What is Travel by Darcy?
Travel by Darcy is a boutique travel agency headquartered in Epping, New Hampshire owned and operated by Darcy Allen. Darcy is a professional travel agent with over 20 years experience. She specializes in romance travel (honeymoons, babymoons, anniversary trips, small destination weddings etc), family vacations, luxury cruises & tours and customized vacation planning to exciting destinations around the globe. Other than cruises that originate from the US, Hawaii and Alaska, she specializes in International destinations. Learn more about how she got her start in this biz back in 1996!
Where is your office located?
I have clients throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The majority of our communication can be done via email and over the phone. Local clients are welcome to meet in Epping, NH at the local coffee shop – coffee on me!
Doesn’t it cost more to book with a travel agent?
Generally, NO! Professional travel agents are trained to save you time and money by asking the right questions to determine the best vacation to fit your personal interests and budget. We guarantee to provide the absolute best value for your vacation dollar. Our rates are always the same or better than what is offered by the hotel or cruise line directly. The average person visits over 20 websites and spends over 10 hours researching vacation ideas. How much is your time worth? Let Travel by Darcy take care of all the details.
Do you charge service fees?
We do not charge any fees for resort and cruise vacation packages. There is a nominal fee for airline tickets, customized vacation planning, for destination weddings and group travel of 10 rooms or more. Any applicable fees will be advised upfront in our initial consultation.
I’ve never worked with a travel agent before. What do I need to know?
Learn more about how this process works here.
Is there anything you don’t book?
While I can technically book anything I choose not to book airline tickets or car rental only [Note: I recommend contacting the airline directly if you need just a flight and not booking through a third party website in case of schedule changes or delays]. I also do not book with companies or hotels that do not work with travel agents. (ie. small bed & breakfast properties, or websites like AirBnB, VRBO, Homeaway etc. ). My priority is making sure that you have a stress free, value packed vacation experience. That means working only with reputable tour and package companies that support the travel agent community and offer exemplary service for our clients.
How do we know you’re a real business?
Travel by Darcy is registered as an LLC in the state of New Hampshire and fully insured. Darcy Allen is a member of several well known travel industry associations (CCRA and DWHSA to name a few) and affiliated with a national award winning agency with over $100M in sales per year. Countless testimonials from real clients can be viewed on my website, facebook and weddingwire.com. This is not a part time job or a hobby but has been my full time profession since 1996. I stay current on travel trends, believe strongly in continuing education and dedicate the time needed to stay at the top of my game.
What is the best way to pick a travel agent
The reality is that all travel agents have access to the same information. Agencies may have access to different sales and promotions depending on what destination they are featuring that month. The question then is how experienced is that agent and do they know how to access that information? Will they know where to go to find you the best value for your vacation quickly and efficiently? Does it take them days to respond to an email? Have they asked you personal questions to determine your individual travel style to best match you with a specific hotel, resort or cruise experience? If that travel agent specializes in Disney vacations as an example, would they be the best match to help you with a grand tour of Europe? All questions you should ask yourself and the travel agent you are considering using.
How far in advance should I book my trip?
If you are traveling during peak season for the destination you wish to visit, booking as early as possible is key. There are often early booking incentives available when you book 3 or more months in advance. If you have specific needs or interests – a special room with a view or an overwater bungalow perhaps – booking 6 or more months is strongly recommended. Further still, many popular European river cruises sell out up to a year in advance! So once you know where and when you want to go and have the funds to pay the deposit – don’t procrastinate! Contact us to get started.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes! When you book 6 or more months in advance you will be able to confirm your trip with a deposit and make payment up until the final payment due date. All funds are typically due 45-90 days prior to arrival (up to 120 days for some cruise lines). Full details are provided at the time of booking. Honeymooners: We also offer the option of doing a Honeymoon Gift Deposit if you are booking far enough in advance and traveling after your wedding date. Who needs another toaster? Have your friends, family and guests contribute directly to the cost of your honeymoon. Click here for more details.
Do I need a passport?
For all international destinations a US passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel dates is required. Non US citizens need to contact the consulate for the country they are visiting to determine entry requirements. It is the responsibility of the traveler to verify and obtain all necessary documentation needed for your trip. Further, any minors traveling without both legal parents or guardians need to travel with a notarized letter of consent. For more information visit www.state.gov/travel/
What about the Zika virus?
The Center for Disease Control, CDC has issued a travel alert for specific destinations due to the Zika Virus. Please see the www.cdc.gov website for more information
Should I just book direct with the resort or cruise line?
You could, by why would you? The rate is the same or better using a travel agent. We often have access to package rates and payment plans that are not available when you book elements of your trip individually. If something goes wrong, do you want to wait on hold for a call center employee to come on the line to try and assist you or would you rather the personal attention of a travel agent trained to quickly and efficiently solve problems? By using an independently owned travel agent you are also supporting a local business. Book locally, travel globally.
How do you compare with Groupon, LivingSocial , Expedia and similar discount sites?
The simple answer is – I don’t! If you want to buy a trip from one of these sites and are comfortable with having zero assistance before, during or after your trip, that is entirely up to you. I find that in most cases the “deals” are really not that discounted, use sub-standard accommodations, come with heavy travel restrictions or have substantial financial add-ons. So just be careful and make sure you read all of the fine print before you purchase.
I provide a professional service offering advice, insight, logistical prowess and over 20 years of knowledge. I know the right hotels, the right airline connections and what makes the most sense logistically to make sure you get the most out of your hard earned vacation time. There is no website or “app” that can do what a professional travel agent can do. Without a travel agent, you are on your own.
Ready to start planning your next vacation? Contact me today.