Experienced travellers often prefer to make their own travel arrangements, without the assistance of a travel agent. However, a travel agent can provide a lot of information and experience to make any holiday a truly unforgettable experience. They can find the most convenient flights, at a price that suits the traveller and can help with all the little arrangements that must be made ahead of the trip, to make sure everything goes according to plan.
Some of the other services that a travel agent might offer include booking accommodation and transportation, booking tours and day trips, advising on and arranging visas and travel insurance, and creating an itinerary to suit the taste and budget of the individual traveller.
Some travel agents specialises in certain types of travel or specific destinations. These travel agents are usually experts on aspects such as weather conditions and the best time to travel, local customs and laws, and of course activities and must-see sights.
A good travel agent is worth his weight in gold when one considers the minefield of required documentation, especially in the case of international travel. Passports, visas and certificates of vaccination are often necessary documents that could easily be arranged by a travel agent. In addition, they can provide information on customs regulations and currency exchange rates. If an emergency or circumstance necessitates a change in travel plans, a good travel agent will be able to make alternate booking arrangements.
Probably the biggest threat to the travel agent industry is the Internet. Many airlines and travel companies sell directly to travellers via the Internet. Some agencies counter this by developing their own websites with information and online booking capabilities.
However, no Internet website can offer the personal touch and specialist service that many travel agents offer.