Travel Agent vs. Do-It-Yourself Bookings: Which Is Better?

When booking international air travel, around 43 percent of people in the US prefer to book through a travel agent. Once upon a time, using a travel agent was the only way you could book a trip overseas.

So, what is a travel agent exactly? They are a private individual or an employee of an agency that researches and organizes travel for consumers. 

But ever since the rise of the internet, there has been a constant battle in the travel industry. This is between using a travel agent vs. do-it-yourself travel.

Which one is better? Keep reading to reveal the answer so you know which option to choose for your next trip!

DIY: You Plan The Trip Yourself

When you DIY your travels, you plan everything yourself. That means you are responsible for researching, organizing, and booking everything. This includes flights, accommodation, transport, activities, and excursions. 

You need to weigh up every option and choose the best one for you. But since you are likely not an expert in the place you are traveling to, you will be making some assumptions about the best options and taking some risks. 

Agent: They Plan the Trip for You

But in the battle between travel agent vs. do-it-yourself, a travel agent plans everything for you. You can spend your time on other things while they organize your vacation for you.

When choosing a travel agent, pick one that is an expert in the type of vacation you want. Because for someone to become a Disney travel agent, they must be passionate about Disney. Or if you are planning a six-month South America trip, the best travel agent is one that is an expert in that part of the world.

DIY: You Don’t Pay a Premium

With do-it-yourself travel, you only pay the hotels and airlines for their service. That means you’re not paying a “middle person” to do it for you which might add a premium on top of these existing travel costs.

You have to pay for flights at the time of booking but many hotels will let you pay when you arrive. 

Agent: They Have the Best Insider Deals

Travel agents may charge a commission for their services, but they often make up for this cost by finding the best travel deals. Travel agents have insider and industry connections that you won’t have. This allows them access to cheaper hotel rooms and excursions.

Also, many travel agents will price-match deals that you find online. Some will also allow you to pay only a deposit upfront. You can then pay for the rest of your trip in installments which makes it easier to budget for your vacation.

Travel Agent vs. Do-It-Yourself: What’s the Verdict?

If you love planning your travels and care more about saving money than expertise, you should DIY your trip. But most vacationers want the best experience for their limited paid time off and are willing to pay for it. So in the battle between travel agent vs. do-it-yourself, the travel agent wins.

Want to learn more travel tips so you can enjoy a better, cheaper vacation? Browse the travel articles on our website for more info!

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