Travel Info & Reviews Air travel

Using a Travel Agent vs Booking Online: Pros and Cons

Travel Agent vs Booking Online? That is the question. Travel agents and companies are all different. Their policies are going to vary. (I’m not recommending one travel agency over another.) Booking online on your own can be very confusing and time-consuming.

I’ve used travel agencies for a few different trips. And I’ve booked online myself for many trips as well. Keep reading for my opinion on both.

Pros of using a Travel Agent

Discounted rates

I love that you can get great discounts on trips. Flights and accommodations are bundled into cute little less expensive packages. You have a travel agent you can call when you have issues to resolve.

Time saved

You save a lot of time when someone else is doing the work for you. They have accommodations and airlines that they’re in touch with. They have contacts in place.


Cons of using a Travel Agent

Lack of freedom

You lose your freedom as far as the type of accommodations and flights you can take. I recently had an issue where there was a hurricane coming and I was confused about canceling my flight without canceling my accommodations as well. If I had booked things separately I would not have had to worry about this.

Lack of Communication

Many times it’s hard to get in touch with the travel agent because there are a lot of people calling at the same time. It’s hard for you to make changes to your accommodations and flights on your own. Because technically you didn’t book them yourself.


Pros of Booking Online


I love being able to independently choose my accommodations and my airlines. There are some airlines I prefer more than others. This is the same with accommodations. I can individually select where I want to stay and who’s going to get me there.

Easier communication

When it comes to communication I can directly speak to either the hotel/resort or the airline (Although that can still be difficult at times.). I don’t have to go through a middle man. My bookings are not connected. This means that when I have an issue I can go directly to the source.


Cons of Booking Online

Higher cost

Sometimes it costs more to book travel yourself. The travel agencies receive discounts when they book people. Individual people don’t have those connections.

More time spent

It takes more time to book anything yourself. You have to go through all the reviews. There’s an endless array of sites you can look at. It can be extremely overwhelming.


Travel Agent vs Booking Online?

How can you determine when to use a travel agent vs booking online? Answer the following questions to help you decide.

Is this a country known for safety? Can I speak the local language? Are my accommodations close together? Is my itinerary a simple one? If you answered no for most of these questions, I suggest using a travel agent. At the very least, hire a guide at your location.

Is my destination known to be relatively safe for tourists? Is my native language spoken widely where I’m going? Do I prefer a specific hotel chain or airline? Will I need a lot of flexibility with my travel dates? Do I want to use my travel miles and/or points? If you answered yes to most of these questions, try booking online yourself.

For myself personally, if I feel comfortable getting around the country, I will book my own travel. Sometimes if a place I’ve never been, or I don’t know much about the country, I may decide to use a travel agent and/or tour company. Let me know if these tips were helpful!

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