went to 10 agents before I found 1 who even returned my call or gave me the time of day. Finally, I found a lady who had spent 1 year in South America and told me it could be done.
A few days later she was having the day off, and I walked into the same agency and encountered Miss Grumble bum.
I had to get two one-way tickets with frequent stops to London and that was it. No visa help – nothing. Useless. She really made it hard and didn’t want to help me. I fell in the way and fobbed off. What she told me was a load of rubbish!
I ended up having to buy two intricate maps off eBay for $40 so I could plan my South Pacific Island Hopping. Unfortunately, both maps were pretty useless – do you know how hard it is to get a map that shows both the Aussie and the South American coast?
Airfares & tickets
On-line ticket clearance purchasing
Look online first, and while you travel for unwanted ticket sales. People sell tickets on eBay etc for holidays (including accommodation) they book and can’t use. Remember to check the local country eBay address as some do not show up on Australian searches.
Airlines also have their own specials if you are a Frequent Flyer member. So it is worth subscribing there. Make sure you link them to your travel email address.
I saved $1000 in airline ticket costs through Flight Centre Gift Card purchases. (Most you can ‘bank’ to the Travel Agent, if near the expiry date and use later – call the agency if unsure of authenticity etc).
One way flights cost about ¾ of the price of a return ticket in some cases.
Round the World Ticket
Can be useful in places like the USA where you will hop across the land – but you must go in a forward direction.
However, the savings can be worth it. Nothing wrong with packing your own sandwiches and drinks if allowed.
Added extra’s from Travel Agents
Travel Agents do get offered deals and added extras or have bucket specials, so worth checking out what they can offer.
The UK and some other places have what is known as ‘Bucket Shops’. Cheap airfares and clearance deals – usually an allowance of so many tickets a day.
In 2012 the Air Travel Advisory Bureau in England (Tel:  7636 5000) will provide you with telephone numbers of reputable bucket shops dealing with your desired destination.
They can also offer you $$ (and possibly accommodation if you haggle) for you to take a later flight. If you are not in a rush and can delay the next leg of your trip, it is a great way to boost your budget.
Consult your child in private and explain that the $$ will mean you can do something they want too.
Types of Tickets available
There are certain restrictions with APEX tickets – they must be booked and paid for well in advance before departure, varying between seven days and a month, a minimum stay abroad is required and there are no stopovers allowed. However, these are minor considerations for the committed traveler with a relatively flexible agenda.
They are well worth the reductions of up to 60 percent. Your travel agent should guide you with this decision.
Similar to Apex except that there is no advance-purchase requirement. Thirty percent cancellation fee.
Flights can be changed, and the savings on full priced economy fares are between 25 and 30 percent.
Although the tickets can be bought three months before departure, it will depend on the availability on the day.