Think travel agents are a thing of the past?  Think again.  Today, I’m excited to welcome my friend Kelly Gruber, owner of Sherry Lane Travel, as a guest on The Lush List.  Kelly has an M. B. A. from the University of Texas and a real passion for the travel business, especially the benefits that can be provided by a good luxury agent.  Kelly will be popping in from time to time to give us the scoop on the travel industry.

I wanted her to share with us today about Why Travel Agents are the New Trend in Travel.  Yes, I know you can book tickets to the grandparents yourself but there are four really good reasons to use a travel agent when planning a vacation and why I always call Kelly. She has been instrumental in planning our trip to London, Paris, the Maldives, and now the SeaDream Yacht Club vacation. See my packing list for that trip here.

Travel Agents?  Four Reasons Why They’re the New Trend in Travel from Kelly Gruber – Owner, Sherry Lane Travel

Travel agents are definitely not a thing of the past.  Our goal at Sherry Lane Travel is to create the trip of your dreams and work in your budget to make it happen.  Here are the top four reasons to call a luxury travel agent…

1) We Have Connections

Simply put, they have access to prices and perks and products that you do not!

Sherry Lane Travel works with a number of “travel agent only” sources which routinely save their clients big on hotel bookings.  In addition, travel agents have special relationships with thousands of hotels and cruise lines which offer valuable client perks (free breakfast, upgrades, spa credits and VIP recognition to name a few).  All this for the same price you would  pay if you booked it yourself.  Ever wonder why the couple in the next room got a bottle of local wine and you didn’t? They used a travel agent.

2. We Have Experience

Is there anything more valuable than experience?  Sherry Lane Travel agents have training, extensive personal travel, client trip experience, a network of peer colleagues, and a multitude of local contacts and connections.  Consider this:  while you may have been to London several times in your life, they may have had clients in London several times this month or even this week!  So, it makes sense that their collective experience outpaces even the most seasoned traveler. 

And, a good travel agent can offer options/solutions you would have never considered yourself.

(**Note from Alicia – When we were traveling to the Maldives for our 20th Anniversary, I couldn’t figure out how to the there in under 48 hours and 4 long flights.  Kelly, of course, had the answer as she’s planned multiple trips to the Maldives!  This was by far our best flight experience on an amazing airline I would never have considered if not for her.  We hope to fly them again one day!)

3.  We Have Your Back

Didn’t get the room category you booked? Flight cancelled? Train strike? 

Why figure it out yourself if you can have help? 

Because of their volume, travel agents’ reservations are valued more than those of any individual traveler. Sherry Lane Travel is part of a consortium with $12.5 billion in purchasing power.  No one wants our clients to be unhappy.   This means our contacts will step up quickly to find solutions.

All issues are more quickly and effectively resolved when travel agent gets involved. 

4.  We are free

Yes, you read that right.  People are often surprised to find out that a luxury travel agency may not charge them at all!  Some top agencies are paid a commission from their suppliers (hotel, cruise, airline, tour, etc.) and don’t need need to charge their clients a booking or planning fee on top of that.  Sherry Lane Travel LLC falls in that category and we are able to operate as a “no fee” agency.

About Kelly Gruber and her team at Sherry Lane Travel

With a flight attendant mother, Kelly Gruber was born into the travel industry, traveling early and widely.  Following careers as a CPA and airline analyst, she is thrilled to finally do what she loves best — make travel dreams become a reality.  In particular, she loves to bring value, and is proud of consistently beating online travel sites.  As the Owner of Sherry Lane Travel LLC, Kelly is very glad to be a Dallas independent affiliate of Montecito Village Travel.

Specializing in Hawaii, international and adventure travel,  she has particularly enjoyed putting together a wide variety of trips this year to places such as Maui, Costa Rica, Peru, California, Italy, the Caribbean, Japan, Australia and the Mediterranean.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys books, movies, yoga, and spending time with her husband, Steve, and her 3 children.  She is an avid PTA volunteer, and long-time supporter of Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Photos provided by Sherry Lane Travel

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