Should you use a travel agent, or book it yourself? At one point in time, a travel agent was the only option when you wanted to book a vacation, but today, more travelers are heading online and making their own arrangements.
The major advantage of online booking has to be the savings. Booking your own arrangements saves you the cost of the travel agent?s fee. On top of that, Internet hotel sites offer some great reductions on room prices, and any search engine will land you a great deal travel expenses. However, remember that cheap is as cheap does, which simply means, be careful. When booking your room, check into the customer reviews before you commit. Moreover, double-check the location of your hotel. Be equally as cautious with flight arrangements. Because you?re paying less, you could well be flying into an airport that a long way from the city center, which adds both time and expense.
You can customize your itinerary by setting things up yourself. This means you do not have to travel on a package deal set up by a travel agency. However, travel agents can get anything you can, and sometimes they have resources the Internet cannot offer. Generally, agents do not have as much flexibility with airfares, but they do have more sway with cruises and tours.
Booking a simple trip online is a snap, but if your itinerary is complicated, a travel agent is the better option. In fact, the more elements added into your travel plans, like hotel, air flights, tour packages, stay-overs, and multiple destinations, the more should consider using the services of a travel agent. These agents are experts. Not only can they can give you excellent advice and tailor the holiday just for you, a good agent knows all the angles to finagling the best possible deals. For example, should you price part of your ticket in a foreign currency? Maybe booking a few days earlier can help you land that off-season discount, or perhaps changing the order of your itinerary will save some cash. In addition, agents must inform you about the fine print most people tend to miss.
Travel agents want to stay in business, which means they are willing to do the extras, like double-checking dates, and making sure, you have all the correct documents for traveling. They will also search out the cheapest fares and accommodations, while making sure your comfort expectations are met.
There is no reason why you cannot go online and do this on their own, but be prepared for a very heavy investment of time, and some frustration. Also, keep in mind, that if something does go wrong with your bookings or accommodation arrangements, which can happen, you will not have a travel agent there to take your panicked call, and help fix the problem.
The bottom line, then, comes down to this: evaluate your travel needs, and choose the option that meets those needs. It is really up to you.