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tips on working with your travel agent

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I am a do it myself-er when it comes to travel, but thought it best to use a travel agent for the trip to Southern Africa in case we needed a contact person.

I suggested a few things that we would like to do and somewhere in the process of it they've added on extra nights in Cape Town and missed my request for quotes on Mala Mala (I checked to make sure it was available before I even asked).

How much do travel agents charge for their services - is it usually a % of costs on each part of the trip?

Should I just tell them the budget and what our priorities are and trust that they'll find the best value for money? I feel like I could do about 85% of this myself so I am struggling with how to get the most benefit out of the agent without feeling like it's a waste.

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