Traveling smart is a must when given the opportunity to do so. Whether you use hotels.com, Choice Hotels, or Expedia, resources like the article below are great resources to adhere to!
Read the entire article here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/07/17/1350010/spending-smart-travel-agent-may.html
Published Sun, Jul 17, 2011 04:00 AM
Modified Sun, Jul 17, 2011 03:09 AM
Spending Smart: Travel agent may be best choice to plan trip
Hiring a professional to do something you could do yourself can be a good idea or a bad one. It comes down to the value you receive.
And so it is with travel agents, a species of advisers many consumers might assume went extinct. Today, consumers have the ability to book online for airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, cruises and all-inclusive vacation packages. But travel agents still exist, having evolved from travel bookers to travel consultants.
For some people, using a travel agent can be a great idea, said Robert Krughoff, president of Consumers’ Checkbook, which rates local service providers, including travel agents.
COST: Contrary to popular belief, a travel agent won’t always cost more. In fact, it’s possible you will pay less than booking a vacation yourself because agents might be aware of promotional offers and occasionally have access to exclusive deals. Some agents will charge a per-hour fee for their time in planning a trip. Agents can earn commissions on some bookings, but it’s not nearly as lucrative as it used to be because airlines don’t pay commission.
In general, however, using a travel agent will often cost about the same as booking it yourself, experts say. But you save a lot of time and could get great advice that makes your trip more enjoyable. In that case, you end up getting better value for your money, argues Chris Russo, president of the American Society of Travel Agents.
“People always ask me, ‘How much more is it going to cost me to use a travel professional?’ I tell them, essentially, it shouldn’t cost you more; it should cost you less,” Russo said.