· How long have you been in business?
TPI – Travel Professionals International has been supporting Canadian small and home-based travel agencies since 1995. Our team; the Magical Trips Travel Group has been affiliated with TPI- Travel Professionals International since 2009. The Magical Trips Travel Group is an award-winning team of independent Travel Counsellors affiliated directly with TPI. The founding member of the Magical Trips Travel Group is Jaime Murphy. Jaime Murphy owns Magical Trips Inc. which is directly affiliated with TPI. All other members of the team are directly and independently affiliated with TPI and not employed by Magical Trips Inc.
· What affiliations do you have?
Please visit the affiliation section of this website. We go above and beyond with our education and work very hard at earning many wonderful affiliations in the travel industry.
· If you are all independent contractors; why are you considered a team?
We are considered a team with our host agency TPI- Travel Professionals International. TPI's structure allows for some Travel Advisors to work together to poll resources with a "parent host" who acts as a mentor, provides training, guidance and assistance when required. We love being a team as it allows us to combine our knowledge, our contacts and experience to ensure our clientele always has a magical trip! Like the saying goes - There is power with numbers! Also it gives us peace of mind knowing in an emergency situation if we need assistance we have a team to help! We kindly ask that you do only contact the advisor that booked your trip unless given instructions to contact a member of the team for assistance.
· What is the differences by booking with one of our specialist vs booking direct or online?
Most suppliers charge you the same rate for your trip regardless if you book direct with them, book online or through a Travel Counsellor.
Our team of travel counsellors are continuously completing training, visiting destinations and building relationships with suppliers. We are trained to understand the differences in the offerings, the best times to travel, and the best way to book your trip to get you the absolute best value. As for booking with an online supplier like Expedia or Hotels.com; we have access to those packages too.
We can be reached after hours offer in emergency situations while travelling.
By using our services; you are getting extra level of expertise free of charge and supporting us. This is our careers and how we make our living; we truly appreciate every opportunity you give us.
· Do you charge service fee's?
This depends on the service we provide you. Typically to book a vacation we do not charge a service fee. With your booking we provide some helpful tips to make your trip magical! We do offer planning packages for those looking for detailed planning. The fee is typically $150 + tax - Ask us for more information. If we book only airfare we do charge a service fee of $50 + tax per person. This is typically waived if booking as a package or with hotel stay.
· How do you get paid?
We do not receive a salary. We get paid by travel suppliers such as cruise lines, vacation companies and hotels, typically after our clients return home from vacations we booked on their behalf. We ask that once you ask us for assistance you give us the opportunity to complete the work we have done by allowing us the opportunity to book your vacation. If you book direct or through another agency we do not get paid for any of the work we completed on your behalf or expertise we shared with you.
We really appreciate every booking; even if it is very simple for you to book it online. This is our career’s and how we support our families.
· Can we make payments on the vacation we have you book?
This depends on who we book your trip with. We actually do not charge you directly for your vacation, we make payments on your behalf directly to the companies we are booking your trip with. If making payments is essential please let us know in advance of searching for your trip.
· What type of payments do you take?
This depends on who we book your trip with. We do not charge your directly for your vacation, we make payments on your behalf directly to the company we are booking the trip with. Please know the majority of companies require a credit card or debit visa as form of payment. If this is not an option, please let us know in advance so we can look for companies that take cash payments.
· Can I cancel my vacation once booked?
This depends on the rules of the company we book your trip with. The majority of vacations become fully non-refundable and are unable to be changed prior to travel. Suppliers almost always follow their policies and do not make exceptions. Based on this we strongly suggest you have a full travel insurance policy that includes cancelation. Please understand we are very passionate about our work and always try our very best to assist however sometimes the rules are simply the rules. Though the outcome may not what you were looking for it does not mean we did not do everything possible to assist. We want you to be happy, that is why we take you as a client, our goal is to have you as a "forever client" however please know upfront we do not have the money or resources to personally refund you for a trip if the company that we booked your trip with does not refund you.
· If we cancel our trip, can we pay you for the time you spend assisting us?
The best way to thank us for our time is to refer us to others and to book your next vacation with us.
· Do you accept gratuities for assisting us ?
The best way to thank us for our time is to refer us to others and to book your next vacation with us.
- My trip is booked - what's next?
Whether you are taking your very first vacation or have travelled the world; Canadian's should ensure they always:
1. No matter where you plan to travel, make sure you check the Canadian Government Travel Advice and Advisories page for your destination. Please be comfortable with any advisories in place prior to booking. It will give you up to date information on the destination you are traveling too including all documentation required for your trip! Be sure to check again shortly before you leave as safety and security conditions may change between the date you book your travel and your departure date. Click here to be redirected directly to the Canadian Government Travel Advisory website.
2. Check your passport; if you are travelling outside of Canada you must have a valid passport. The Canadian Government Travel Advice and Advisories page will give you the entry and exit requires for your destination however it is always highly recommended you have a valid passport for at least 6 months after your return to Canada. Click here to be redirected to the Canadian Passport Application website. ** I recommend making a colour copy of page 2 (picture page) and keeping a copy in a secured location in case you loose your passport.
3. Minors who are not traveling with all legal guardians and are leaving Canada could be denied if they do not have a consent letter. I travel with my children without my husband and have been asked on multiple occasions for the letter. Click here to be redirected to the Canadian Governments website for the Minors travel consent letter.
4. Different countries have different health standards. It is important to know what these are and if you require any vaccinations for your upcoming trip. The easiest way is to make an appointment with a local Travel Health Clinic. They have the expertise to give you the advise you require. If you do not have access to a travel clinic your family doctor can assist. I do recommend though visiting the Canadian Travel Health website before visiting your doctor. Click here to be redirected to the Canadian Governments website for Travel Health.
5. There are limitations on what you are allowed to bring back to Canada. Before you leave be a smart traveller and be aware! I always bring an evelop for all my receipts and present then with my form. Click here to be redirected to the Canadian Governments website highlighting what you need to declare.
6. Register your travel with the Canadian Government. The Registration of Canadians Abroad service to a free service for Canadians. It will allow government officials to contact you to provide important information in preparation for an emergency (such as a natural disaster or civil unrest), instructions during emergencies, important changes or updates to the Travel Advice and Advisories for the country for which you registered, and more. Click here to be redirected to Registration of Canadians Abroad website.
7. Do you need to order money? Different countries around the world have their own currency. Be familiar with the exchange rates and go to your bank at least 14 days prior to travel in case they have to order your money in. If you require money at destination often ATM machines will offer a good exchange and easy access to currency. Just remember to make your bank aware prior to travel. This also applies to credit card companies. Click here to be redirected to a currency exchange website.
8. Insurance. It is very important you have Travel Insurance for your trip especially medical insurance. It is not worth the risk and often medical insurance policy cost very little. A full travel insurance policy is highly recommend and it is easy to confuse travel medical through work with a full insurance policy. Most work places if they do include travel insurance it is only medical. Since many trips are non refundable a cancelation policy is highly recommend. Click here to visit Magical Trips Insurance Page for more information.
9. Learn how to call home prior to leaving home. As simple as this sounds many people are unaware how to dial out of the country they are visiting. Click here to be redirected to a how to call abroad.
10. It's important to understand the time zone you will be traveling too especially if visiting multiple countries. If on a cruise be sure to find out if cruise ship time is different from the local time. Click here to be redirected to the world time server website.
What can I do to make airport security easier?
1. Have nothing in your pockets; this includes your wallet. Have your valuables secured either in a inside zipped pocket of your jacket or carryon bag before even entering security. With new security features in most major airports you will not be allowed to have anything in your pockets.
2. Have your larger electronics easily accessible and already out of the cases. This includes IPAD cases; Otterbox cases take time to take off! The lady in front of my was having great difficulty.
3. Wear socks on your feet even in the summer time. Oh did I ever wish I had on my socks! It's never fun waking through security bare foot.
4. Have all your liquids in a 1 litre bag and make sure none of them are over 100ml. Also make sure the amounts are clearly marked on the bottles. Have this bag out of your bag and ready to put on the belt. It's not an actual requirement but it avoids your other belongings being search if they need to confirm the amounts of the liquid which they did for me both times during my trip. It was quick and easy as they just picked up the bag and checked without having to search my belongings.
5. If you have anything you feel they may want to check have it out of your bag. Empty Insulated Water Bottles often need to be checked - so by having them out will help avoid issues.
6. Make sure your batteries are charged on everything electronic and it can turn on. We had to take a picture one time in Europe going through security with our DSL camera.
7. Avoid wearing large amounts of jewelry, metal belt clips etc... Even some underwire bra's are known for causing issues at security.