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Booking with local travel agent

Fairfax, California
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147 posts
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Booking with local travel agent

We are traveling to Burma in Feb 2012 for almost 2.5 weeks, and are starting to plan our trip. We will stay in mid-range hotels. Usually we like to book our hotels and inter-country flights once we arrive. After reading many comments on the forum we are wondering if we should book ahead through a local travel agent in Burma. Here are our questions:

1. Hotels: Can local travel agents get better prices on hotel than booking them with the hotel online? Are there any other advantages of booking in advance with a local travel agent? In February – are rooms hard to find on arrival in mid-range hotels?

2. Flights within Burma: We plan on flying to most or all of our destinations. Can local travel agents get better prices on flights? Is it hard to book flights 1 or 2 days before or do they need to be booked far in advance. I understand the flight schedules change quite a bit without notice.

3. Would we pay a deposit in advance with a local agent, and how does that normally work - Credit card, wire transfer, or pay pal? When is the balance usually paid – on arrival – and does that need to be in US Cash or do they accept other payment methods?

4. We are arriving in Yangon on a Sunday early evening, and would ideally like to fly to our first destination the next morning. If we needed to pay the travel agent on arrival, would that be possible on a Sunday?

5. How far in advance should we start working with a local travel agent to secure our flights and rooms?

Fairfax, California
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147 posts
48 reviews
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1. Re: Booking with local travel agent

Let me also add that we are not looking to be on a tour, or we don't need a tour guide or driver. We will be traveling independently. Thanks for your help!

Seattle Washington
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2. Re: Booking with local travel agent

We just recently returned and from what I heard as we would like to go back next Feb. was that many of the hotels are booked for next Feb. and March.

We definitely got better hotel prices and upgrades using an agent.. Yes, you need to book flights in advance. You certainly do not have to be on a tour, agents will customize whatever you want and in our case offered suggestions of places to visit that we were unaware of. We opted for some guided days along with free days. But if you want to be independent just get an agent to book hotels and definitely air.

We did prepay by wire transfer to a bank in Singapore. I am sure they all have have different payment methods but don't rely on using a credit card. The few places we were able to use a credit card 5% was added on.

Hope that answers a few of your questions.

Good luck, it is an amazing country.

Warks.England
Destination Expert
for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
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3. Re: Booking with local travel agent

1. From many comments on this forum it would appear that local agencies get better rates than booking direct.

2. It is always better to get an agency to book your flights-price is not a problem as air fares are so cheap and internet booking with the airlines is reported as unreliable.

3.All deposits are by Bank Transfer to an account in Bangkok or Singapore. It is perfectly normal as the International banking system does not work in Myanmar.Forget CC's-some hotels will take them with a surcharge and it will generally be routed through Singapore. Just take US$, the currency to use in Myanmar.

4.See recent posts on jet lag. I would strongly recommend not planning to leave Yangon the next morning after arrival -the flights are generally at 06.30 so you would be up at 04.00. Spend the first day in Yangon.

5. I would start your planning now-Myanmar is becoming a popular destination in high season and hotels are already taking bookings,with some having blocked rooms from local agencies.

Plan your tour now-many agencies will do tailor made tours, just booking hotels/airlines/transfers but with the option of guides locally.Many hotels have recent reviews here, in the toolbar left

There are many reliable agencies in Myanmar and two that keep being mentioned are Santa Maria and Tour Mandalay but no doubt others will be recommended by other posters.

http://tourmandalay.com/

http://myanmartravels.net/

Do note that it sometimes takes many days to get email replies,but that is the norm.

Enjoy Myanmar-we are already planning our return visit.

yangon
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4. Re: Booking with local travel agent

4.See recent posts on jet lag. I would strongly recommend not planning to leave Yangon the next morning after arrival -the flights are generally at 06.30 so you would be up at 04.00. Spend the first day in Yangon.

Now , air kbz will fly at 8.00 am and if they keep on this time.

1. Hotels: Can local travel agents get better prices on hotel than booking them with the hotel online? Are there any other advantages of booking in advance with a local travel agent? In February – are rooms hard to find on arrival in mid-range hotels?

answer : Yes, travel agents get better prices if you looking for mid-range hotels. In February , most rooms are full .

2. Flights within Burma: We plan on flying to most or all of our destinations. Can local travel agents get better prices on flights? Is it hard to book flights 1 or 2 days before or do they need to be booked far in advance. I understand the flight schedules change quite a bit without notice.

Answer : Again , with travel agents , you will have more effective response and better price . You need advance booking , however , if you book now , they may not confirm you at this moment , but you will sure , you will get it.

3. Would we pay a deposit in advance with a local agent, and how does that normally work - Credit card, wire transfer, or pay pal? When is the balance usually paid – on arrival – and does that need to be in US Cash or do they accept other payment methods?

Answer : Depend which agent you used, some , credit card , some wire transfer to Bangkok or Singapore as mention above , some on arrival .

US cash is most prefer one. No other payment.

4. We are arriving in Yangon on a Sunday early evening, and would ideally like to fly to our first destination the next morning. If we needed to pay the travel agent on arrival, would that be possible on a Sunday?

Answer : All agent work in Sunday too , Don't worry about the day or holiday.

5. How far in advance should we start working with a local travel agent to secure our flights and rooms?

A.S.A.P

Fairfax, California
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147 posts
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5. Re: Booking with local travel agent

Thanks for all of the responses. We will be coming from a week at the beach in Thailand, so jet lag is not an issue for us. Looks like I should start planning ahead now!

6. Re: Booking with local travel agent

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