Secrets Behind- Travel

I've enjoyed this series, probably more than some of my readers have.  I've gotten to know so much "Behind the Scenes" information from vendors that I normally wouldn't know as much about.  I think all in all the series has helped me to become a better and more thorough planner!

I don't spend much time with my clients arranging their honeymoon schedules but I know how much and money they DO spend on it, so I would be missing a big part of planning if I didn't include some details on working with Travel Agents.
I'm very excited to present 
Linda Murfin, CTC
Above The Crowds Travel & Meeting Planning
Telling people where to go for over 37 years!
I have had the honor of knowing Linda throughout a majority of my career so I can certainly vouch for her abilities and knowledge.  She is not only a wonderful business person but also an amazing woman.   Will all of that being said here are

Q: What is the biggest misconception about your industry?
A: The biggest misconception is that a fee is paid for my expertise. In most cases, I receive a commission from my suppliers so you pay the same whether you book your trip yourself or allow me to book it.
In rare cases where I am not able to book a commissionable package, I will advise of my fees upfront.

Q: What are a few mistakes brides sometimes make when making their travel arrangements?
They often listen to other people about where they have gone for their honeymoons and decide to go to a destination because someone else liked it there. When I work with the bride and/or groom, I base recommendations on what THEY like to do, their passions and preferences.

Q: What things should a bride look for, look at, when booking their honeymoon?
A: Personalization of services. Not getting "cookie cutter" packages.

Q: What is the one thing a bride should save on when booking with you?
A: She will definitely save on time. And with my 38 years of experience, she can count on getting the most for her dollar, no matter what the budget

Q: What is the one thing a bride should splurge on when booking with you?
A: Probably the accommodations. So many people say, "we won't be in the room that much" and book an inside cabin or a generic run-of-the-house room then don't have much of a special memory about their trip.

Q: What is the worst story you have heard about a mistake someone in your industry has made, anyone, ever. 
A: There are many potential scenarios for this - booking on the wrong date, misspelling of names, booking to the wrong destination (San Jose, California instead of San Jose, Costa Rica, for example), not letting clients know what documentation is necessary (passport, visas, letter of consent to take a minor out of the country, etc.). Travel is a tricky business with ALL the rules favoring the airlines, hotels, cruise lines and resorts. Accuracy is essential. With 38 years of experience, I know what to look for.

Q: If you had a client who had endless funds what unique ideas and products/services would you offer them?
A: I would offer private charter flights to get them to their destination as quickly as possible and at any time they wish. I would also offer private butler service to pack and unpack their bags, a chauffeur to take them wherever they want and a private chef to prepare whatever they want to eat whenever they want it.

Q: What are a few things that bridal clients should review in travel contracts?
A: Cancellation penalties and travel insurance. Even though you say "This is our honeymoon, we're not going to cancel.", there may be circumstances beyond your control. You don't want to lose money on top of it all.

Q: What is something you wish all of your clients knew, or a certain thing you wish all of your clients would do to make working with them easier?
A: Probably the biggest thing is having a budgeted amount or at least a range. People seem to be afraid to commit to an amount sometimes. If you tell me you have $3000 to spend and the resort which best suits your needs and preferences is $2000, I'm not going to charge you $3000 just because you told me you could spend that much! I'll recommend what is the best fit on all levels - price, location, amenities, activities, ambiance, etc.

Well, there is some information that I certainly didn't know enough about.  I can't thank Linda enough for giving me some "Behind the Scenes" details on travel.  If you are interested in learning more about Above the Crowds, please visit their site at  

I'd love to know what you think as well, so feel free to email me or comment on the blog!

Happy Planning,