WHAT IS TRAVEL BY 83° WEST?
Travel by 83° West is a custom travel agency located in Plymouth, Michigan - 42° N, 83°W - Owned and operated by Laura Weck. Laura is a professional travel advisor who specializes in custom travel itineraries, family vacations, cruises, group travel, honeymoons, anniversary trips, and romantic getaways.
WHERE IS YOUR OFFICE LOCATED?
The majority of all communication can be done via email and over the phone. Meetings can be arranged at an office located in Plymouth, Michigan, if needed.
DOES IT COST MORE TO BOOK WITH A TRAVEL AGENT?
Generally speaking, NO! Professional Travel Agents are trained to save you not only time, but money, and keep your vacation within your budget. We have access to a multitude of travel vendors that provide deals that are generally the same or better than what is offered by the hotel or cruise line directly. The average person visits over 20 websites and spends over 10 hours researching vacation ideas, and still how do you know you are getting the best deal and accommodations? How much is your time worth? Why wouldn't you book through a travel agent? Let Travel by 83° West take care of all the details.
DON'T TRAVEL AGENTS PUSH YOU TO BOOK ONLY WITH THEIR PREFERRED VENDORS?
I can't speak for all, but my philosophy is one where I will always offer you and your group the best discounted options and rates from the suppliers I work with, without sacrificing what is most important for your travel. Just like you may spend hours scouring the web for the best deal, I generally have the best deals readily available at my fingertips with already established supplier relationships. Never does that mean you have to use any particular supplier, resort, or cruise line! Our job is to save you money and time, while creating an unbelievable trip specifically for you.
DO YOU CHARGE SERVICE FEES?
There is no charge or any fees for resort, tour and cruise vacation packages. That said, I only get paid if you actually book your vacation with me. You wouldn’t go to your local CPA and expect free tax advice only to then go do your own taxes online would you? If you happen to find a lower rate for the exact same package elsewhere, let me know! In most cases we’re not looking at the exact same trip (such as different flight schedules, room types or varying amenities). I am happy to make adjustments where needed so that we can ensure you have the perfect vacation to fit your specific needs and you can still benefit from personalized service.
**There is a nominal fee for airline tickets, customized vacation planning, and group travel of 8 rooms or more. Any applicable fees will be advised upfront in our initial consultation.
WHY WOULDN'T I BOOK DIRECT OR BY MYSELF?
You could, but why would you? The rate is the same or better using a travel advisor. The cost is free. An advisor will help find accommodations and experiences within your budget, while matching your personal interests and they will share their knowledge to help make the best choices for you. If something goes wrong, your advisor is your advocate, trained to quickly and efficiently solve problems. Who wants to spend any time on hold for a call center employee to come on the line to try and assist you? We often have access to tours, experiences and special rates that are not available when you book elements of your trip directly. We are a one stop shop for all elements of travel planning, including travel insurance, passport and visa applications, dining and shopping tips. While not all vacations need a travel advisor, there are certain trips you really shouldn’t leave to chance, like planning your honeymoon, customized family vacation or personalized journey through Europe and beyond. By using an independently owned travel advisor, you are also supporting a local business. Book locally, travel globally.
I’VE NEVER WORKED WITH A TRAVEL AGENT BEFORE. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
The process is fairly straight forward. Complete the Travel Questionnaire to help me get started and learn more about what you are seeking to experience. I will then be in contact with you, at a mutually convenient time by phone to confirm your details. Once the initial planning phase is complete on my end, I will provide you with a quote via email and we can make as many changes as necessary to fit your exact needs. When booking is ready to be secured, I will ask you complete the booking form, and all details in finalizing your travel will be completed, all while you relax and look forward to your vacation.
I HAVE FREQUENT FLYER MILES, HOTEL POINTS, CREDIT CARD POINTS ETC. CAN YOU BOOK MY TRIP?
If you plan to use miles/points to pay for your trip you need to book directly with the airline or hotel that manages your points. This doesn't mean we can't work together on other portions of your trip, if you want to use frequent flyer miles for example, I unfortunately can't book that part of the trip for you.
HOW DO I KNOW YOU’RE A REAL BUSINESS?
Travel by 83° West is registered as an LLC in the state of Michigan and fully insured. It is affiliated with a national award winning agency, Travel Quest Network, and is part of the Travel Leaders Network. Through Travel Leaders, Laura is certified as a Leisure Travel Specialist and a Group Travel Specialist. I am happy to share this information in writing upon request.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK MY TRIP?
If you are traveling during peak season for the destination you wish to visit, booking as early as possible is important. Oftentimes, there are early booking incentives available when you book 4 or more months in advance. If you have specific needs or interests – i.e. a special room with a view, booking 6 or more months is strongly recommended. Further still, many popular European river cruises sell out up to a year in advance! So once you know where and when you want to go and have the funds to pay the deposit – don’t procrastinate! Contact me to get started.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT?
For all international destinations, a US passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel dates is required. Non US citizens need to contact the consulate for the country they are visiting to determine entry requirements. It is the responsibility of the traveler to verify and obtain all necessary documentation needed for your trip. Further, any minors traveling without both legal parents or guardians need to travel with a notarized letter of consent. For more information visit www.state.gov/travel/
WHAT DO I NEED TO FLY DOMESTICALLY?
Starting May 7, 2025, all airport travelers 18 and older must make sure they have a REAL-ID compliant driver's license or other complaint ID to fly within the United States. The card, itself, must be REAL ID compliant unless the resident is using an alternative acceptable document such as a passport or passport card, or state-issued Enhanced Driver’s License. TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification. Travelers unsure of whether they have a REAL ID complaint license should check to see whether there is a star in the upper portion of their card. Typically, it is a gold or black star, a star cutout in a gold or black circle or a star cutout in a gold grizzly bear . It is the responsibility of the traveler to verify and obtain all necessary documentation needed for your trip. For more information visit www.dhs.gov/real-id