Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use a Travel Agent

Yep. You read that right. The title of this post is “Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use a Travel Agent.” Being a travel agent, I believe that most people can benefit from using a travel agent when planning a trip. That being said, there are times when not using a travel agent is worth considering.

  1. If you don’t plan on actually booking with a travel agent, please don’t waste her time. As much as I love to book trips for people, I am almost always upset when I spend hours planning a trip for someone and that person books the exact same thing themselves. We aren’t paid to do research on a location only for that person to go out and book it themselves. I personally understand why someone would book a trip on their own if they are saving a significant amount of money, and that’s why I don’t usually mind to price check something for someone if it’s something I can do quickly, but if you are going to book on your own regardless, please don’t waste someone else’s time.
  2. If you are working with a travel agent already, it’s not a good idea to have another travel agent working on the same trip. This means that one of them is wasting their time. This kind of thing has happened to me before and it’s frustrating.
  3. If you’ve already booked your trip and want to know things like the cheapest way to get around the city or how to get the best deal on a tour. It’s ok to ask if an agent knows something about a certain city. I personally am always happy to help out if I know the answer to something, but I don’t feel like it’s my job to help someone figure out the cheapest way to get from one place to another when they haven’t let me book any part of their trip.
  4. If you are already on a trip that you have booked on your own and something goes wrong, there is probably not much a travel agent can do. It is not a travel agent’s job to dig someone out of a hole somewhere (figuratively speaking, of course) if the agent didn’t book your trip. If there is a hurricane, I’m going to be spending my time figuring out how to get my paying clients on a flight off the island and there won’t be much I can do for someone who needs help figuring out flights that they’ve booked on their own. At this point, you are better off calling whoever you booked your trip through.

So when is it a good idea to use a travel agent?

…When you legitimately want good value for your money. Travel agents are typically pretty great at finding the best deal for the money you are willing to spend on travel and sometimes it is cheaper than someone could find on her own. We have different places we can search for the best value and we often have a network of other agents with which to consult about options. If you want to be sure to find the best match for you, consider booking your next trip with a travel agent.

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