Here, expert tips to go lux for less.
Virtuoso is a global luxury travel network of advisers and suppliers, including hotels, resorts, cruise lines and tour companies. Dean Horvath with Virtuoso in Vancouver says the fee can run as high as $1,000, depending on the complexity of planning.
But if someone just wants a room booked and knows the type of hotel they want, the fee is often waived, but the average cost is $200. "All of our preferred hotels provide free upgrades and breakfasts and a value-added amenity, typically worth about $100, such as a spa credit or a cooking lesson," explains Horvath.
"Our hotel partners give clients the best rooms whenever possible. Online booking engines tend to give you the cheaper rooms." www.virtuoso.com —Jane Mundy
Scroll through for more tips to get more bang for your travel buck ...
Morris Chia, president of Winnipeg-based Travel Professionals International, tapped into his cross-Canada network of agents for tips.
Marilyn Baird, Baird Travel, Fredericton
It pays to book well in advance. "At least a year out for a more competitive price," says Baird. "Intimate properties, smaller ships and private tours often sell out faster."
Baird prefers to book her clients directly with the resort, as she can then also offer perks due to her relationships.
Jaime Murphy, Magical Trips, St. John's, N.L.
Consider off-season, says Murphy. "Even a week or two can make a big difference in the cost of travel."
For example, later August brings lower rates and better offerings, including complementary upgrades.
"It is also a great time to discover destinations where the Canadian dollar has better value. Currently, our dollar goes further in South Africa, South East Asia and New Zealand.
Carl Henderson, Tahiti by Carl.com, Toronto
"Your travel adviser knows how far in advance to book for the best value," says Henderson, "For Tahiti, it's a minimum of six months. When I book clients at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort and Spa, they receive free breakfasts, a room upgrade, spa discounts. These amenities create additional value."
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