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UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

Boston...
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UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

Not a knock, just an inquiry. Here in the states, the internet has drastically decreased the use of travel agents. But it seems so very many European travelers (and UK in particular) seem to rely on these.

Is it a price difference? Is it just kind of a cultural standard?

Again, no offense intended. I'm just really curious when I read post after post about Thomas Cook, or "my travel agent" or "Booked a tour package".

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

From purely personal experience whenever we travel long haul a (and boy it is a long haul to Vegas) a package just always comes out much cheaper for us,when we only travel say 3 or 4 hours sometimes it has been cheaper to book the same as you,so the reasons mainly financial.

Over the last few years though with bombs going off,airlines going under and latterly ash clouds it does make me personally feel more secure to be with a tour operator as although they don't strictly have to get you out of the mess they usually do,so those are my reasons personally

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

Purely down to costs. Due to very high prices for flights it sometimes works out cheaper to book through an agent for both the flight and hotel.

Park Forest...
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3. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

I notice that a lot of UK travelers book far in advance. Even coming in domestically, a package is cheaper booking several months early. I don't even make the final decision to come more than 3-4 months out and coupled with players club deals, it's makes more sense to do it all ala carte.

England, United...
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4. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

Well, the use of travel agents here in the UK has decreased too I'm sure.

However, a lot of UK travellers to the USA don't necessarily visit just one area/city, but like to take the opportunity to see as much as they can whilst there.

For these types of holiday it is often more convenient to book a package that has been put together by an agent than try to do it all yourself directly. Im sure a lot of Americans must do the same sort of thing when coming to Europe?

Birmingham, United...
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5. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

I book with a travel agent far in advance so I can pay off the cost in instalments, as they don't need the full balance until about 8 weeks or so before departure.

That's mainly because I'm useless at saving!! Ahhh... The call of all those shops!!

I don't know if u can do this over t'internet?!

:-)

Fort Collins...
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6. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

I'd think a lot of Americans use travel agent when traveling to Europe, because they are going to a new country, and want to know the ins and outs of traveling abroad.

Same with Europeans to the USA, new country, unfamiliar settings, hence the travel agent.

Liverpool, United...
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7. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

I always book online through ebookers or expedia. Not only is it cheaper than getting it from a high street agent but you can often get cash back. I booked a trip to vegas for 10 nights in June. Staying at the Paris and its £1700 per couple but were getting £160 back!

4th time in Vegas. I cant wait!

Gilbert, Arizona
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8. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

I haven't been to Europe, but booking with a travel agent isn't something that I would even think about if I were planning a trip honestly. It's not that difficult to research the area you want to stay and look into transportation, places to stay, etc. It's not going to be a complete culture shock or anything. Maybe if the price was significantly cheaper I would consider it.

Bristol, United...
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9. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

It's simply down to cost. Before I booked my trip, I built a spreadsheet comparing flights and hotels through agents, online, expedia etc, and direct to hotels/airlines. Cheapest option was a package via agent. If you want to fly direct to Vegas, your options are very limited.

If I'm travelling in Europe then online is usually cheaper thanks to lowcost airlines but can only manage a 3 hour max trip on one of those. Would hate to long haul on Ryanair.

Caerphilly, United...
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10. Re: UK travelers, why the reliance on agencies?

We book up our USA ourselves using the internet because I love doing all the research, planning our route, chosing accommodation etc. However, a colleague of mine is also doing a US trip this year with his family, travelling through California, LV taking in San Diego, SD, Yosemite etc. and using a travel agent he's definitely paying less than we are, although I have questioned some of the hotels he's been booked into. Vegas, for example as this is the LV forum, he's staying at the Excalibur whereas we've booked the Mirage. So if you take that as an example and apply the slightly cheaper hotels he seems to be staying in, across the 18 days I'm sure that can make quite a difference when totalled up.

I like the control of making all my own choices, other people would rather same time and money and let someone else plan for them.

Edited: 24 March 2011, 14:39