Thursday, February 2, 2012

How much do you have to pay a travel agent?

I'm planning a trip to Europe this summer. One adult and two teens are going. We plan to go to Italy's major cities (Rome, Venice, etc.) and then up to Germany. Since none of us have ever been to Italy, I was considering getting help from a travel agency. How much do you have to pay to get the help and what travel agency would you recommend/why?How much do you have to pay a travel agent?Seriously, it's a waste of money ! Now a days everyone does it by themselves on-line. Just search and there are so many forums and web sites that have better tips and advice than any travel agent could give you. Remember travel agents want to make they won't get you the best deal !How much do you have to pay a travel agent?
Well you're lucky as Italy is predominantly the #1 international destination ex USA - therefore, even the little mom %26amp; pop travel agencies will have a good working knowledge of Italy. As others have said you could organise it all yourself but you'd need to have the ability and confidence to know what you're doing. If you're a little hesitant then absolutely consider using a travel professional. The small fee that you could pay will ensure that your trip goes smoothly.

What the fee is will vary - there is no one size fits all. Some airlines do still pay commission to travel agencies and have agreements in place with them, but that does not mean that the agency will pass that back to you, by way of not charging a fee. You'll have to shop around. But even if you do pay a fee, you could reap the benefits ten-fold by them gaining access to net fares that you would ordinarily not be able to do (ie the airline may give them a rate to Rome of $400, yet the regular published fare to the public is $600) - so you're automatically up!

Start looking on the web for Italy specialists - there are tons of them. Get some quotes and also look at Expedia - as they're an on-line tool and have lower over-heads they do tend to pass back any commission that they get. You can create your own package too - air,hotel etc...

Good luck with the trip :)How much do you have to pay a travel agent?Generally, travel agents do not charge, but get paid by the commissions they receive on the travel products they book for you.

There are exceptions however, and some of them may apply in your case.

Since you are looking for a high level of consultation, a travel agent my charge a so-called "plan-to-go" fee. It might be $100 or more. If you book with the travel agent, the fee is credited to the total amount. If you DON"T book, the travel agent keeps the fee.

This is to protect the travel agent from people who will ask fo information, waste tons of the travel agent's time, and then book online or elsewhere.

There are also travel agents who charge trip planning fees, usually on an hourly basis, in addition to whatever commissions they receive for bookings. These fees compensate the travel agent for knowledge about such things as good restaurants, best museums, touring tips, and so forth -- things that the agent cannot get any commission for.

These are strategies I teach my students.
If you have AAA they have travel agents that you can use for free. Just visit one of their offices. They even offer payment plans for trips. Check them out.How much do you have to pay a travel agent?You do not pay the travel agent.

Travel agents are via commissions from the places/services they set you up with (such as airlines, hotels etc...)How much do you have to pay a travel agent?
you don't have to pay them
you dont....they get paid by the airline or hotel you book with.How much do you have to pay a travel agent?
Contrary to what some other answers say, airlines stopped paying commissions to travel agents years ago. That's why agencies began charging service fees.

No one can recommend an agency to you because we don't know where you live. You aren't going to deal with an agency in Miami if you live in Fargo. And, it's not difficult to pick one. Find a local agency that belongs to ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents). Ask to speak to someone who knows Italy. Ask them about their experience traveling to Italy. If you're not satisfied that someone knows the place well enough, go to the next agency and interview them.

As long as the fee is reasonable, pay it. A good agent can be the difference between a great trip and a disaster. An agent will shop for airfares, recommend hotels, assist you with your passport, and answer your questions.

If you do it online, you are your own travel agent. That's fine if you are a knowledgeable traveler or are willing to put the time and work into researching your trip. It's not good if you're a rookie or unwilling to dig into the details. I formerly worked for a major travel website. Many people did fine booking themselves, but some made dumb mistakes that a travel agent would never make. I had calls from people who showed up at the airport for an international trip with no passport and were mystified that the airline turned them away.

If you need the assistance, I strongly suggest that you pay for it. Why risk screwing up your vacation just to get out of paying a minor service fee?

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