Do People Still Use Travel Agents?

When’s the last time you used a travel agent to book a trip?

Last year when my parents went on a trip, my mom actually booked it through a travel agent instead of doing it online like we always do. I thought that it was strange. I asked my mom about why she went through a travel agent. Her logic was simple. The prices were the same and she wanted someone to do the research for her. She paid the agent to look for the best rates. So now whenever my parents think about a trip or doing anything out of town, they contact a travel agent to arrange everything.

Travel Agent

Earlier this week we put together the ultimate piece on how to plan a trip. Now we’re going to look at the idea of using travel agents to get a trip going.

What’s the case for using a travel agent?

They do all of the work for you. Some of us don’t want to do the work when it comes to creating a custom workout routine or a vacation. That’s cool. It’s your money. A travel agent will do all of the work for you.

They send you to the right place for your needs. When you just want to get away and have specific demands in mind, you can just show up at your local travel agency and ask them for help. They’ll take your needs into considering and send you to the right place. You don’t have to worry about every single detail. You just pay, pack, and show up.

The last time I used a travel agent was in 2009. Truthfully, the only reason I did so was because they had a price beat guarantee. So I found the cheapest price possible online and then brought it to an agent so that they could beat the deal, saving me money. Since then, I’ve always done my own thing. When I researched the art of vagabonding (long-term wandering) I learned that anyone can plan an extended trip. A few years ago I ended up buying a ticket to Warsaw, Poland and I showed up with no real plans. At that point I realized that life is one huge adventure and the onus is on you to enjoy this adventure.

Why should you NOT use a travel agent?

They are in the business of sales. Their job is to promote offers that make them money. Actually, I view everything with a critical eye because anyone in the business of sales will naturally want to promote the sales that pay the most. Can you really trust the person working on commission to fully cater to your needs?

You can also easily book a trip totally on your own. This article is the foreplay for a colossal piece that I have coming on how to become your own travel agent. It’s actually really fun and sort of cheap. With the world wide web at our finger tips, we don’t need personal trainers to show us how to train properly nor do we need to pay a travel agent to help us book a trip.

I must admit that I’ve become a pretty solid travel agent for myself and my friends. I help them save money, yet I don’t get any thanks. All I get is strong vodka shots. Okay, I can’t complain.

What’s the most important aspect about planning your trip? You must start saving up as early as possible. You need to check out my piece on the best financial tools that will help you save HUGE money. Until you start sacrificing and earning your freedom, you shouldn’t even be considering any sort of trips. Getaways are for those that earned them. Not for those that use their credit card to buy it and then don’t pay it off for years.

Have you ever used a travel agent before? What about recently since the Internet has made traveling so easy?

Tomorrow we’re going to look at how you can be your own travel agent. Get ready for lots of videos, pictures, and damn good times!

5 thoughts on “Do People Still Use Travel Agents?”

  1. We used a travel agent for two trips. The first was our honeymoon to Hawaii. This was great because the travel agent had access to booking at events that was above and beyond what we could have gotten. For example, we went to a luau that was booked through the agent, and although it was the same price as we could have booked, they had a block of reservations that allowed us to be in the VIP area. He also specialized in Hawaii so he was able to steer us to various attractions that we might have missed based on a short survey. I did some checking to make sure that the pricing was in fact the same as we would have gotten, and it was. So, it was definitely worth it.

    We also booked a trip down to Orlando for Disney through AAA, which was of no cost to us as we are members. They set everything up instead of us having to deal with booking flights, booking the hotel, getting our tickets, and setting up our meal plan. It saved us a tremendous amount of time.

    1. Wow that’s pretty cool. It seems that travel agents can really help you make your life easier. Have you ever done all of the planning on your own?

  2. Travel agents still have value especially for those first time travelers to areas that they know little about. A trip to Africa requires a lot of specialized knowledge and skill. A trip to multiple cities and multiple islands like a Hawaii trip requires some logistics and knowledge that not many could swing on their own.
    Finally, a good agent who knows you can help you decide which tour agency one should use if you are doing say a bus tour or river boat cruise or even a ship cruise. They have some inside knowledge and experience that can prove to valuable to first time travelers to an unknown area.

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