Kent Phillips / Disney

AMA Travel Counsellors Take Trip Planning to the Next Level

By Craig Moy

Jodi Richardson had been to Walt Disney World before. Twice, in fact. But when the AMA member and her husband decided to head to the Florida park for the family’s first post-pandemic vacation, she knew planning would be more complicated.

So, she contacted Ashley Reid. An AMA Travel counsellor in Edmonton for 11 years, Reid has experience booking trips to destinations as diverse as Morocco, Costa Rica and Indonesia. But she’s also one of many AMA agents with additional training related to a particular destination or travel style—Disney being her specialty.

“We hadn’t been to Disney World in five years, and we knew things had likely changed since Covid,” Richardson says. “But we also knew Ashley would be able to answer all of our questions and make sure we were taken care of.”

Insights and support

Covid concerns aside, planning a trip nowadays can be overwhelming. There are seemingly endless decisions—from airfare to accommodations to attraction tickets. Working with AMA Travel is always the best way to get valuable insights, access the best prices, and receive 24/7 support if something goes awry.

Working with a specialist provides further peace of mind: The agent has visited the destination and is passionate about sharing their knowledge.

In advance of Richardson’s two-week Disney holiday, Reid offered her expertise about the best on-resort hotels, dining and activities for her toddler son and seven-year-old daughter, who has a mobility issue requiring the use of a wheelchair.

“Ashley was so good about pinpointing our options for getting around, and if we needed to provide any medical documentation to access disability services,” Richardson says.

“It took a real weight off our shoulders knowing we could get our daughter from point A to point B—and to have that all in writing.”

Reid also helped reschedule the trip when Covid’s Omicron wave took hold. “We started booking in 2021 and were originally going to go in February 2022,” Richardson recalls.

“Ashley walked us through the process of rebooking for May, and then kept us updated about regulations, vaccination requirements, plus everything else.”

Experts for any trip

Of course, becoming a master of Disney getaways is just one area of specialization for a travel agent. AMA has numerous counsellors with expertise in a variety of locales.

“While we have specialists for hundreds of destinations, our largest number of specialists are Mexico, Las Vegas, Europe, Hawaii and Disney,” says Terry Vander Linden, manager of product marketing at AMA Travel.

In terms of types of travel, Vander Linden says certain AMA Travel counsellors specialize in luxury vacations, while others know destination weddings inside and out. And still others are experts in ocean and river cruising, which is handy when it comes to booking the best value package and reserving shore excursions to suit your interests.

It’s this level of insider knowledge that can make a trip truly something to write home about—not least because you’ll actually have time to write home about it.

“If we hadn’t booked with AMA, everything would’ve been a lot more stressful,” Richardson says. “It was reassuring to know we booked based on the recommendation of a person we trust, and we could count on her if anything came up.”