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Frequently Asked Questions

Travel advisors have been around awhile, but now, due to the complicated nature of travel, we are more valuable than ever. We know that you may be curious about what travel advisors do and how we work. To learn more about working with us, here are answers to the most common questions that we encounter on a regular basis.

  • Why should I work with Outside the Lines Travel?
    We do this all day long, every day. We pride ourselves on knowing our clients, listening to their wants and needs, and personalizing their travel experiences. Outside the Lines Travel has first-hand knowledge and insider information on the best places to stay and things to do in destinations all over the globe. We have worked hard to build and maintain our connection with our travel partner suppliers, which gives our clients the very best travel experience.
  • How do travel professionals make money?
    Many people do not understand how travel specialists work, and it’s okay to ask this question! Though we charge a retainer to limit our services to clients who value our expertise, connections, and service, your package price is the same price that we see when we book for you. OTLT's business model of working with clients who value having a trusted travel professional in their corner is something we stand by. Our service is worth it.
  • How are travel specialists trained?
    Travel specialists invest much time and money in coursework and personal travel. We attend summits, conferences, forums,workshops, and familiarization trips to stay current with destinations, travel news, best practices, and industry trends. A large part of what we do is developing relationships with suppliers and vendors, where we visiting the destinations that we sell, so that we can advise our clients appropriately. Travel specialists also must stay current with online coursework. Some professionals have degrees in the travel industry, but this is not always required. It is our job to learn about all of the best options out there so you don’t have to!
  • What are the first steps when working with a travel professional?
    All of our vacation planning services begin with a required phone consultation. In our complimentary 30-minute consultation, we will discuss your travel needs, wishes and desires, go over your travel preferences and travel history. We learn about your family and what they like, your budget, and more. Together we’ll discuss some options and general price ranges, and you can ask questions. Based on our conversation, if we are a good match to work together, we will make our services available to you, and we will send you a request for information about your travel party. If your travel requires a service fee, we will ask for that up front, and we will move forward with your custom vacation planning experience.
  • Do you charge a fee?
    Yes. Because of the expertise, knowledge, and connections we have built during our years in the travel industry, we do charge a consulting fee/retainer. The service give you adds value to your travel budget and makes your travel easier. For all-inclusive vacations, group tours, cruises, and theme park vacations, our retainer starts at $150. For custom trip designing, and trips that require comprehensive assistance, our retainer starts at $350, less for our repeat clients. Group travel pricing begins at $750. If you know where you are going and want help with accommodation/transportation recommendations, we’ll ask you to outline what you are looking for and then ask you how you would like us to assist you. We offer a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation for this purpose. Please reach out to be put on to our schedule. We focus on listening carefully, providing price transparency, and delivering extremely high-quality service.
  • Can you get us a better price than we can find online?
    Everyone likes a deal, but that is not Outside the Lines Travel's bottom line. We are passionate about helping our clients avoid costly mistakes and provide them exactly what they are looking for in their travel needs. While we do not upsell, we strive to get our clients what they ask us for. No one has ever thanked us for a "cheap" trip, and ikn travel, you get what you pay for. Our ideal clients come to us for our personalized service and knowledge. Because of our partnerships with our trusted suppliers, we often receive extra values, such as resort credit, onboard credit, and special perks for groups or special occasions. Of note - when you book online, you’re paying a “gross rate” that includes agency commission, whether or not you have booked with a travel agency. You may as well get our service (since you’re paying for it anyway!) We are here for you, unlike a call center that is located overseas.
  • Why would a travel professional not work with me?
    Though it could be that your request is out of their comfort zone or they are too busy, the main reason a travel professional would choose NOT to work with you is because they sense that you are interested in just the lowest possible price, or just looking for ideas on where to travel, and not interested in booking your travel with them. Be certain not to ask lots of of questions in the beginning, ask for a quote, then do not follow up after a quote has been provided. Because travel professionals are only compensated AFTER our clients travel, if you take our expertise and advice and book on your own or elsewhere, it is unlikely that the travel professional will take you on as a client after that, and you may really need them for that trip to Africa or Asia (two destinations we recommend!!)
  • Do you book group travel?
    Yes, and we love it! It's a bit like herding cats, but we thrive in the midst of controlled chaos.
  • What’s the deal with travel insurance? I’m skeptical…
    Though we have always recommended it for international travel, since we are post-Covid, it is a MUST-HAVE. Medical coverage when out of the country will give you peace of mind, and the policies we recommend do offer coronavirus coverage. In general, our advice is this: travel protection is a must when traveling to the Caribbean in hurricane season, anywhere from or through the Northeast in the winter, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, and for strongly recommended for international travel, mostly for medical coverage. For more info, please read Joy’s blog post.
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