Do you use a travel agent for booking a holiday or do everything yourself online?
For those who travel, many of us would book just an airline ticket itself online - especially for domestic travel. If you are wanting to organise a more complicated holiday away with hotels, tours etc. do you research this yourself and book online to save money or go to a travel agent for their assistance?
Working for an airline, I've always just booked my own flights travelling with the company I work for and the odd hotel here and there. However, I've recently been booking a holiday to Europe involving other carriers, several hotels, transfers, tours etc. I've found it really is a lot of work doing it all yourself online - especially when you don't know much about a particular area. It's taken more time that I realised and I can definitely see the advantage of paying a little extra and doing the whole lot through an experienced agent who maybe has the knowledge and expertise in the areas you are wanting to visit. Also, I'm guessing sometimes travel agents would have access to good deals that can't always be found online.
I suppose some people like doing all the research online themselves and they find it interesting & the planning is part of the fun, however due to working full-time, I've found the whole process has been taking longer than I expected. In saying that, I'll do it all over again and probably organise my next trip myself anyway.
daughter once used a travel agent to try and book for Fiji for family they told her could not book a flight from sydney at that time direct ,and she would have to go through brisbane changing planes. Well she did not like this idea so contacted the airline and was able to book online with them , much cheaper and was direct to fiji. "very happy daughter"
Now she does all bookings herself and will not use a travel agent.
I have heard stories like this before. Also people wanting to book a particular airline and the agent saying it is full as they prefer to sell an alternative airline to their benefit. Passenger goes to the airline and there is plenty of availability. It always pays to double check I think.
We only travel in Australia - and mostly by car these days - but we have always done our own booking and organising. If we were going to be travelling overseas I think that we would probably use a travel agent.
We have used travel agent's on occasion. Even last year when I had organised our trip itinerary myself we still got Flight Centre to book everything for us. They achieved in minutes what would have taken me all day and we only had the one payment to make.
If we are doing a cabin (caravan) park holiday though I would do all the booking myself.
When my family did a massive tour of the Asia-Pac region in 2000, the arrangements were so complicated that we went to a specialist travel agent and let them do all the hard work! They also got us some really good deals that we couldn't have secured ourselves.
Having audited quite a few large companies in the tourism and leisure industry, I have a good idea of how it all works and can negotiate good deals for myself now without the help of an agent.
Absolutely Flight Centre have been fantastic, and when you have a problem at 2 am in the morning Flight Centre helped out and really sorted a major issue .I was in Australia and needed an issue sorted in Canada for a family member. Not sure Google or an online company would have helped too much and camelback and reassured us it aw all sorted.
I travel mostly with my youngest daughter and her 2 children. We do our research on line first to see what's available then book through our favourite Flight Centre agency. They do price match and sometimes better the pricing we have and it's much easier to have them do the work in the long run for a trouble free trip. My girlfriend and I have also booked our European river cruise through them next year taking the worry out of finding suitable accommodation pre cruise for us.