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Feedback: The return of the travel agent?

Feedback: The return of the travel agent?

Jan 16th, 2013, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 171
It's a great topic. I recently read about "travel specialists" in Conde nest traveler , so I thought I would try one of them for my upcoming Mexico trip. I had already booked the hotel and air, so I thought they may be able to offer me some unique itineraries as they promised n their website, but when I spoke to few of them, none of them offered anything beyond cookie cutter stuff and when I said I want beyond that one specialist said she can't offer me her services and other says that's all she can do !! Now I am thinking I can plan our trip myself as I have done several times in many countries.

I am also talking to a travel specialist here in NYC to plan my India trip, but now I am thinking to go with a local agent based on your suggestions, especially since I am originally from there !

So, in short , no I would plan it myself. May be for big trips like Africa, I would go with a agency.

shubha_r is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,154
Part of the fun of a trip, for me, is the planning. I have traveled without using a TA in most of the countries I've visited over the last 12 years, including China and India, although I did have a TA book my train tickets and home stays in Russia and Mongolia. I recently used a TA for Sri Lanka, but I was "planning" that trip while traveling. I also sent a query to a TA before my last trip, to South America, but that resulted in my losing a week as they were so slow to reply, and I wound up booking everything myself.

In general I think US TAs are good for two markets: people booking cruises (from what I've read they are useful for special deals), and people booking very high end individual trips (think Virtuoso). I don't fall into either group.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 05:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 36
TAs are very good for India, but I do have a question/concern. Many of the local operators do not accept credit card and you have to do a wire transfer or something of the sort. Has anyone experience issues with this, especially with international wire transfers? I am planning a trip with Legends and Palaces and have read nothing but good things, but just want to make sure this is safe. Can anyone comment on this?
arthi9487 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,988
Many travel agents in India do require a wire transfer. Legends and Palaces is reputable, I wouldn't worry about it.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,892
Yes, it is safe if you are going with a reliable operator such as L&P. We have wired money for several international trips with no problems.
Craig is offline  
May 1st, 2013, 02:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,701
I've traveled a fair amount without any travel agents (including India, from Kanyakamuri to Ladakh), but I'm using a local TA for Armenia this year. It just seemed to be the most practical option, particularly as there's not quite the wealth of information on travel there that is available for some other places. In a lot of ways, it is easier to do "one-stop shopping" with this TA (Hyur Services) for everything from airport transfers to lodgings to daytrips to a Nagorno-Karabakh trip. I'll know more once I return in late July, of course, as to whether this was a good choice.
Amy is offline  
May 1st, 2013, 06:16 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,896
Seen this? It seems to say what I always think: use travel agents for cruises or posh trips. I don't do either and have never used a travel agent. When I'm feeling lazy/tired, I go for one of those Explore/GAP/Intrepid trips where it's all done for you and you only have to get yourself to the right place at the right time. Travel planning and reading is sometimes as good as the real thing, sometimes better

gertie3751 is offline  
May 1st, 2013, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,093
In March, Thomas Cook in the UK cut 2500 jobs and indicated it would close 200 agencies.

A return - where, and in what numbers?
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
May 1st, 2013, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,154
I used Hyur for a Nagorno-Karabakh trip, you should be fine with them, but I did the rest of Armenia on my own and had no problems. I didn't see Hyur as TA, but as a tour company, for the Nagorno-Karabakh trip.
thursdaysd is offline  
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