When (and why) to use a Travel Agent

Posted on Sun , Jan 08, 2023

The Internet is not always your best option when it comes to booking your vacation. Find out when to call a travel agent... and why to call me. 

This could seem like a shameless plug, but rest assured, your level of knowledge on this topic is mutually beneficial to you and to me. In the age of doing everything online, there are times when working with a travel agent can save you money, time, stress and drama. 

Use a Travel Agent when the stakes are high

sandals-royal-caribbean-overwater-villa-steps-900x500Whether you are planning your honeymoon, a big anniversary trip, renewal of vows, or really any trip that you consider to be a significant financial investment, working with a professional can give you peace of mind. The Sand Lady is a division of Royal Travel, a full-service travel agency. We have been a family-owned, family-run, local business in Maryville, TN for over 20 years. Our name IS our business. Each of our agents is highly motivated to provide exceptional customer service. "My goal with every client, no matter the type of travel or size of package, is for you to return from your trip so excited and impressed that you tell all of your friends to call me," says The Sand Lady Robbie. The Sand Lady consistently receives excellent client reviews. There is never any cost to you for our services. This is not true of all travel agencies. The resorts train me and compensate me for the service I provide, and we guarantee you will not find a better price on a Sandals or Beaches Resorts package.

Use a Travel Agent when you are unfamiliar with the destination

Adventure Travel resized 600We spend weeks every year visiting the properties and destinations that we sell. I only recommend resorts that I have personally visited, and I maintain a personal relationship with the staff on resort. I expect that my clients will be treated as VIPs. I have stayed in or walked through the rooms I book. I have eaten in the restaurants, and I'll share with you my favorite drink from the bar. Since there is no cost to you to use my expertise, why wouldn't you let me customize your vacation and handle all of the details for you?

Use a Travel Agent when you are traveling with a group

Caribbean Scuba Travel resized 600I specialize in family reunions, golf groups and destination wedding groups, but I'll plan a trip for any type of group. I will do as much of the organizing as you let me do. First, I work with you to determine the destination and travel dates. Then you can invite the group, give them my contact information, and I will take care of customizing each individual's travel details. Many times, if the group is more than 5 rooms, I can get the group leader special perks or discounts.

If you do get in a bind, you have a well-connected friend.

In life, sometimes things don't go as planned! In the past 6 months, I have worked with my client's resort to extend their honeymoon at the last minute and no charge to them when their airline stranded them in Miami for 2 days. I have fixed problems with reservations that clients booked themselves online before calling me. (Although I love playing the hero, save yourself the tears and just let me book it the first time around!) 

SPAI have also advised countess clients when changing their travel dates by 1-2 days or "upgrading" their room to a nicer category would actually save them hundreds of dollars. I look at the promotions available on a daily (ok, hourly) basis, and I know how to combine promotions to get you the best deal. 

 You don't need a Travel Agent if:

  • You are only booking a flight - When you are headed to a friend's wedding or visiting your grandmother and all you need to purchase is your flights, it is generally just as simple and about the same price to book it yourself.

  • You want to use your miles - The airlines and credit card companies will not allow me to redeem your rewards for you. "If you are booking a package such as an all inclusive getaway in the Caribbean, while I can include flights with your package, if you prefer to use your miles to book flights, I can advise you on schedules and you can book the flights separately. Just let me know about your needs," says The Sand Lady Carlie.

  • You are using a timeshare - Timeshare companies manage their own timeshares. Travel agents do not book timeshares. Our agency generally does not book private home rentals except for a few very special properties in the Caribbean. 

  • You are dead-set on a super cheap 3-4 night cruise with a discount cruise line - You know which one I'm talking about. I'm not saying don't call me if you're considering this option. I talk to at least one person every week who doesn't realize the costs involved with cruising outside of the upfront advertised price. Most of them end up booking an all-inclusive resort with me, and they come back thanking me!

CuracaoThe bottom line is, no matter what type of travel you are planning, you want your trip to be as relaxed and stress-free as possible. Using a travel agent may be the key. Since there is no cost to you for my service, I can't think of a reason why you wouldn't let me handle it for you!

If you are planning a honeymoon, love to hear from you!

If you're ready to get started, click below to contact me!

Request a Complimentary Consultation

Topics: honeymoon, group travel, renew vows, golf getaways

All-Inclusive Girls Getaway Presented by Beaches Resorts

Posted on Fri , Oct 31, 2014

All inclusive Caribbean girls getaway Birthday bachelorette trip

On October 25-29, the luxury all inclusive Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos hosted the ever-popular Beaches Friends Forever (BFF) Girls Getaway. The special girls getaway treated 173 BFFs to five days of relaxation and VIP treatment on beautiful Grace Bay Beach. During their stay, the ladies were treated to:

  • A welcome cocktail reception,
  • A hairstyling tips and ticke class sponsored by Paul Mitchell,
  • A beach-bonfile PJ party,
  • Private snorkeling trip on an Island Routes Kitty Katt Catamaran Cruise,
  • A jewelry and wine soiree,
  • Seaside yoga classes,
  • and many other surprises.

The BFFs also received $200 spa credit to use on resort, 10% discount at all resort gift shops, a free 5x7 photo, free Paul Mitchell keratin treatment, free shellac power polish and a welcome goody bag compliments of Beaches Resorts. 

The BFF Girls Getaway is a GREAT idea for celebrating milestone birthdays, bachelorette weekends, mother-daughter bonding time, sorority reunions, or any other reasons for a Caribbean getaway! 

If you would like attend one of the upcoming BFF Getaway weekends, there is one scheduled for April 23-27, 2015 and another September 24-28, 2015. Rates start at $1,599 per person and include unlimited food, unlimited premium brand drinks, watersports, transfers to and from the airport, and all taxes, tips and gratuities. Click below to request more information. 

Request a Complimentary Consultation

Topics: Beaches resorts, group travel, Girls Getaway

Renewal of Vows: ReTie the Knot in Paradise

Posted on Thu , May 16, 2013

Sandals Resorts has released a vow renewal package that can be added on to any Sandals or Beaches stay. Couples wishing to renew vows benefit from a less expensive, more inclusive option than ever before. When combining the new ReTie the Knot ceremony with Sandals or Beaches other unique offerings, the possibilities are endless. 

Sandals Renewal of Vows resized 600

Here is some basic information about the ReTie the Knot vow renewal ceremony as well as some ideas for creating wonderful memories of your vow renewal.

vow renewalWhat's included:

For $300 the couple will receive:

  • Personal pre-travel planning services
  • Personal on-resort event planner and dedicated ReTie The Knot team
  • Musical accompaniment (pre-recorded)
  • Bouquet and boutonnière
  • Celebration Cake
  • 30 minute Charming reception with sparkling wine & cold hors d'oeuvres for couple and up to six guests
  • Commemorative certificate and gift
  • One (1) 5x7 Honeymoon Photograph
  • Honeymoon dinner for couple at a resort specialty restaurant with white-glove service and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine
  • Decorated honeymoon room
  • Mimosa breakfast-in-bed a morning of your choice

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An Intimate Celebration

We have planned several intimate, "just the two of us" vow renewal ceremonies for couples celebrating their 5 year or 10 year anniversary.The most touching is the military couple who had a quick, no frills wedding before a deployment, and now they get to have the romantic ceremony of their dreams. Others may be celebrating their overcoming an obstacle in their relationship by reaffirming their commitment to each other and taking a second honeymoon. 

The renewal of vows ceremony typically begins with the bride and groom walking down the aisle together. The vows are very similar to traditional wedding vows, but they are adjusted to reflect that you are recommitting to love, honor and cherish each other forever. The ReTie the Knot package takes advantage of the gorgeous beach and gardens surrounding the Sandals resort or Beaches resort where the couple is staying. The bride caries a bouquet of orchids, and the groom wears a matching boutonnière. Of course, if you want to customize your ceremony decor, all of the Sandals wedding items are available to you.

The ReTie the Knot package includes a simple but elegant reception of champagne and hors d'oeuvres as well as a fondant celebration cake. The ceremony and reception included in the package is for up to 6 guests (in addition to the bride and groom), which is nice for couples with a few friends or family members in attendance. 

beach renewal of vows

A Chance to Reconnect with Family and Friends

Renew Vows3The vow renewal + family reunion group travel package is also very popular. Gathering the family for a beach vacation to celebrate a 30th wedding anniversary is a great way to reconnect with each other. If your group books 5 or more rooms, the Sandals Resort or Beaches Resort will add special group amenities to the ReTie the Knot package. Groups may receive a private group dinner, complimentary room upgrade and spa services for the bride and group, commemorative photos, and more. During certain times, Sandals has also offered free rooms as a group promotion. (Ask us if this is currently available!)

If you are looking for 30th wedding anniversary ideas, a 25th wedding anniversary trip, or an intimate beach vow renewal ceremony, click below to request your complimentary renewal of vows consultation. Or join our next webinar for more information on who we are, the services we provide and what the Sandals and Beaches resorts have to offer. 


Request a Complimentary Consultation or Join a Webinar Join a free webinar

Topics: Beaches resorts, Sandals resorts, group travel, renew vows

Group Travel Special: Free Rooms at Sandals and Beaches Resorts

Posted on Wed , Apr 17, 2013

Do you have a group of friends and family that likes to travel together? Now is a great time to plan group travel to a Sandals or Beaches all-inclusive resort. Any group booking 5 or more rooms qualifies for the below promotion:

- Family Reunion

-Birthday Celebration

- Destination Wedding or Renewal of Vows

- Golf or Tennis group

- Fall Break or Spring Break travel

- Friends and Family that love the beach!

Destination Wedding Group

** Groups traveling during September 1 - December  20th 2024-2026 will receive a 6th room free.

** Groups traveling during January 2nd - August 31st 2024 -2026 will receive 12th room free. 


Family Reunion Travel Destination Wedding travel

Destination Wedding Group Travel Family group travel

Our agency specializes in group travel. We will work with you to plan your group's trip, ensure you receive special group amenities such as complimentary cocktail receptions, group dining and photo sessions. Then just tell your group members to contact us and we will arrange each individual's travel... and your room could be free!

Click below to request your free group travel quote:

Request Complimentary  Group Quote

Topics: group travel, Special Promotions

Group Travel: Fun in the Sun at Beaches Turks and Caicos

Posted on Tue , Oct 23, 2012

We are fortunate enough to have a Fall Break during the school year, and this year my family (including my 13 year-old son and The Sandals Dude) led a group of 7 families to Beaches Turks and Caicos all inclusive resort. Kids of all ages had a blast, and the parents had some much-needed relaxation and social time. It was definitely a week of fun in the sun! Here are some of the ways that our group spent their time at Beaches Turks and Caicos.

Beaches Turks and Caicos

When we arrived, the Beaches Turks and Caicos staff met our group at the airport and drove us to the resort together. We had a private group check-in, which was welcome after the day's travel. Then everyone was off to their rooms to change into beach attire and explore the resort. The kids were so anxious to see it all!

 Beaches Turks and CaicosBeaches Turks and Caicos

Each family chose how they wanted to spend their days. Most of the kids were between ages 6 and 13. The older kids would buddy up some days and play at the water park together. Some of the younger kids took part in the Kids Camp program activities such as beach volleyball, baking cookies with Cookie Monster, beach soccer, scavenger hunts, Elmo's birthday party, glass bottom boat rides, and pizza making. Some of the adults were found relaxing by the pool or on the beach, sipping cocktails and spending time reading alone or catching up with one another. Others went sailing and  SCUBA diving around Turks and Caicos's world-famous coral reefs. All of the adults enjoyed the water slides at the water park, and some were even seen attempting the surf simulator. Each of the families spent time having fun together and making memories in paradise.

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

Some evenings families would enjoy the time together alone. Other nights we would see the families getting together and enjoying each other's company over dinner. One night we made reservations for our family and two others to have dinner at Kimono's the Teppanyaki-style Japanese restaurant. The kids loved the silly jokes and songs that our chef told while he cooked dinner at our table.

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

One of the girls even got to try it out herself!

Beaches Turks and Caicos

After dinner most nights the tweens of the group would meet up at Club Liquid or the XBOX® Game Garage. Club Liquid is a "night club" for teens and tweens before 10pm. A DJ plays music, the lights spin and no alcohol is served. At the XBOX Game Garage, kids of all ages get to play the most popular XBOX and Kinect™  for XBOX360 games - or even test some games prior to release - on one of dozens of game systems.

Beaches Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

Some nights the adults would meet up in one of the bars or lounges on resort to hang out or even sing Karaoke. One night was family Karaoke night in Cricketer's Pub - the Irish Pub on-resort. This was a huge hit with the kids and adults! The Pub also hosted a Texas hold 'em tournament during our stay.

One day I scheduled a group snorkeling trip for any of our travel buddies that wanted to snorkel an off-shore reef. The Beaches water sports desk setup a special trip for our group, and off we went in search of the gorgeous fish living in the reefs of Turks and Caicos. Some of our group had not snorkeled before, and the Beaches staff took special care to show them how all of the equipment worked and encourage them as they got in the water to try it out. One of younger members of our group had some trouble coordinating the mask and snorkel, so one of the Beaches staff dove in and let him hitch a ride on his back. The staff member swam all around the reef letting Lee tag along and look at the fish. Everyone snorkeled for about 30 minutes, then we headed back to the resort.

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

At the Beaches resorts, every group is offered a group photo session and private group dinner. We chose to do both of these in the same evening. Just before sunset, our whole group met on the beach. The Beaches photography department sent several of their professional photographers. Each family had a family photo shoot with one of the photographers. Then, we took one big group picture. Each family received a complimentary 5x7 group photo to commemorate the trip, and several families chose to purchase pictures from their individual photo shoots.

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos

                       Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos         

              Beaches Turks and Caicos Beaches Turks and Caicos
After the photo shoot, we reconvened for a private group dinner. The Beaches staff went all out! They chose the perfect location. It was a large wooden deck-area over-looking the ocean. There were several tables set with white linen, fine china and crystal. Tiki torches were lit around the perimeter of the area, and a bar was set-up on one end where a bartender was mixing cocktails and drinks for the kids. The sounds of the ocean, the mood reflected off the calm waves, and the starlight above were the perfect setting for great conversation and an amazing plated steak dinner. There was also a kids menu for the children to pick from should they not want the steak. But the steak was SO good!! We had our own, very attentive waitstaff that served dinner, poured wine and cut an amazing cake for dessert. The group lingered for a long time talking and taking in the perfect Caribbean evening.

When we returned home from our trip, I received notes from several of the families about how much fun they had. We will definitely do this again! Here are some of their comments:

"This vacation was WAY better than paradise!" - Lee (age 6)
Lee's mother also shared that when they got home Saturday night and pulled into the garage, Lee wouldn't get out of the car. He was crying. She asked him what was wrong and he said, "I want to go back to Turks and Caicos."

"The time of our lives… Nothing could compare." -The B Family

"This is the best fall break ever!" - Brooke (age 12)

"This is by far the best family vacation we have ever taken. I felt so relaxed and pampered all week. The food was amazing with such a wide variety. The resort grounds, including all pools and beach areas, were so beautiful that we took tons of pictures before we left. My kids loved the waterpark and water sports available. We are saving now for our next trip to Beaches! We will definitely be back!!" - The S Family

"We had an awesome time, but it went by way too fast!" - The L Family

Beaches Turks and Caicos
The Beaches resorts love to host a group, and they offer many special amenities to groups of 5 rooms or more. Whether your group is a family, a social group, guests of a destination wedding, or even a corporate meeting or incentive group, Beaches is the perfect place to convene, relax, and catch up. If you have a group that would like to travel together, click below to request your complimentary consultation with The Sand Lady.

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Topics: Beaches resorts, group travel, Beaches Turks and Caicos

You are Invited to Join our Golf Getaways to Paradise

Posted on Tue , Jul 10, 2012

golf getaways
January 23-27, 2013
Sandals Emerald Bay
Great Exuma, Bahamas

You are invited to join Scott Wilson, P.G.A. Professional, for an extended weekend of golf and vacation. Come experience the most beautiful Greg Norman Championship Golf Course in the Caribbean and relax and recharge with friends.

Golf Getaways
All-inclusive golf packages start at $1,969* per couple and include:

4 nights accomodations
All meals on resort including white-glove dinner service
Unlimited drinks including premium brand liquors, beer and wine
Group rounds of golf
Water sports including scuba and snorkeling
Land sports including tennis and top-of-the-line fitness center
Transfers to and from the airport
All taxes, fees, tips and gratuities

*airfare can be arranged

For more information, please Contact Us and let me know that you are interested in joining our golf group.

Click Here to download the flier.

Topics: group travel, Bahamas, Sandals Emerald Bay, golf getaways