In the age of the Internet, many people think that you no longer need a travel agency. They believe you can go online and book your own trip without using a travel agency and get the same service and prices. Nothing could be further than the truth. Your local travel agency still provides a valuable service that you just can’t get on your own.
If you are buying a simple round trip ticket to a popular destination, then it is possible to get along fine without a travel agency. But what happens if there is a problem with the ticket? Who are you going to call? The big mega-travel sites on the Internet aren’t going to help. When there are problems or special circumstances, a travel agency is worth its weight in gold.
Did you know that a ticket can be voided within 24 hours without any cost or penalty? Of course not! The big Internet agencies don’t want you to know. But an agent at your local travel agency can simply go on their special Global Distribution Service (GDS) and void the ticket without a problem. Even after the 24 hour window, travel agents can sometimes get fees waived if they have a good relationship with a vendor. You can’t do that on your own.
The main thing a travel agency will provide is knowledge and experience. Once they know what you want to do and when, they may know a lot of ways to do it better or cheaper. Maybe two one-way tickets are cheaper than a round trip. Perhaps connecting through one city on the outbound and a different city on the inbound will get a better price or schedule you like.
Where an experienced travel agency can really shine is on international flights. There are so many fees, regulations, and variables on international travel that there is no way to figure all that out on your own. A good agent can literally save you thousands of dollars by applying this knowledge to your trip.
Do it right and for the best price. Use a travel agency.