Planning one’s own travel arrangements, whether at home or abroad, can be a confusing and time consuming process. Do it yourself travel arrangements, while they may be a great way to save money, can be daunting for those who are uncomfortable fulfilling the dual role of traveler and travel agent. Is it possible to obtain both the price advantage of booking travel on-line while obtaining top rate service from a travel agent who can do all of the legwork to make every vacation a dream?
Enter Cynthia Cagnoni, owner of CGC Travel Services, a dynamic entrepreneur and seasoned traveler who uses her experience to help everyone from adventure travelers to honeymooners relax and make the most of their excursion. We recently interviewed Cynthia to talk travel and the benefits of engaging a travel agency such as hers.
DM: How did you become interested in travel?
CG: I would have to say, since I was very little. Both of my Parents are from Argentina and we travelled to Buenos Aires frequently. The entire experience of traveling is exhilarating and enticing to me. From buying new clothes, packing, going from one airplane to another, the commotion, stress, excitement, anticipation to the smell of humidity mixed in with airplane fuel upon arrival to a new land, a new experience, and a new adventure!
DM: Hence your contagious passion for travel. What is the name of your travel agency?
CG: I named it CGC Travel Services which stands for Cynthia Gabby Cagnoni; my full name. I decided to use my maiden name because my husband thought that an Italian name sounded much better than an Irish one J
DM: Now that you mention it, Italy does have more appeal than Ireland when one thinks of vacationing. Does your agency specialize in a certain type of travel?
CG: My Agency is a full service travel agency, meaning that I have the tools to book any package in any part of the world. While I can make arrangements for literally any type of travel, I specialize in Destination Weddings, Honeymoons, vacation packages in Hawaii, and Cruises on both Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Lines.
DM: Sounds like you are the person to call for two tickets to paradise! What are the advantages of using an agency such as yours?
CG: There are many reasons but I think that the most important are TIME and SERVICE. A vacation should be relaxing from the moment you have dreamt of taking it straight through to the time you return home after enjoying it to the fullest. Researching options can be time consuming and could cause much unnecessary stress. This is where I come in! I have preferred vendors I work with that offer quality and relaxation. I do all the research, planning, emailing, and phone calling for you. I also keep track of details like reservations and when payments are due. What’s more, I build a profile for you that includes things like your favorite types of food, destinations, styles, price range, car rental agency, hotel chains, resorts, and much more! With this information you can count on receiving customized service and attention to detail with every vacation you take. I will also keep you updated on upcoming specials and destinations that match your customized profile. With my level of service, travel planning truly doesn’t get any better than this!
DM: It sounds like a great value proposition. It is hard to put a price on a stress free vacation. Just knowing someone with experience has your back can make all the difference. One final question for our readers who are thinking of travelling internationally, what is the biggest thing that people tend to overlook when travelling to a destination outside of the US?
CG: This is a very good question and I’m glad you asked! Traveling to destinations outside of the United States can be very exciting and rewarding, but it does require attention to a few extra details that, if overlooked, can destroy your vacation. As your personal Travel Agent, I will always make sure to advise you on the required documentation needed for your destination(s). Many countries still do not require a U.S. Citizen to have a travel visa for entry, however, there are many that do. As your agent, I not only advise you of this but will go the extra mile and help you attain any required visas.
Another common document many people may forget is that you need to have a valid Passport. A Passport may seem a little expensive at approximately $140, but keep in mind that they are good for Ten (10) years, an investment well worth it as once you travel to another country, you will want to keep doing it!
Another common area that many people overlook is spending time researching the culture of the country they are visiting. Americans tend to have a certain reputation when traveling abroad that unfortunately has been earned in many cases. To avoid being stereotyped, I recommend purchasing a travel book for the country or town you are visiting. Your vacation will be greatly enriched if you go armed with a few local details such as the types of food they eat and several basic words in the local language. Examples of a few basic words to arm yourself with are: “Thank you,” “Please,” “Can you please tell me where the bathroom is,” or I would like to order the (menu item). As your personal Travel Agent, I can help you find some great travel books and help to identify need to know words and local food delicacies.
One final and very important recommendation I have is to start walking now with the shoes you plan to use on your vacation. In every country I have been to and in many of have read about, a big part of the culture is that the people do a lot of walking. They depend on public transportation and their feet to get around. Rather than hopping in a cab or a rental car, many areas and are better enjoyed on foot, so start walking!
DM: Thank you for sharing with us, Cynthia. We look forward to keeping up with the latest trends in travel with you and wish you all the best.
For more information or to book your vacation please email Cynthia@cgctravelservices.com or visit her website at cgctravelservices.com.