Travel Agent or No Travel Agent…that is the question.

When it comes to planning a trip whether domestic or international, we all want things to be done smoothly. Because of this most new travelers tend to call on a travel agent. (nothing wrong with that, I used travel agents when I first began traveling too).

The pros of travel agents:
– They take the headache out of planning
– They can find the best of the best when it comes to accommodations.
– They simply take your list of ideas and package it into your dream vacay.
– You literally only have to pay for the trip.

The cons:
– They tend to favor certain properties which could be more expensive
– Most require that you pay for your flight upfront and then your hotel fees can be broken down into payments. (Very few travel agents allow the flights to be broken up into installments these days. But some still do)
– Although they put together a bundle deal, it still is more pricey than buying everything separately and on your own time.
– You have a certain time frame in which your trip must be paid for.
– They don’t search for the crazy flight deals. (which is the most expensive part of most trips) They just find the most convenient flight option for your travel dates.

From some of these pros and cons, you can kinda make your own decision on which way you want to go. After doing things both ways, I’ve come to the realization that I prefer putting my trips together on my own. Why you ask? Well I’ll tell ya:

Planning my own trip(although sometimes time consuming) allows me to know in detail what I’m getting and what exactly I’m paying for. If I feel like something is too pricey, or the accommodations aren’t ideal for my taste, or I see bad reviews (Reviews are important but we’ll touch on that later) I have the option to skip that. Sometimes (especially if you give travel agents a certain budget) they pick things that look good on paper or pictures but in reality turn out to be pretty gross. I’m not saying you can’t research the options the agent gives you on your own. But, most times we tend to trust them when we see they got us everything we asked for within our price range. Then we get there and are shocked!

So before you begin planning any trip, you must first decide: Am I am up for the challenge of doing this on my own or do I just want someone else to do it all for me? Once you decide that we can really get started.

**This post isn’t to undermine travel agents. I think when trying to travel on a budget planning on your own is best. However, if you are going away for a special occasion, traveling with a large group, or you’re seeking an over the top experience then a travel agent is definitely the better option. **

What’s your preference? Answer via the poll below.

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