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Do I need a travel agent?

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Do I need a travel agent?

Postby Michele Cull » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:24 am

Mom and I want to take a trip to Ireland/Scotland/England/Wales this year. I am pretty handy with traveling and booking thing here in the states but have never been overseas. We would hit some of the more tourist-y areas but would focus on genealogy research and visiting the places that my ancestors came from. Is this something we can generally plan on our own or do we really need a travel agent? We are not looking to live high on the hog while we are gone (at least not every day) but want to see and do everything we can.
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Re: Do I need a travel agent?

Postby BevP » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:05 pm

Not sure about the travel agent or not just know my in laws took 2 trips to Scotland in the past 8 years or so the first was with one of the arranged groups that met them at the airport had everything planned, the second they planned themselves , rented a car and stayed at small bed and breakfast type places....second trip was much much better for them, both financially and they got to see and do so much more of what they wanted to do.
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Re: Do I need a travel agent?

Postby Michele Cull » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:05 pm

I was thinking just that, Bev. We may do a smaller group tour but both of us are adventurous and I don't think Gr-gr-gr-gr grandpa Hans Peebles little plot of land would show up on a tour...


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Re: Do I need a travel agent?

Postby BevP » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:28 pm

Michele Cull wrote:I was thinking just that, Bev. We may do a smaller group tour but both of us are adventurous and I don't think Gr-gr-gr-gr grandpa Hans Peebles little plot of land would show up on a tour...


MIssChele

I just keep thinking of my Brother in Law the first trip All his life he could not wait to see Loch Ness..The bus trip went to see Loch Ness everybody got off the bus, 15 minutes later it was ok everybody back on the bus and off to the next place. Needless to say he was not a happy camper.
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Re: Do I need a travel agent?

Postby Gayle DeM » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:26 am

I'm not certain that the orignal question has been addressed. I travel a fair amount and I haven't used a travel agent for some time. However, over the week-end I googled the question and found serveral interesting replies.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2012/01/20/why-you-need-a-travel-agent-part-1/

http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/none/why-you-still-need-a-travel-agent

http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/Five-times-that-need.html?id=13233

http://savvytraveler.publicradio.org/show/marketplace/1998/travel-agent.html

Some interesting food for thought!
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Re: Do I need a travel agent?

Postby Deb Hall » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:56 am

Michele,
I've traveled extensively overseas and I never use a travel agent, but it can also be a comfort. If you are fairly independent and willing to spend the time looking for what you want, comparing reviews, understanding rules ( like you need an international drivers license, are visas necessary, etc)- in my opinion, you don't need a travel agent- particularly in an English-speaking country. For me, the planning is part of the fun, but it is alot of work.

If you do it independently though, I do highly recommend booking at least one small group or private guided tour. Most things can be toured independently, but you'll never get the level of insight/ understanding of what you are seeing in a guide book. Meeting the people there and understanding their views is also a huge part of the experience; they can also get you into the great local place you would have totally missed on your own. These tours can be pricey, but after years of doing everything self-guided with lots of guide books, these are now a mandatory part of any of our trips ( in fact I'm booking a private food tour of Parma & Modena this week as part of our Italy trip in May :D )

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Re: Do I need a travel agent?

Postby Rick Boman » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:50 pm

Gayle DeM wrote:I'm not certain that the orignal question has been addressed. I travel a fair amount and I haven't used a travel agent for some time. However, over the week-end I googled the question and found serveral interesting replies.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2012/01/20/why-you-need-a-travel-agent-part-1/

http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/none/why-you-still-need-a-travel-agent

http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/Five-times-that-need.html?id=13233

http://savvytraveler.publicradio.org/show/marketplace/1998/travel-agent.html

Some interesting food for thought!


Interesting Links, I remember booking my honeymoon to Cancun through a local travel agency. Travel websites barely existed then and we booked an all-inclusive trip for around $800 a person(1997). I could have probably gotten this package at the same price on my own, but they offered payment plans, educated me about the whole customs process, helped us pick an out-of-the-way beachfront hotel off the main strip that was wonderful. We even got a free room upgrade. She helped us book the correct excursion tours. This service you couldn't put a price on. The best thing is that we paid the agent nothing, it was all commision based.

We had a perfect trip, except for the all-day snorkeling excursion, I didn't know Spanish that well and bought non-waterproof sunblock. We got 3rd degree sunburns. That was totally our own fault.
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