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According to a recent Forrester Research study referred to in today's Philadelphia Inquirer, there are some vacations that should not be booked online but rather through a reliable travel agent. Among them:
1. Trips around-the-world involving complex ticketing.
2. Planning international trips to places less frequently travelled...not accustomed to Western tourists...and where you are unfamiliar with the local language (and can't decipher it...e.g. pictorial or unfamiliar alphabet)
3. Special events that require meticulous pre-planning (destination weddings, some honeymoons, large reunions, etc.)
4. Cruises...primarily because cruise lines give travel agencies access to special deals you will be less likely to get by booking with them directly.
Does anyone have any experiences (positive or negative) regarding the usefulness of arranging trips through a travel agent?
My husband and I live in Manila. Once a year, during Christmastime, we travel to an Asian city where we usually stay for about 10 days. So far, we have visited Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, northern and southern India, and just last year, we were in Sri Lanka. All these trips were arranged for us by a travel agent, whom we found through a search on the Internet. However, their services only covered internal travel. I had to arrange our airline tickets to get to the city where the travel agent would pick us up at the airport. So far, we have been lucky. No hitches except for a few minor inconveniences. Of course, I would check out the travel agents by asking for names and emails of their former clients, which they gave freely.