Nowadays there are so many internet services helping us to organize any kind of trips starting with finding flight tickets to a hotel booking. But travel agencies still can be useful in order to save our time and nerves. Let’s see some pros and cons when you travel with a tour operator and when you rely on online services.
If we talk only about air tickets, hotel accommodation or car rental, booking systems offer lower prices. This, perhaps, is their main advantage. But if we talk about a package or non-standard product, travel agencies look more beneficial comparing with booking systems.
Travel Agencies: +
+ Travel agencies offer attractive prices for popular destinations (Egypt, Italy, Greece …), where charters fly. Travel agencies book rooms in hotels in bulk, usually six months before the season, and the hotels give them significant discounts.
+ There is a chance to catch a last minute offer a few days before departure with a nice discount.
Travel Agencies: –
– Excursions around Europe, especially with difficult routes and crossings, and trips to exotic countries are not more expensive than if you organize everything yourself. There are no “wholesale” discounts, but travel agencies include their commissions.
It is beneficial to buy tickets for regular flights in advance (especially on hot dates like July – August and New Year).
+ You can find good deals on air sales and discount promotions, but you will have to spend time tracking them.
+ If you like to travel actively, every day moving to a new city – it is definitely cheaper to organize everything yourself.
– Internet booking is beneficial only for those who plan a vacation in advance.
In terms of saving energy and time, tour operators are the absolute leader. They will do for you almost all the “dirty work”: book tickets and hotel, organize a transfer and leisure. And, if necessary, will also help with the visa and other documents.
The greatest advantage of tour operators is service, personal consultations, and also constant information support. With internet in case of any issue you are on your own in a foreign country where, it is possible, no one knows English and without access to internet. Let’s analyze where it is more beneficial to use the services of travel agencies:
+ in case of flight cancellation you can call your tour operator and it will solve all the problems for you;
+ transfer from airport to hotel: if this service is included the tourists will be met, put on the bus, and taken to the hotel at any time of the day, even if the flight was delayed;
+ if a hotel is not exactly what you expected or was shown in pictures, or you want to get extra services you can count on a travel agencies in dealing with it or getting a refund or discount if you are not satisfied with a hotel
+ if you need a car you can rent it a few days before you arrive, so that you can be sure a car is available and will be waiting for you in an airport.
+ Confirmation of the reservation of a hotel comes immediately and personally to you via e-mail. You need to print out in case of problems with checking in (which, as a rule, do not happen).
The freedom of action
Planning and organizing the trip by yourself, you can feel like a pioneer: first to explore the routes and attractions, read reviews about hotels, monitor ticket prices. You choose what you want to see, and do not follow the beaten track.
Risks can be everywhere. There can always be an error (for example, money can be taken off a credit card, but the reservation has not been done), or something happens already during the vacation. In this regard, a traveler using the services of a tour operator is better protected. The agency will come to the rescue in case of problems with the police, medical centers, hotels, etc. It gives more guarantees and is more responsible than reservation systems.
In conclusion we can see that there is no an ideal way to plan your vacation. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages: some is cheaper, some is safer; you can become a pioneer, but with other option you do not worry and save time. Choose your optimal option and travel with pleasure!