How Do You Plan Trips?
Monday, March 9, 2015
Are you the sort of traveler who likes to work with a travel agent, or are you the type of traveler who likes to DIY your bookings? I've always been a DIY-er, but I have occasionally strayed when planning a particularly difficult trip. Unfortunately; however, I have not had great experiences when attempting to work with travel agents.
First Try: J and I were contemplating taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Russia to China last summer (instead we decided to spend our time solely in China). I knew this trip would take serious planning when it came to train tickets and visa regulations, so I decided to head to my local AAA. Thanks to my AAA membership, meeting with a travel agent was free. The travel agent I worked with had never heard of the Trans-Siberian Railway AND didn't know what continent Russia was on. What? Doesn't this job entail some kind of knowledge of geography? Clearly, no bookings were made.
Second Try: I am dead set on going to Greece (anywhere in Greece - I don't care) for April vacation. But, upon initial investigation into flights (all of the search engines!) most flights from Vilnius to Athens that were in our budget range had a travel time of approximately 24 hours (not sure why I can fly to the US or China faster?!). Because I'm desperate to go to Greece, I decided to contact a local travel agent regarding flights. I said that if possible we would like flights to either Athens or to an island, we didn't really care where as long as it is Greece. The travel agent in question responded that islands would be 'a bore and the weather in April isn't hot' and proceeded to suggest other locations (not in Greece). My jaw just dropped as I read this email. No bookings were made.
I've decided yet again to go the DIY route, because IamgoingtoGreeceinApril. Luckily, after searching for several hours on Saturday we were able to book flights - they were just more expensive than we would have liked to spend. But, YES to Greece!!!!!
I'm still willing to give working with travel agents a try - particularly for difficult to plan trips - I just need to find the right one!
Do you use a travel agent? Any suggestions for working with a travel agent? Have you had any bad experiences working with a travel agent?