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What are the Disadvantages of Booking with a Travel Agent? Solved!

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Traveling is one of the most exciting experiences in life. There's nothing like visiting a new place and soaking up all it offers. But, unfortunately, the cost of travel can sometimes be a deterrent. For many people, the best way to save money on travel is to book their trips through a travel agent.

When you're planning a trip, there are a lot of different factors to consider. Where will you stay? How will you get around? What sights do you want to see? It can be tough to figure it all out on your own, which is why many people book with a travel agent. Travel agents can be a great resource when planning a trip. They can help you find the best deals on flights, hotels, and activities and give you insider tips on what to see and do.


However, booking with a travel agent also has some potential downsides. This article will look at some potential disadvantages of booking with a travel agent.

1. You'll Likely Pay More

Travel agent giving flight tickets and documents to customer

The biggest disadvantage of booking with a travel agent is that you'll likely pay more for your vacation than if you booked it yourself. Travel agents typically add a service fee to the cost of your trip, which can range from $50 to $500, depending on the size and complexity of your trip. You might be able to find a cheaper flight or hotel room on your own, so it's always worth comparing prices before you book with a travel agent. This is especially true if you're booking a last-minute trip when travel agent fees can add up. However, there are many agents that manage to save customers money and pass on those saving to their customers depending on the trip.

2. You May Not Get the Exact Trip You Want

colleagues working together in the office.

Another downside of using a travel agent is that you may not get the trip you want. While travel agents can help book flights and hotels, they may not be able to book the specific flights or hotels that you're looking for. You may also have to compromise on your travel dates or itinerary. If you're particular about your travel plans, booking everything yourself is best. This varies between agents though, some agents will be flexible enough to get the exact trip you're looking for and won't stop searching until you're satisfied. In that case, their expertise and service are worth the price.

3. You May Have to Compromise on Your Itinerary

Departures information board

You may also have to compromise on your itinerary if you're working with a travel agent. For example, if you want to visit a specific attraction or take a tour, but the travel agent doesn't think it's worth the money, they may try to talk you out of it. This can be frustrating, especially if you're set on doing something specific. When you book your trip, you can make sure that you include everything you want to do.

4. You May Not Get the Best Deal

tourist using mobile application technology booking hotel online.

Travel agents typically have access to discounts and deals that the general public doesn't, but that doesn't mean you'll always get the best deal possible. In some cases, you may be able to find a better deal by booking your vacation yourself. When booking with a travel agent, compare prices and ask about any special deals or discounts before you book.

5. You May Not Save Any Time

Close up hourglass measuring time.

One of the main reasons people use travel agents is to save time, but in reality, you may not save any time at all. Booking your vacation can be quicker and easier than working with a travel agent, especially if you're familiar with the booking process and know what you're doing. In addition, many travel websites now offer tools and resources to help you plan your trip quickly and easily.

6. You May Have to Do Some Legwork Yourself

Woman using laptop to book travel reservation.

Even if you're using a travel agent, you may still have to do some legwork when booking your vacation. For example, you may need to research hotels and attractions on your own and then provide that information to the travel agent so they can book it for you. Sometimes, you may find it easier just to book everything yourself especially if you only need a hotel for a few nights.

7. You Might Not Get Personalized Service

Agency text on the glass window.

When you book with a travel agency, you might not get the same level of personalized service that you would if you booked directly with a hotel or airline. Travel agents typically work with multiple clients at once and may not be able to give your vacation the attention it deserves. You might be able to get better service by booking your vacation yourself directly or working with a smaller local travel agency.

8. You Might Have Trouble Changing Plans Later On

Travel agent , working at office

If something comes up and you need to change your plans, it might be challenging to do so if you've booked through a travel agency. Travel agents typically make all the arrangements for their clients, so if something needs to be changed, it can be complicated. You may have to pay a fee to change your plans, or you might not be able to change them. This is typically true of booking on your own as well, but you will want to be sure your agent is transparent with you on what happens in the event you need to change plans.

9. You Could End Up Dealing with an Inexperienced Agent

Busy day in travel agency.

When using a travel agency, there's always a risk of dealing with an inexperienced or unprofessional agent. This could lead to all sorts of problems, from getting bad advice about your trip to having your plans fall through. You can avoid this by researching and only working with reputable agencies.

10. You Could End Up Dealing with Problems on Your Own

Woman using mobile phone while packing her bags for travel.

If something goes wrong on your trips - such as your flight being delayed or your hotel room not being available - it can be very frustrating to get in touch with a travel agent who booked your trip. You'll often have to deal with the problem since the travel agent is not obligated to help you once you've already paid for your trip. However, it is standard practice for good travel agents to work through problems for you as they arise.

Travel agents are a dying breed. With the internet's rise, many people choose to book their vacations rather than use a travel agent. While there are still some benefits to using an agent, these disadvantages should be considered before deciding. In many cases, you may be better off booking your vacation yourself.

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