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?

10 comments:

  1. Congrats on getting to go to Greece! x

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    1. Thank you! I think it will be a relaxing trip :)

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  2. I am so glad you found a way to Greece - so excited for you! the travel agent was clearly no help... I think they can be good for some things, but I've never used one. I guess these days with so many resources online, it's easy to go the DIY route. x

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    1. You are right. There are so many blogs and search engines that for the most part DIY is easiest!

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  3. This totally made me laugh. I'm so sorry about your awful travel agent experiences and SO HAPPY YOU ARE GOING TO GREECE!!


    Congratulations! And which sites do you usually use to look for flights. I have a few good ones I use maybe we could exchange info!!

    Angie from reasons to dress find the giveaway and this week’s linkup here

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    1. I'm glad I gave you a good laugh! At least we found tickets! I usually look at Skyscanner and the airline websites that I know fly from Vilnius (not that many). I use others for searching for flights to the US, but they aren't as good for flights in Europe. What do you use?

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  4. Exciting times about Greece- where are you off to? We are DIY-ers too... though it can be hard work doing all the research so the boyfriend and I take turns to short list the flights or accommodation etc!

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    1. We are going to Athens, but we are staying at an AirBnB about a 30 min subway ride outside of Athens on the water. So we get the best of both worlds - city and beach :)

      I agree, searching flights and accommodations takes a long time. We normally go through everything together - but I'm not great at finding accommodations, so often that is J's job.

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  5. we do a mix of both depending on where we hope to travel to or how much time we have to plan. our last greece trip we just hired an agent bc none of us had time to put in for planning. but if my preference is that we DIY.

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    1. Exactly! I've been completely stalking all of your Greece posts and am thinking of printing the Acropolis Map one to take with us on the trip. They are all so good!

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