A recent article in the L.A. Times, written by Catharine Hemm, suggests that the, "Lemony Snicket series of unfortunate events [Costa Concordia, Japan's horrific earthquake and tsunami, and many U.S. weather disasters] has caused havoc and worse for travelers," are the reasons why people should rethink online booking and choose a travel agent instead. These latest disasters are unfortunate whether they were natural or not, and whether they were booked online or not. One thing is true, you should be looking for a travel agent, but you can do that on an online booking site.
The question is should you book your vacation online by yourself or the travel agent you can talk to?
Do it yourself--Some people gain a certain satisfaction when they accomplish things on their own. Especially when coming back from your vacation, and it was a success because you made it so.
Anytime and anywhere--Travel agents have bedtimes too. Most travel agents go home at 4 or 5 p.m. which limits your time to being able to walk in after work or between taking care of your family and home. Our days can be very full, and finding the time to walk into a travel agency can be tricky.
This same article suggests that a travel agent is by far the only way to book a vacation such as a cruise or tour in light of the travel disasters we are recovering from. What this article fails to mention, is that online booking has travel agents you can speak with over the phone. Here is what a travel agent can do:
Knowledge of the industry--Travel agents are very good at their job as they know the ins and outs, best time to travel, best tours to take which could end up saving you more money than if you did it yourself. They may even save you more money than if you booked your vacation yourself.
Too busy--Family and work can take so much of our time, that even some coffee with some friends can be too much to do.
Simplicity--A travel agency will listen to what you had in mind for your vacation or even recommend one based on some things you either like to do or have some interest in. Leave the details to the travel agent.
Emergencies--You can't keep an emergency from happening whether you book your vacation online yourself or a travel agent helps. The difference is, if you use a travel agent online or in an office, they are your outside link in case something happens like a medical emergency or a disaster.
So, whether you use a travel agent on one of the many online booking sites like www.air-savings.com or one you can walk into, a travel agent is the best choice.