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|Do Your Research Before Traveling - Travel Agents vs the Internet
When planning to take a trip, it is advisable to spend some time
doing research even if you are booking through a Travel Agent.
This research could save you a significant amount of money and
perhaps prevent a miserable stay in a sub-standard hotel.
Many people have moved away from using Travel Agents. This is
understandable due to the availability of cheap fares and hotel
rooms available through the internet. However, it is wise to
consider the benefits of utilizing a professional particularly
when proposing to visit somewhere that you haven't previously
been. Some of the advantages of using a Travel Agent are gaining
the benefit of their expertise, experience, personal service,
ability and indeed the obligation to clarify and inform you of
details in the fine print which you may miss if booking on your
own account, their up to date knowledge of the latest deals and
their ability to distill and interpret information to hopefully
offer you the best value deal for your trip.
With that said, it is still prudent to conduct your own
research. The Travel Agent can provide suggestions about a range
of airlines you could use and different fares and advise on
hotels in good areas within budget guidelines. At this point you
have some great information to work off. You have not had to
start from scratch. You have an idea as to which are the better
priced airlines and the areas you should look at staying taking
into account what you're looking to do in a particular place.
Now you can see if there are internet deals that may beat the
air fares the Travel Agent has quoted you. In many cases these
days, the Travel Agency will do what they can to equal or beat
whatever publicized deal is out there. It is
a very competitive
industry. In the cases of hotels, many of the chains as well as
some independents are claiming to have the best internet deals
on their own sites. This is of benefit to both the consumer as
well as the hotel. They don't have to pay commission to a third
party and you are dealing directly with the establishment that
you are proposing to stay with who can answer any queries that
you may have regarding elements of your accommodation as well as
possibly saving money. You will also find that when booking
direct off the hotel website that you may be offered upgrades or
specials not available anywhere else.
The internet is also a great and up to date resource which can
allow you to read reviews from consumers regarding airlines,
hotels, sightseeing trips and just about anything that you can
think of. This can be invaluable. If you go to a site such as
www.tripadvisor.com you will find reviews on just about any
hotel in the world. Many of the reviews provide excellent
information about the hotel rooms, restaurants, attitude of the
staff, cleanliness, activities and pool if they have one. If
looking for reviews on airlines there are 2 particularly good
sites - www.epinions.com and www.carsurvey.org/air
Don't underestimate the value of a good Travel Agent but be
prepared to put in some time to conduct your own research. The
worst you could do is add to the excitement of planning for a
trip and maybe you'll even save yourself some money!
About the author:
Sue Taylor is a seasoned traveler. For more information abouther
travel experiences, refer to http://www.newzealandtravelsite.com
and http://www.taylortraveltales.com for further details about