It’s so easy to book everything online in the new internet age that I think sometimes we as Gen-Y travelers totally forget that there were once people who used to book trips for others. Here’s an even crazier thought: they’re still around.
Knowing when is a good time to hand the reins over to someone else to find the right plane tickets and hostels can be a challenge. When we are surviving from paycheck to paycheck, forking over another fifty or sixty dollars to have a travel agent help us can be like cutting off an arm. However, it’s not always easy to know whether you are getting the best deals or if you have everything in place when you are taking a big trip, and getting a second opinion can really be helpful—we might end up saving more money in the long run.
I usually book things on my own, and since I’m still considered to be of “student” age, I can get some good deals without having to bother someone. However, my dad and I are headed to Iceland in a few weeks, and coordinating our already crazy flight patterns (a definite downside to student pricing) has turned out to be a little bit more than I wanted to take on as both a traveler and while working. I’ve contacted my travel agent and put him to work on finding a good way for us both to get there and back, and I think he will do a better job than I ever could.
Which kind of goes to show that the profession of a travel agent is not quite dead—even for twenty-something travelers. It also brings to mind how much more you have to take on when you are choosing to go with someone else rather than on your own. Sometimes, there is just too much going on for you to focus on—and having someone give you an idea of the best possible option and what can make your trip go easier and go more smoothly. I’m lucky to have a great travel agent for those moments when I feel like I’m in way over my head, but I understand how other Gen-Y travelers might not choose to hire someone to help them, as well.
What do you think? Do you have a travel agent you like to use or do you feel like you can get by without one?
Image courtesy of Michael Coghlan.