Here's an excerpt from the Forbes.com article by Larry Olmstead, Why you need a Travel Agent Part 1. Read the entire article HERE.
If you like to travel (who doesn’t?) here’s a great New Year’s Resolution for 2012 – find a good travel agent and start using them regularly. This is a resolution you will find easy to keep, because once you try it you will enjoy better – and often cheaper – trips than ever before.
Just a couple of years ago, headlines were about the demise of the travel agent, about to go the way of the Dodo and the dinosaur. Guess what? Travel agents are not only still here, they are experiencing a rebound – despite (or because of?) the myriad travel tools available online.
So why should you use a travel agent?
There are many, many good reasons, which I will explain. But the bottom line is that they know more than you do, they are better connected than you, they have access to benefits you can’t get otherwise, they can often beat any other prices available (even online, yes), and after you have planned everything, they provide a safety net during your trip that you simply won’t get by booking yourself or buying insurance. Having a top travel agent can also make you an instant VIP – free room upgrades, hard to get restaurant reservations, cutting lines, access to otherwise closed stores and exhibits, private guides, and cheaper – often much cheaper – premium airfares. Here’s the best part: even though most top agents charge fees, in almost every firsthand experience I or my friends, family, and acquaintances have had, travel agents have saved money, often a lot of money, thousands of dollars, and in every case, more than paid for themselves.