LR: How do you tailor honeymoon packages to specific couples? What they want to do, see, etc.? ASO: We listen to the couples likes and dislikes, activities and interests. We then determine their budget and offer destinations that meet that criteria. LR: Do you think it’s important for couples to have a budget? ASO: Absolutely! Budgets allow agents to find the perfect fit for honeymooners. Flexibility is the key to best value. Consider every possible expense: flights, car rentals, hotels, meals, bar bills, souvenirs, tips, taxes and gratuities. LR: What are the basics of finding the right travel agency? ASO: The basics of finding a good travel agency include: certification – do they have a CTC on staff? Stay local when picking a travel agency, and interview the agent you’re planning on using. Find out how long they have been in business, and pay attention to other agents in the office—are they taking time with the clients or just pressuring them to close a deal? Find out what type of reputation the agency has. Are they a locally-owned company or is their corporate office located in another state? LR: Should newlyweds encounter a problem with flight or details, what should they do? What can a travel agency do that the newlyweds may not be able to do to fix this? ASO: If they did not book with a professional travel company, they may be on their own to work with the airline or resort to solve their problem. Travel agents are trained and experienced in problem solving. They have direct relationships with the vendors and tour companies they book packages through for their clients. LR: How far in advance should couples book their honeymoon? ASO: Couples should book their honeymoon six to eight months in advance depending on the destination. This will allow better availability and possible value. LR: What’s your role in helping choose a honeymoon destination? ASO: We qualify the client by asking a series of questions to make sure the appropriate destination or resort is chosen, we distill the product information, investigate and supply competitive information, stay abreast of the most current and timely promotions, analyze current promotions (the cheapest is not always best) and clarify fine print such as cancelation penalties and restrictions.