...so this is going to be a wordy post - I haven't done this in ages!
So I booked our honeymoon. Japan it is, and we are going to see all that can possibly be seen in 2 weeks (we can sleep later - it's once in a lifetime). We started to investigate ourselves: looked into the Japan rail pass, tried to find a beach on the mainland (as flights to local islands were over £1000) and after 3 hours we hadn't really got anywhere.
|Amami Oshima, an island off the South Coast of Japan our travel agent recommended to us|
I have never used a travel agent, I have always associated them with package holidays of my youth and selling you extras you don't need. I've always been one to cut out the 'middle man' and book directly with Hotels after checking tripadvisor, assuming I must be saving money. I think this is fine when planning a minibreak in France or a week in Europe, but a 2 week holiday of a lifetime where you speak not even a smidgen of the language?
I called upon Unique Japan Tours after seeing an article in The Telegraph (and at this stage, I'd like to point out I got no discount whatsoever for writing this) and within a few days of speaking they had put together a unique, customised itinerary for us which included all the ingredients for the perfect honeymoon - a little bit of relaxing, a lot of local cuisine and private tours of both Tokyo and Kyoto.
|Kyoto, a must-see place on our trip|
Travel Agents, unlike us, work closely with tourist boards, know the areas, know the distance between places and the flight schedules etc. They also know their Hotels, they recommended a Hotel in Tokyo (Hotel Claska) which had independently been recommended by my Travel Editor at Red. We could also suggest some hotels we wanted to stay in as well and could change the itinerary if there was anywhere we wanted to stay longer or cut out. They even booked our Japan rail pass for the bullet train and a metro card for Tokyo.
And all for cheaper than we could have ever booked ourselves through their knowledge of the country and relationships with hotels and tourist boards.
The stress it has alleviated? Priceless.