With the number of online websites, mobile apps and social media options on the market today, does anyone still use a travel agent to plan and book their vacations? It may seem like travel agents are all but extinct but the truth is that there are still plenty of people that use an actual person to help them plan their trips
Using a travel agent every time you go on vacation probably isn’t necessary but there are certain situations where it might make sense. First off, if you’re completely unfamiliar with the region you’ll be traveling to, it might help to use a travel agent. Many agents “specialize” in certain destinations and they can make sure you’re getting the best hotels, flights, activities, etc. for that specific area. Websites can provide a plethora of information but it’s hard to beat first-hand knowledge.
One of the biggest reasons folks shy away from using travel agents is that they believe they’re too expensive. In the days before the internet, it was true that booking a trip through a travel agent came with a pretty hefty price tag. Today, though, working travel agents know that if they’re going to remain competitive they have to keep the customers’ costs down. That’s why they make the majority of their money through commissions from hotels and airlines when they book rooms or flights. You, the client, don’t have to eat that cost. Most working agents will charge a very reasonable fee—say, $50 per person or so. For many, not having to lift a finger to book your flight, hotel and activities is well worth that price.
It can also make sense to use an agent if your trip requires several flights, stops and hotel changes.
Sometimes it also pays to just take care of your vacation planning yourself. If you’re using certain credit cards to rack up the points and awards then it definitely makes sense to book everything on your own, especially if you’re only going to one destination. Plus, if you’re traveling to a fairly popular locale, you should have no problem finding all sorts of free travel advice on various websites.