- 3 years ago
Just want to get everyone’s opinion.
Just want to get everyone’s opinion.
I am a vacation planning freak and would never let someone else have the fun of planning one of my trips. I live for this stuff!
I agree!! Also, I feel like travel agents aren’t much help except for maybe finding last minute deals. i also feel like info is more readily available when you book youself. Honestly I don’t see the need for travel agents at all anymore.
We didn’t because it’s 2014.
too biased. i feel they often will reommend things that they get kick-backs for. plus – i prefer to do the reaserch and planning on my own!
I actually have done both and found much better deals doing it myself. And I’m a control freak. So there’s that.
I think that a travel agent who specializes narrowly and develops a really good list of contacts can provide a valuable service for travelers who have well-developed interests in things like art or cooking. I function as a de facto travel agent when I plan trips for my students and I arrange for extraordinary access to things that are not open to the public and for access to museums after hours so my students aren’t disturbed while I teach them. On a less flashy level, I also know “that hotel looks close on a map but it’s actually at the top of a huge hill, which is a pain with bags” and “that Métro station has ticket machines only so we need change” and countless other little bits of knowledge that I use to make everyone else’s life easier without them even knowing that I’ve done so. Indeed, a more senior colleague of mine (whose networks in her region have been honed over two decades) is paid very handsomely by groups of people who are interested in art to serve as their travel agent and tour guide during during summers.
However, I agree that most people who just wish to plan a vacation have many tools to allow them to research and create an itinerary on their own.
nolapeanut: We’re going to England, my FI’s been once before and I used to spend my Summer breaks there so we’re skipping the usual things. Instead we have a pretty specific (and quirky) list of things we want to do and know the order we want to do things in. By hunting around we’ve found some great deals on lots of hidden gems that I’m not sure we’d find if we used a travel agent (boutique houses and apartments, historic buildings, and great deals on things to do that no travel agent would be able to find).
We found that exact same trip, flight & times, same room and hotel, transfers etc for $3K less than the travel agent quoted us.
We did everything online and the TA couldn’t get us any better of a deal. It is pretty easy to do everything online these days
Travel agents still exist?
I find better deals myself, everything is online and available for you to do on your own, and I love to plan. There was no reason for us to use a travel agent and we didn’t!
I was a Travel Agent for 7 years, and I will honestly say that using a travel agent is not for everyone, but it’s great for most people with jobs and other shit to do. But It’s getting more and more difficult for agents to compete these days! Weather it be because people’s expectations are not founded in reality, or because a person is willing to spend days and days and days planning their own trip so of course an agent who has 20 other clients in a given day to look after will have difficult time keeping up. If you don’t have the time to pour over the internet to plan your vacay, then use an agent. If you want someone there when shit goes sideways with your trip, TRUST ME you want a GOOD agent working for you. Otherwise you’re on your own.
The company I worked for had a price match policy, so if you found somethine better online, then I’d beat it for you and still get the booking. Then you at least have an agent to back you if something happens.
Also, I will add that I have been to 52 countries so chances are that I could give you invaluable first hand info of what to do and where to go. I used to LOVE planning fun trips for people going to a places that I loved, I seriously got off on it, so I do think there’s value in that. I literally helped one 19 year old kid pack his back pack for his trip to Thailand, his mom came into my shop after he (safely) returned home and gave me a Thank you card and $100, lol.
GG_Vega: Yes, agents get kick backs for selling certain stuff, just like any retail business. This is why you need to do a little homework and ask arouns about a great agent, a great agent knows that selling someone a package that isn’t anygood for the client is going to come back and bite her in the ass when the client comes home and complains.A GREAT agent knows what these kick backs are and uses them when they are FITTING to her clients and when she knows these clients are going to love what she sells them. Her cleints have a great trip, she gets a little extra comission or something, everyone wins.
peachacid: that made me literally LOL. You funny.
OP, yeah, what she said. I can find all the best places to visit and awesome deals via the internet and guidebooks – and it will be way cheaper and less touristy than what a travel agent would find.