My last two posts have followed this same theme so I thought I would talk about whether one should use a Travel Agent or plan their trip themselves. I have very high standards and am an organisation queen so, personally, I have come to find that it is much more pleasurable, and in my case always, cheaper to plan a trip yourself.
My first trip overseas was to the United States, and because this was a lifelong dream I knew everything I wanted to see and how to get around. That trip was planned by my travel companion and naturally I am really grateful that she planned all of the trip as it is a real overwhelming task., especially for a maiden voyage. Next up Thailand to which I sought the assistance of a travel agent for planning our accommodation. Spite their promise that the hotel we stayed at in Koh Samui was just “delightful”, it was not. The airport in Koh Samui was a million times better than the hotel. For any of those that have been to Koh Samui you know exactly what I am talking about. Everything else that I had researched using all of my favourite travel sites (which I will list at the end) were perfect. I have been to a few countries afterwards and all of those trips have been planned by either me or my companions.
Now those lovely sites I use:
- http://www.agoda.com They offer a large range of hotel options with various filters for the search. I often find they have the cheapest option and the staff are incredibly helpful! They have a reward system so if you are an avid traveller and sign up you can earn points. I recently scored myself a free nights accommodation in Bali from my points.
- http://www.trivago.com.au They compare a majority if all accommodation sites and deals for you clearly and take you to their website direct for you to book.
- http://www.skyscanner.com.au They allow you to compare nearly all airline options and take you to the website direct, they also do not charge any fees.
- http://www.viator.com They offer a vast range of tours at very competitive prices, allow for reviews, photos and mostly air conditioned transport.
My virtual Knight in shining armour is http://www.tripadvisor.com.au which allows you to view personal ratings of hotels, tours, attractions, restaurants and much much more. This website is solely the reason why I have never been disappointed when booking my own trip.
Yes it is time consuming, Yes I have spent entire days planning some trips, but the satisfaction when things work out is unbelievable, knowing all your hard work paid off. Let’s put it this way: Every time I have sought the assistance of a Travel Agent I have paid more money (my upcoming honeymoon saw me paying an extra $200 just in Credit Card processing fees and commission), and been disappointed in a “highly recommended” selection. Whenever I have planned a trip for either myself or a loved one, there quite simply has never been disappointment.