Should You Use a Travel Agent or DIY Your Trip?

Booking your own trip can save you money, but there are many advantages to using a travel agent. Deanna Ford, owner of The Detailed Traveler, points out that travel agents “seek convenience, not to save costs.” They have access to discounts, commissions and benefits from the brands they are associated with, so you may not get the best budget recommendations if you book yourself. Using a travel agent can give you the best chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure without any problems. They make destinations, experiences and travel support accessible that only come with a personal and professional touch.

If you have complex and specific travel goals, an expert in that destination or travel style can help you. Travel agents have relationships with suppliers such as hotels, airlines, and tour guides which can give you access to group discounts. Cruise lines often contact their main agents to extend special rates to their customers. You may also be able to get last-minute tours at discounted prices from a travel agency.

As technology and the global economy make the world smaller and smaller, the role of the travel agent has never been stronger. Agents have access to systems where they can bundle your entire package at discounted prices that you can't see on the Internet. Once your reservation is in the system, your agent takes action to let the hotel know that a VIP is on the way and takes care of any extras, whether it's a Virtuoso benefit or a credit card program. If you are an expert in accumulating points and miles, you may not immediately think of using a travel agency to book your getaways.

However, if you want to make sure your trip is organized properly and that you don't end up spending more than necessary, it is worth considering using a travel agent.

Sebastián Vanbebber
Sebastián Vanbebber

Hardcore coffee enthusiast. General internet maven. Extreme travel evangelist. Avid twitter expert. Subtly charming beer advocate. Extreme food fan.