Back prior to the Internet (you reacall those days, right?), when people wished to plan a vacation, they used a travel agent. These lovely folks would book your flights, cruises, resort stays, honeymoons, and everything among. They would look after all your arrangements and become there to liaison between you and the business.
These were who you called when things went wrong. They got you the deals you couldn’t find by yourself because you didn’t get access to the resources they did.
But travel companies feel antiquated now.
As online booking websites and the sharing economy have grown to be more popular, travel companies have diminished in importance (9/11 and the 2008 recession didn’t help either).
THE WEB age have managed to get possible for us travelers to cut out the travel agent and plan our very own trips by booking directly with airlines and hotels (or, nowadays, with locals — thanks, Airbnb).
Moreover, the countless deal websites out there helping us find cheap airfares and hotels have allowed consumers to get the cheap prices which used to be the domain of agents.
The net has cut out the center man and age travel companies appears to be on the decline.
According to Ryan Geist of Burner Air:
The direct-to-consumer websites decrease enough time it took to plan a vacation from hours or days to minutes. And there is complete transparency. You can bargain-shop with a click of your mouse. It’s been devastating to a business entrenched in tradition and stale relationships.
Yet, though “the death of travel companies” has been touted since Expedia debuted, they remain, though greatly diminished in number (the amount of freelance travel companies went from 124,030 in 2000 to 66,670 in 2019).
But that’s still a fairly lot.
Actually, 43% of travelers still prefer to use a realtor when booking flights.
That’s because they still offer value for several types of travel (they’re heavily used for luxury, corporate, and group travel), aswell for their expertise and special business relationships — not forgetting their time-saving, stress-relieving, and problem-solving skills.
Travel companies are of help if you’re performing a too costly or complex trip, planning for a honeymoon or something fancy, or traveling with a big group. They get access to numerous deals and bulk buying options we DIY solo consumers don’t, particularly when it involves tours, high-end flights, and cruises.
As Patricia Serrano from Fresh Traveler puts it:
It’s super easy to book a flight from NY to Miami today, and if that’s all you have to, then you must do it online. But if you’re looking for flights for several a lot more than 10 people or a flight itinerary like JFK-MIA-BOG-EZE-LAX-SEA-ORD-EWR, a travel agent will be of great help.
Also, they are perfect for individuals who just don’t want to take care of a big, complicated trip themselves. Travel companies offer them reassurance. As Ryan said, “Logistics could be simple or complicated, however they more often than not induce a headache. People can pay good money to someone they trust to just ‘handle it’ for them.”
Alicia Saba from The Splendid Traveler echoes this:
Travel companies remain used for expert guidance, personalized travels, also to save time. THE WEB has made it simpler to book your own travels, but with that comes informational overload. Travel planning is a time-consuming process, and you don’t really know if you’re taking full benefit of your vacation time or planning experiences that align together with your interests and travel style.
As Cheryl Oddo from Carefree Vacations says,
People want firsthand knowledge and experience, the within track on obtaining the most out of their vacation, rendering it memorable and affordable. They need you to definitely say ‘that’s a blunder, I would recommend this instead,’ also to explain travel cover, passport requirements, visas, self-drives in foreign countries, customs and cultures, and every one of the ‘how-tos.’
I trust most of them.
Travel companies are for those who don’t want to invest hours researching their trips, aren’t experienced travelers, or are traveling in that large group that the economics and logistics of booking it yourself do your mind in.
I’m not surprised that travel companies have seen a growth in usage of the previous few years, especially among millennials who make an effort to outsource time-intensive activities.
If you’re traveling with several 15 people for your grandmother’s birthday on a cruise, a travel agent will surely get you an improved deal than you can yourself. Agents can be found in handy when buying in bulk because they often times get access to deals (this pertains to flight tickets too).
Planning for a honeymoon or an extravagance trip? Complicated round-the-world trip for a family group of four? The highly specialized nature of travel companies makes them ideal for such trips too.
Take cruises. Travel companies have relationships with cruiselines and usage of deals we everyday consumers don’t. Doug Parker from Cruise Radio advises that you focus on a travel agent, because they have relationships with the cruise companies and may often progress rates and last-minute deals. Travel companies often can find lower prices and may also become a liaison to cruise companies when something goes wrong.
Agents speak to cruise lines at all times if you want that 15 person visit to go smoothly, a realtor will be better.
And that’s another place where travel companies could can be found in handy: when trouble crops up. Patricia advises, “Travel companies can save you money and time when you are within an emergency. A whole lot of airlines and hotel chains have preferred numbers for travel companies so they can get in contact quickly with the individuals who can best resolve your position. “
Ryan agreed: “A travel agency’s greatest assets are its unique and leveraged relationships, its capability to problem-solve because of its clients in real-time, 24/7, and its own role as a cat herder for group travel. When you’re in big trouble, there is no replacement for an educated, reliable, and leveraged travel agent.”
So am I suddenly enamored with travel companies? No. I still personally don’t utilize them. I love booking trips, know how to locate deals, and don’t plan family trips for twenty. Give me a flight on points, a hostel, and a bus ticket, and I’m ready.
If you’re traveling to Bermuda for you, your partner, and family, it’s pretty straightforward: go surfing, look for a cheap flight, book a hotel or Airbnb, and off you go.
Backpacking through Europe? A travel agent can’t tell you firmly to go with the flow. They aren’t likely to get you deals on hostels, backpacker tours, train tickets, or beat those budget airline carriers.
Every travel agent I spoke to agreed with me upon this point. “If you’re residing in budget accommodations rather than seeking to preplan any activities or transportation, you’re better off booking all on your own,” Alicia responded.
But if you’re organizing an enormous group, need a large number of seats (like on our FLYTE groups, that we use a travel agent), a honeymoon, a complex itinerary, or a pricey trip, a travel agent is most likely a good idea. They’ll make life easier, get you bulk discounts, and become there in the event anything goes wrong.
EASILY were planning for a trip that fell into one particular categories, I would consider a travel agent, even if it had been merely to test the waters.
They’ll save tip and become worth the purchase price you purchase a seamless, stress-free trip.
Book Your Trip: Logistical Guidelines
Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s, because they search websites and airlines around the world and that means you always know no stone has been left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the biggest inventory. If you would like to stay somewhere apart from a hostel, use Booking.com, because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget TRAVEL COVER Travel cover will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in the event anything goes wrong. I never embark on a trip without it, as I’ve had to utilize it many times previously. I’ve been using World Nomads for a decade. My favorite companies offering the very best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everybody below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for all those 70 and over)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking to discover the best companies to save lots of money with? Have a look at my resource page to find the best companies to use when you travel! I list those I take advantage of —