Online booking versus local travel agent - which is the ultimate way to organize your next trip?

Online booking versus local travel agent - which is the ultimate way to organize your next trip?

Your desired vacation has finally arrived and you can’t longer wait to have a drink at the beach of Nice or explore the wonderful Macchu Pichu? However, the question remains how to book your trip. You have to decide what you can do to solve all the details. You need to make the decision between online booking or going to your local travel.

Back in the days, the only option to make a travel reservation was going to the agency next door or walking a few blocks to get one. In the worst case, going from a city to another. Thanks to the internet, long lines to make a reservation, to pay a ticket, or to consult a rate, are over. Technology made it possible for travelers to make their booking without even leaving their home. This article is questions which way is the best for each individual traveler.

Travel agency next door vs. virtual travel agency

Booking Option #1: The perks of the travel agency next door

Personal treatment

Receiving your personal consultant is one of the main advantages of going to a real agency. Here, experienced travel agents the listen to the ideas, preferences and doubts of customers regarding specific destinations. They can guide you and make all the clarifications that are necessary. In the end, it all comes down to whether you will have the time for it.


Travel agents dedicated to designing trips are experienced and qualified to indicate the best way to reach the destination, the best hotels and places to visit, among others. Meeting the customer will give a clear idea to the travel agent of what the customer wants. Human interaction is still nice and useful.

To be able to pay directly

Although e-commerce has experienced a breakthrough at the present time, there are still many people who are reluctant to give out their personal data and pay via the Internet. In a travel agency, the mode of payment seems safer.

Have extra services

A travel agency is not only limited to the sale of flights and hotels, but also provides a number of services and activities that exist around your travel experience. Without the help of experts, most attractions would not be known and would never existed in the first place. A typical example are niche excursions to specific places which are aimed at adventurous travelers.

Have a contact to communicate with if there are problems

Customers of traditional travel agencies usually get the agent's business card. It is very reassuring to know that, when there is any issue, you can call your person of trust (and not an answering machine that refers to another answering machine) that indicates the way to go and how to act at all times. In this way you can feel attended and cared.


Booking Option #2: The convenience of the online travel agency

Accessibility and immediacy

Whenever you have a computer and Internet connection available, you can book your trip. The convenience, in this case is complete, since you do not have to be aware of the agency's schedule and everything can be done from your sofa at home without moving anywhere to confirm reservations.

Lower prices

In the internet you can usually get cheaper prices. Online agencies have lower operating costs and in addition, numerous suppliers offer benefits to buy online. Besides there are comparison websites that allow you to compare prices of different websites without moving from one agency to another. So you can determine which is the most appropriate for you, based on time of departure and arrival, and cost while at your traditional agency it will take a lot of time to consult the different prices one by one. If you are a pragmatic person who hates to wait, this is for you.


Offers can be obtained 24/7

Online prices are updated constantly and the customer can inquire about offers and promotions that are made seconds ago. In consequence, you can end up in an unexpected trip to a destination that always believed to be not affordable.

Information based on users' experiences

If you need additional information, you can always can go to forums and chats where you will find answers to almost all yours doubts. However, online companies made huge advancements in recent years. They have technologies to automatically show recommendations based on your previous search results, which will make it easier for you to make a buying decision.

So… what can you do?

Each of the booking options has its advantages when making a reservation. But the strength of one is the weakness of the other.

When times come to plan a trip or your vacation, you have two options:  travel agency services or make a personalized plan managed only by you. Choosing any of these options will always go hand in hand with your budget and needs. It is as simple as determining that a person who has little time to devote to a travel plan will need the support of travel agencies planning the trip either for pleasure or business. However, there are also other types of travelers who plan their trip well before the date of their holiday which may actually favor an online booking site to hiring an agency.

What a difference?

Nevertheless, here are several factors that become advantages and disadvantages when opting for this service. It depends on the time you have and the type of trip. There are trips that need the guidance or planning of experts such as group tours, business trips, etc. It is very important the management of the logistics, the lodging, the sites to visit among others. Like there are trips that do not need great planning, just connect to the network and buy a ticket. Not in all cases, but it is still worth booking your trip at the travel agency next door.

*Unlimited internet with Daily Fair Usage Policy applies. Europe & USA: 1GB in 4G/LTE - Mexico : 2GB - South East Asia, Japan & China: Unlimited 4G/LTE - Rest of the world: 500MB in 4G /LTE. Throttled speed of up to 512kbps afterwards.