Friday, July 3, 2009

Travel Agents

Many sites encourage the use of travel agencies in terms of travel, but are they really as helpful as they seem? There are some pros and cons to using travel agencies, but overall it depends on your comfort level and the price. Occasionally, if you are planning on going on a cruise or have a large number of travelers going with you, then you may want to consider a travel agent since they might have discounts. However, while I was booking my trip to Toronto in order to attend a friend's Christmas party, the travel agent told me personally that usually their prices are not lower than the prices found online.

Why should you use a travel agent? When I was planning my very first trip overseas, and on an airplane, my study abroad advisor recommended the Student Travel Association travel agency in order for me to book my flight. The price was slightly higher, but not by much and they said that the first time I change my ticket the extra fee would only be $25. I ended up enjoying my experience with the agency, but when I had to change departure date due to a sudden family reunion in the States, I found out that it would cost me $125 instead. That was just to change it and not counting the difference between ticket price (which luckily there wasn't any difference). Overall, this was a very decent experience.

However, some tickets issued by travel agents can be rather tricky since many of them have special stipulations. For example, the Toronto ticket I purchased through a travel agent was based on a special holiday fare. When I needed to change it, the travel agency was closed for the entire week, so I called the aiport directly after five failed attempts at changing it myself. Because of the special stipulations on it, it wasn't going to cost me an extra $300 that was quoted on the was going to cost me an extra $700 plus additional fees! In the end, I managed to get the ticket changed without any extra fees, but I was ashamed of the way I acted in order to get the change.

I recommend a travel agent for solo or small group travelers only if the traveler(s) are new or worried about planning a trip online. Also, if the prices are lower and there are no extra stipulations on the ticket, then it may be worth booking the trip through a travel agent. There are some decent travel agencies out there, especially for youth travelers. So, keep your eyes open for some great deals!



  1. Hey AM! Just commented on your comment on my blog

    Thanks so much for the visit and the comment!

  2. You have a great blog here...lots of great information too!