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Free Independent Traveler vacations. Let me plan your unique dream vacation. This is not your Grandparents cookie cutter vacation. This is all you; a vacation specifically tailored just for you and your dreams.
CRUISES & TOURS
Everything you want and need, right at your fingertips. Relax while you experience stunning locales. Planned for you down to the last detail. It’s time for everyone else to take care of you for once.
The Caribbean? Mexico? The beaches in the south of France? Whatever you desire, we can find the best resorts for you to stick your toes in the sand.
What new memories will you create with your children, your parents and your extended family? Our expertise will guide you to create lasting memories that will stay with you long after the vacation is over.
Founder / Travel Consultant / Chief Concierge
SOCCCD Travel and Tourism certification | Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
I grew up traveling the world, with a very unconventional childhood. My experiences have ingrained a wanderlust that has become a vital part of who I am. When you combine that with my passion for research, and an innate desire to help others, you’ll get a travel consultant that takes pride in the product. With my experience and breadth of knowledge, I’ll help you create vacations that become your most treasured memories.
go as many places as you can.
You can always make money,
you can’t always make memories.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
~ Mark Twain
Lost Winds Travel & Tourism Blog
While at common WiFi hotspots, look at Yelp or other review apps. Look at the comments sections and you’ll often find the WiFi passwords. Or, use this wonderful resource. Roll your clothes instead of folding them. My mom taught me this trick when I was young and we...
The big travel aggregators–Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.–may have outlived their usefulness. According to this article on backchannel.com, the layers of 3rd party vendors between the airlines, hotels, et al. have caused the end consumer prices to rise beyond what...
This article was written by Cheryl Rosen and originally published at travelmarketreport.com on Feb. 17, 2017 There’s no do-over for a vacation gone wrong. Every moment of the time you take off from work, whether traveling alone or with family and friends, is...
Originally Published: 9 ski resorts you can fly into By Rob Hodgetts, CNN Updated 5:40 AM ET, Tue February 21, 2017 The freedom found skiing on a mountain is often earned after lengthy journeys, airport hassles and time-consuming traffic. But what if flying to the...
This article was written by Cheryl Rosen and originally published at travelmarketreport.com on Nov. 22, 2016 In this season for giving thanks, we at Travel Market Report want to thank all the professional, smart, caring travel professionals who have supported and...
Frequently Asked Questions
DOES USING AN AGENCY MAKE MY TRIP MORE EXPENSIVE?
In our digital age, with the world at our fingertips, there are some people who believe that booking their own travel is the smartest and easiest way to plan a vacation. Plain and simple; it’s not. While you may be able to find a bargain on those websites, there are many things you will be missing if you choose not to use a Travel Consultant. The most important point is that if you book a vacation with Lost Winds Travel, you will have your own personal assistant with you every step of the way. I will be there when we plan your trip, but most importantly, I will be accessible 24 hours a day while you are on your trip. If an issue or difficulty arises, you can call, text or email me and I will do my utmost to help fix any problem. That leaves you to focus on your vacation and your loved ones, not on the details. And if there happen to be any loose ends at the end of your trip, I’ll be there to wrap them up for you.
Using a Travel Consultant doesn’t cost you any more money, either. In almost all circumstances, you, the client, pay me nothing. Let me say that again: You do not pay anything extra for my services. I am paid by the companies that I have a relationship with (but rest assured, I will always seek out the best deals, discounts and offerings available to you; from all options). So, why wouldn’t you use me to plan your vacation?
Another perk that’s most often lost when booking your own vacation is the power of networking that’s available to me. For example, if you were to book a hotel room in London, you may get a decent room at a decent price, but with a view of the alley. But, with the affiliations at my disposal, I could book you a room in that same hotel, at the same cost or less, yet with a view of Westminster Abbey, champagne waiting for you in your room and a complimentary massage for two. Which sounds better to you?
WHAT SHOULD I REASONABLY EXPECT FROM A TRAVEL AGENT?
A competent agent should be available to you both before, during, and after the booking to answer any questions about your upcoming trip. The agent should also be available after your trip if you have any questions. I will be available for you to the best of my ability 24/7.
A reliable travel agent should be able to keep you posted on any deadlines for making payments and getting the necessary paperwork to travel. However, you alone are responsible for meeting all those requirements, not your agent. That being said, I will make sure you adhere to any deadlines by reminding you of upcoming due dates.
A good travel agent should support you during your trip, if not with a 24-hour phone number you can call, then by phone or email, during regular office hours. It is reasonable to expect an agent to help you when something goes wrong while you’re on your trip, instead of pushing you off on the airline or cruise line. Remember: I am being compensated for this work. I will monitor the progress of your trip and work diligently to fix any problems before they happen.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TRIP MYSELF, INSTEAD OF THROUGH A TRAVEL AGENT?
- If it’s a simple transaction, like buying a train ticket, a point-to-point plane ticket, or a hotel room.
- If you know enough about a destination or a product that you don’t require the advice of an expert, and can easily resolve any disputes directly with the airline, car rental company, cruise line, or hotel.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST MISTAKES TRAVELERS MAKE WHEN SELF-BOOKING?
Without an agent to help you through the process, you could make one of several “rookie” mistakes when buying travel. Here are the most common ones, and how to prevent them.
- Wrong date or time. An easy mistake to make, and far too common. The pull-down menus can be confusing, especially if you’re dealing with a European site, which formats Year-Month-Day instead of Month-Day-Year. Foreign calendars also often group Saturday and Sunday at the end of the week, so it’s easy to click on a square the you believe is Friday and have it actually be Saturday. Also, DIYers frequently confuse a.m. and p.m.
- Incorrect name on a reservation. Remember, the name on your airline ticket must be an exact match. “Frank” instead of “Francis” or “Bob” instead of “Robert” could mess up your vacation. If you’re traveling internationally, the name on the ticket must match your passport exactly.
- Not shopping around. One of the biggest benefits of using a website to buy travel is that you can compare prices. If you’re pressed for time — and if you don’t really care how much money you spend — then find a travel agent, and let that person book the most convenient itinerary.
- Basic trip research. When you book something online, everything is up to you. That includes not only passports and visas, but also ensuring your own security. I can help guide you through these essential aspects of your trip, but when you self-book, you’re entirely alone. If you’re not prepared to at least look up your visa requirements, and consult the State Department site to ensure your safety, you should use an agent.
- Failing to read the terms of your purchase. If you’re booking online and directly through a company, the terms will be available on its website. Read everything. If you don’t, you could be surprised by what’s in it. Then again…that’s what I’m here for. To take the headache away from you.