As someone who really likes to plan big trips, it’s only second nature for me to know all the websites to go to for good deals on flights. For trips in the US, I generally check Kayak, Southwest, and maybe some student discount sites, like Student Universe and STA. For international flights, I try to use Vayama, which tracks the prices for travel and let you know when to buy, but only outside the US. I’m a big believer in not looking for flight and hotel packages because you never end up getting a good deal. Except maybe to Vegas.
Anyway, a week ago, the Frugal Traveler had a great post which made me rethink my whole flight booking process. It was about travel agencies. That’s right, travel agencies, those seemingly antiquated businesses that tend to operate out of store fronts in an ethnic part of town. I’ve never used a travel agency myself, since by the time I was planning my own trips, the Internet was how you did everything. However, I would be willing to try it because, well, why not? The only problem is I am a long way from NYC, so I’d have to find some new agencies in Philly or DC… If I do use a travel agency in the future, I’ll be sure to report back.
Have you used a travel agency in the past 5-10 years? What has your experience been compared to online flight searches?