You have just had the “yep I’m getting out of here” moment where you know you need to get away from it all and travel. Soon after, you reach the next stage which is usually the “how to choose where to go” stage. But to make matters worse, after deciding where to go, you need to start taking action and actually book it.
Yes of course you could head down to your local travel agent, or even your online travel agent and slap your money on the table, tell them where you want to go and what it is you want to see and do and ‘Hey Presto’ it will all be arranged for you.
That would be all just too easy,
But is it the right thing to do?
Not unless you want to overspend and be told where to go and when. Sure booking through a travel agent can have some advantages but I want to outline to you why you are better off without them.
For starters booking yourself is a lot cheaper than what you would pay at a travel agent. And why is this? You may ask.
Well it’s quite simple really. You are paying them for a service, which means when they book your travel for you they take that into account so they can be paid, generally through commissions.
Also, what a lot of people don’t realize is that purchasing flights off the internet can be outrageously cheap and often you can find flights just as cheap as, if not cheaper than what a travel agent can get them for you. This is especially true if you are looking in the right places.
This goes hand in hand with accommodation too. It can be incredibly cheaper to book online, not only can you score miraculous deals for rooms but usually the price you find will out beat the travel agents anyways.
However one of the best things about booking online is that you can choose your location of where you want to stay, as sometimes, if you were to book through a travel agent they may only suggest the hotels or suites where they earn commissions from selling them to you.
One great trick as a lot of my readers probably know by now, that what I do is usually find one or two great places I may wish to stay at, where ever it is I am travelling to and just not book. Unless of coarse it is in a city like New York, London, Berlin or Paris as in the bigger cities like these you often need to book rooms in advance.
But in other places, I would just locate them and arrive at my first option where more than often there are rooms and in just about every case of mine, I have paid a cheaper price for the room and I have saved on booking fees. If you are willing to wing it (which is the most fun), it is worth giving this a go as it can save you a lot of money if you are a frequent traveller.
Oh and if the place is booked, sometimes (usually) they will try and find room for you (who’s going to turn down a paying customer if they can avoid it right) or you could just go to the next place on your list. Better yet, get them to call to make sure there is room as I am sure they would want to help as they can’t accommodate.
Now when it comes to booking tours, I would never! And I mean never book through a travel agent, as you almost certainly have no idea what you are going to get. When you arrive at a place, the best thing to do is first suss it out, talk to the locals (and other travellers there), as they will be able to help and point you in the right direction to a trustworthy/recommendable tour. A great point to remember is, listen to the locals and the occasionally the seasoned travellers because they are the experts.
So, whether you have traveled or not and are about to set off. Get online, research your flights, check out your accommodation options and then, the rest you can do once you arrive and once you have a better understanding of the place. If you are to do this, it’s a sure way to save your money and also help you enjoy your travels a lot much more.
If you are stuck on where to look for flights and accommodation, I can point you in the right direction after my years of experience hunting deals online. Just go to my resources page where you can find some of the cheapest places to book.