Travel agent

Old Feb 13th, 2015, 04:47 AM
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Travel agent

I have put together a 4 week itinerary for traveling Italy; does anyone have a recommendation for a travel consultant to help me with reservations, transportation, etc...?
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 04:49 AM
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We tend to be DIYers. There's enough info here that you can easily DIY.
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 05:28 AM
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If you've already done all of the work why would yo want to pay a ravel agent to make the actual bookings (the easy part). If you do decide to do this make sure you understand up front how they charge - by the hour, by the individual reservation, or a flat fee. Also make sure they are experience in traveling in Italy (many local TAs haven;t really traveled much and can easily make very poor choices and miss key points).

(We have had posters come here for us to help them sort out messes that TAs have already booked/paid for them - and can;t be fixed - wasting a lot of time and money.)
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 06:30 AM
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Nytraveler, "why would yo want to pay a [ravel] agent?" Sometimes they are ravel agents and you have to unravel their mistakes. That is a funny typo Nytraveler, but apropos.
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 07:15 AM
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If you have thought through your needs and weighed pros and cons of using a travel consultant, it would be helpful to state if the agent need to be familiar with travelers coming from your country, wherever that is.

However, how did you reach the conclusion that you want a travel consultant? It is possible that the help you thought you might get with reservations and transportation may not exist or even match your expectations.

I have stopped using a travel agent for European travels long time ago when the travel planning landscape changed. The internet enabled comparing options and booking on my own. And the new commission structure needed to keep the agencies stay in business seemed to give preference for agents to recommend only commissionable bookings of hotels and transportation options which were never what I wanted.
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 07:29 AM
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This isn't a good forum for getting TA recommendations.
I fully understand why you might want a TA to handle the details of your travel. My suggestion is to interview several, the way you might interview a job applicant. See how familiar they are with the areas you want to visit. Do some research on the accommodations they recommend.

And, yes, given all that, it might be easier just to DIY, but you asked.

Funny TA story: I was at the Venice Airport and encountered a British couple who seemed frantic. They told me they hired a TA to book them into Venice, but learned when they got off the plane that the hotel was in **Vicenza**, a nice-enough city but certainly not Venice. I suggested they get a room near the airport for the night, charge it to the TA, and contact the TA to book them ASAP into a Venice hotel. So, for starters, you might want to check and see if the TA knows the difference between Vicenza and Venezia.

Many years ago we booked a Caribbean vaca with a TA. The trip went reasonably well, though we soon realized the TA was clueless about the hotel she booked us into. Nothing like what we requested. Three years later -- three years later! -- the TA sent me a letter informing me that she had under-billed us and that we owed her money. Yeah. Right.
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 07:42 AM
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I wouldn't use a consultant. I'm not sure that they'd be able to help me with the more complicated of my travels. I'm absolutely sure they couldn't help me with the itineraries I'm planning in eastern Europe.

For me, the best travel planner is me--along with a couple guidebooks to the region I will be visiting, the internet with information about trains, planes, buses, and hotels; TripAdvisor to get an idea of the hotel experiences of others, and not least of all, the advice of posters on this board.
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Old Feb 13th, 2015, 09:41 AM
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I gave up using TAs long ago - when one at a major agency kept insisting that the only flights to St Pet were to FL - when I was going to Russia via a stop in Stockholm. (Why would I go to Stockholm to get from NYC to FL?)
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