Booking Online Versus Your Local Travel Agent

As we are all aware in recent years the travel industry has gone through an amazing transformation with the popularity of online reservation sites. Unfortunately, just like any other online industry there are always pitfalls that could wind up destroying your dream vacation.

I’ve been involved in the travel industry for the better part of 20 years and I’ve witnessed and lived many horrendous events. We need to look at the pros and cons of booking online yourself compared to going to your local travel agent.

1) Booking online:

PROS:

– flexibility of reserving when your local agency is closed
– feeling of a job well done by handling everything on your own
– convenience of not having to commute
– the possibility of reserving at a better price
– access to a wealth of information readily available online

CONS:

– if you’re not a seasoned traveler you could wind up reserving something not to your liking
– lack of support offered if the site is an affiliate of a larger company
– if you don’t like your trip you have only yourself to blame!

2) Booking with a local travel agent:

PROS:

– you are to able rely on the agent’s experience and knowledge to get valuable information before reserving
– in case of an emergency or if any trouble arises you have someone backing you up and readily available to offer support
– a travel agent can provide the proper information concerning the various insurance options. Traveling without insurance is a definite NO-NO

CONS:

– you might wind up paying a little more with the introduction of travel agent service fees particularly on airline tickets
– having the misfortune of landing on an agent that has even less knowledge than yourself for where you are planning to travel

Of course every traveler has a different level of experience. Therefore, if you are frequent traveler booking online should not discourage you. On the other hand if you travel less frequently you are advised to visit a local travel agent and before you do so choose an agency that has been in operation for years in order to avoid any pitfalls.