When to work with a travel agency

On my first trip abroad I organized everything. And everything went smoothly. Great choice of hotel, great itinerary, etc. But it was a trip to Vienna, Austria (and Germany – as it was a longer trip) – a country that’s on the same continent as my country. Plus I know a little bit the language and speak English. So it wasn’t so hard to book and plan it all by myself for the entire family. But sometimes working with a travel agency comes in handy and saves you time – and even money – and makes the trip more pleasant. So, apart from understanding how a travel agent works, let’s see why – and WHEN – you should work with a travel agency.

Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna, back
Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna, back

A travel agency is a one-stop-for-all point

My husband travels weekly with his job. The company he works for uses the services of a travel agency and frankly that’s a HUGE plus. Andrei can book everything – flight, car rental (if necessary), and accommodation – in one place. A few clicks and the reservation is done.

Working with a travel agency can mean that you can choose all you need from one place. Or you can go to their office and have a discussion and pick everything there. Sometimes it is simpler to use a travel agency than to organize it all by yourself.

When we went to Paris, we used a travel agency to book the flight and hotel – and it was a really good thing as we had to go there on a short notice. I planned the itinerary, as we had different schedules for several days – and only two days of wandering through the city together.

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica from Paris by Night
La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre

You get support AND recommendations

If you speak to a travel agent, that person may recommend you interesting tours or make you an offer based on what you desire from your travel. They can suggest destinations (countries or cities in a country) or even itineraries. It’s a world of choices just opening up. In fact, often speaking with a travel agent shows you how much opportunities are available and how many places would be perfect. A travel agent can find the perfect vacations, tailored to your preferences and possibilities.

A travel agency is useful when you don’t know the language or the country

I admit that for Europe I’d go and organize things myself. Probably – not surely – but most likely. If I’d always have the time and nerves to do it (to investigate accommodation options, accessibility, tours, flight prices, etc.). But it is just as likely for me to choose a travel agency when travelling to another continent, one that I am not familiar with and where I don’t know people.

Yes, traveling is more transparent and bookings are easier to be made, and travel agencies face several important challenges, but they are still the option that comes to my mind for a visit far away. In the end, it’s all about using to the best the resources you have (time, money, etc.), and sometimes, even though it may seem like it is better to do it all by yourself, it is actually easier to use a travel agency.

You should use a travel agency if you want to travel with a group / on a tour

If you want to go on a tour – let’s say of the French Riviera and Italy, if we talk Europe – it might be easier to use a travel agent as they already have tours with places to stop, attractions to see, etc. In this way you can travel alone – or as a couple – with other people – without the stress of organizing the trip and knowing that the best things to see are included (plus some tips and interesting facts from the guides)!

I have a friend who always uses an agency exactly for this reason. She visited numerous countries in this way and is really happy with the system. She also visited by herself some cities, but she prefers tours.

Tours are also great when your organizing abilities are not excellent. Or when you lack the time to do it all. In these situations, a travel agency is a great choice.

For me, these are the most important reasons to use a travel agency. Yes, I know that there are various opinions – and even myths about travel agents,  but in the end the choice is ours. Like I said, I believe in combining the two options – plan it all by yourself, or use an agency – depending on the time, resources, and place you want to visit. How about you? When do you choose to work with a travel agency?

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Lori

I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

9 thoughts on “When to work with a travel agency

  • 20 August, 2016 at 14:31
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    I personally don’t like to work with travel agencies for all my trips, but I use their service sometimes when I want to go to the countries where I don’t know much about their safty. But, you are right for people like to be in a group using a travel agency is the right way.

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  • 20 August, 2016 at 15:05
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    It can be useful at times you are right, but specifically in underdeveloped countries I would say. Other places like Iran too is recommended to go with travel agencies so they can arrange your visa and all! Great post!

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  • 21 August, 2016 at 01:09
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    I done my first travel with an agency and I recommend it if you never left your country before. But with time I find it most cheaper (and fun) to organize things for myself. But If you don’t have money issues and don’t want the hassle, then an agency is your best bet.

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  • 21 August, 2016 at 11:42
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    I never needed a travel agency but maybe that is because I have only travelled around Europe. I do enjoy doing all the research myself and don’t find it a tedious procedure. But now that I think about it if I have to go somewhere where the culture is very very different I might ask for some help.

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  • 21 August, 2016 at 16:34
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    I definitely am in the no travel agency camp as I would rather organise it myself and save money. Having said that in some places, there simply is no option. In Myanmar we had to use a travel agent as it was the only way to book trains and buses but we did book our hotels ourselves so we did a bit of a combo. It was fabulous
    Anne´s last blog post ..The Ultimate Guide To Having Fun In Seattle On A Budget

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  • 22 August, 2016 at 09:34
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    I can see how using a travel agency is especially useful when you travel for business as you don’t have the time to organise everything, but I prefer to do all the planning and booking myself. That’s just personal preference though and I know a lot of people who would rather avoid the hassle and use a travel agent.

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  • 23 August, 2016 at 11:03
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    I don’t personally use travel agents anymore after I learnt how to do everything myself but for the likes of my Dad they are perfect because it saves him the hassle of having to do anything. Great article!

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  • 26 December, 2016 at 15:53
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    Travel agencies always have a contingency plans. Imagine when you organize a vacation on your own and something goes completely wrong. It is not easy to make changes to your plan when you are in a foreign country and you have no idea whom you can contact to ask for help.

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