Let’s face it we all like holidays but the degree of financial commitment or spend when we plan these holidays is often a considerable chunk of our budget. Challenging your concept of holiday planning today I am going to argue for and against using a Holiday travel agent and let you in a big secret (or not so big) secret about the positives when you book your own trip.
With countless countries and cities around the world trying to boost their tourism, it is no wonder that people are more encourage to travel. When you watch TV, go online or have a walk around the block, you will most probably come across a slogan or an ad campaign about vacation packages. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reported a record of 1,087 million arrivals which is a 5% growth of tourists last year. This year they are forecasting a 4-4.5% growth. The numbers alone can show how much traveling people do and when you have a business, then this is one big market to focus on.
You remember your Holiday Travel Agent is a business right?
The different packages that travel agents offer can look real tempting when you have plans to take a tour or a vacation. Most of these packages include not just your ticket but also accommodations, shuttle services and even restaurant reservations or private guides. All you have to do is book with them and they will take care of most of your travel needs and itinerary. The one thing to remember here is that since they are a business they exist to make a profit for their company / employers. Keeping this in mind the convenience of a “all in one solution” means you can expect to potentially pay more than booking yourself.
Of course you can argue that the price you pay for the travel agent’s fees will be absorbed by them being able to offer discounts or package prices let alone saving you the time you might spend organizing all of the same stuff they offer easily. It is their job after all. But if you just happen to pick a random travel agent at your local shopping center the chances are their profit margin is going to be bigger than someone else you know better or regularly use. Make sense right?
The Internet makes you very powerful with traveling plans
One of the main reasons why you should do the planning is that because it empowers you to go where you want and not limit you with a travel agent’s itinerary and services. Your Holiday travel agent is often going to recommend locations and hotels that they receive the highest margin/commission for. When your in charge you can choose to stay where you want and explore options you might not normally hear about.
You might think shopping around can be difficult especially if you seldom travel and much more so if you go to a place you’ve never been before. With the copious amount of travel review sites around its never hard to get an opinion on a place only hard to make up your mind which one to try!
Start by doing a research on the places you want to visit particularly with a rough area or city. Read on what are the most recommended things to do, upcoming local events and highlights and best time to visit that location. Try to check several websites and not just stick to one. You can find a lot of online reviews that will give you a picture of what to expect and whether it is something you want to be in your itinerary.
Booking flights on the internet has never been easier and sometimes if you are lucky you get to take advantage of discounts or cheaper fare package or that potential upgrade to business class. Not only will you save but you have more control when it comes to expenses and managing your time and your not on the spot having to make a decision. All the power here is yours!
Definitely book your own trip
Planning is what makes your vacation more fun especially when it allows choices you might not normally have from a Holiday Travel Agent. I cant count the number of times I have booked a holiday through an agent and once arriving on holiday wished I had made the plans and picked a completely different hotel to stay in. Often with half the price and twice the facilities! My next holiday all I have used is the Agent to organise very good airline tickets (I walked in knowing what I could book) and I am playing everything else by ear. Booking as we go and moving around.
A True holiday adventure!
Know someone planning a holiday or even planning one yourself? Think you should share our tips with friends or family before their next holiday?. Sharing is caring and our bar to the side is just for that.
***Photos thanks to Wikipedia and Cory Grenier of Flickr***