Q: Won't using a travel advisor cost me more?

A: No! The idea that booking through a travel advisor will cost you more is a huge misconception. Any commission a travel advisor receives is paid by the vendor, and the rates that we are able to offer you are at least as good - if not better - than the rates you would be able to find on your own. As an affiliate of Brownell and a member of Virtuoso, we have access to over 1,600 of the finest travel providers in the world - including airlines, hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, and on-site destination services - which ensures you get the best quality, value, amenities, and attention when you travel. Plus, by booking through an advisor, you are able to get special treatment, complimentary VIP benefits, and various upgrades that you wouldn't be entitled to if you booked on your own. Depending on the length and complexity of your trip there may be planning fee, but you would always be informed of any fees prior to deciding to work with me. 

Q: What are the benefits?

A: At Brownell we like to say, "you can't VIP yourself, but we can!" When you book your travel through Serena McClain Travel you are traveling as a VIP wherever you go. Because we are members of virtually every affinity club and preferred partner program, we are able to offer you exclusive opportunities, upgrades, and amenities that are not available through online travel websites or other travel agencies. 

The benefits will vary based on the hotel, but here are a couple examples of what you will get when you book with me:

Solage Calistoga

  • Upgrade on arrival
  • Complimentary full breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay at Solage's Michelin star restaurant (valued at $60+)
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay
  • One complimentary Mudslide treatment at award-winning Spa Solage (valued at $110)
  • Complimentary bottle of house Napa Valley Cabernet
  • Early check-in and late check-out upon request
  • Departure gift

Four Seasons Hotel Florence

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (valued at $90)
  • Spa credit of $100 once during stay
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in
  • Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms, complimentary premium Internet in all suites.

Q: What if I am only looking to book a hotel or go on a short overnight trip? Can you still help me?

A: Yes, I would love to. While my goal is always to help you achieve a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience and making sure you have the best time possible, I will happily assist you in planning a short trip or simply just booking a hotel. 

Q:  I still don't understand why it wouldn't be easier for me to just book direct?

A: When you book direct through the hotel, or a website like expedia or travelocity, you won't have much help if something goes wrong. For example, if you are staying at a Marriott but you're not one of their Marriott Rewards’ top members, it is going to be much harder to get the help you need than if you booked through an advisor. It's an advisors job to make sure nothing goes wrong, but if something does, we make sure to get it fixed with the least possible amount of inconvenience to you. Plus, we know the secrets the hotels won't tell you, like what rooms actually have the best views and the rooms that face the garage. 

Still not convinced? Check out Forbe's article here