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Travel Agent Vs DIY

Brisbane, Australia
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347 posts
8 reviews
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Travel Agent Vs DIY

Hi again,

Last year my famiy and I were lucky wnough to win a holiday and all details were taken care of via Flight Centre.

Now, we are planning a trip to Fiji and have a quote form Flight Centre. Lately we have noticed there are a lot of "specials" advertised in the paper.

So, we are wondering on how to go about booking this holiday.

Do you book through and agent or go DIY?

Thankyou

Kel

Melbourne
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51 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

Hi, I would always book through a TA but I know alot on the forums do it themselves. I like knowing that I have someone taking care of things if any issues. I would recomend you shop around for a TA as they all use different wholesalers. Try some of the independant TA's as they have more flexibilty in who they use. If you take the special in to them they will be able to cost it up for you and I have never had one not be able to offer the same. Once you find a TA you like you find yourself just going straight to them each time you travel. We leave in just over two weeks and our TA was able to get us a better price than if I had booked it on the internet and she does all the work, I just have to turn up. In saying this I did my own research on what I wanted, as like any one on the forums if you know what to expect it makes for a better holiday.

Enjoy your trip, is this your first time to FIJI? where are you thinking of staying?

Regards

NB

Melbourne
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194 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

Hey there.

Last year was our first trip to Fiji, and we booked through FlightCentre, without price checking. Great service, very efficient.

However...

This year, after learning so much here on TA, I got prices on expedia, travelnow, and Virgin Blue and gave FlightCentre a call. They had no problem price matching, and beat both the flight and accomodation prices I had. Our saving? $2500 approx for family of 2adults 3teens, even with an extra 2 nights. Staying at the same hotels, same rooms Westin 1 night & Mana 7 nights. That was a real lesson learned!!!

I still prefer to book through the travel agent, as I have that backup, and I booked boat transfers and bought travel insurance with them. Very happy with their service, and definitely happy with the better pricing.

Safe travels,

Cindy

Brisbane, Australia
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347 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

Thanks for the replies :)

Hubby was lucky enough to win a $20,000 Flight Centre Voucher and we used that to go to the USA to visit my Mum :)

We had a stopover in Fiji for 1 night on the way there and 2 nights on the way home.

So technically this will be our 3rd trip :D :D :D But feels like our first because we are having a proper holiday there this time - 8 nights.

I was thinking a Travel Agent would be the best way to go incase of any issues but have been told by friends that it's easy to DIY. I'm definately more of a let someone else organise kinda person :D :D :D

We had a lovely Flight Centre Travel Agent when we booked hte BIG holiday and we automattically went back to her for our Fiji quote. I'll definately be doing a bit of a shop around though to see the differences and then be taking the info back to Jackie :)

We will be staying at the Shangri-La Fijian. It's where we stayed last time and we fell in love with the place and the people when we were there for just a short time I can't wait to go back to see more.

Kel

sydney
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426 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

We were aiming to do the same; had a great online price and went to Flight Centre. Terrible service, left me hanging for a week & made up all sorts of excuses & lies, but perservered, and they beat the quote by....$1 !!! Turned up on the next weekend to an agreed time to go through with the deal, but he wasn't there, had no paperwork done and no one knew anything about it. . Then they had extra "conditions" that weren't exceptable and we had to pay the full price on the spot. 3 strikes and your out.

Ended up going on line with no problems (so far) and good followup communications, and only had to put a deposit down.

We were going with a TA for security, service & convenience, but ended up with a great run around. Maybe we were unlucky, but would be reluctant to go through all that again.

melbourne
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10 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

Hi

I recently just retired after being a travel agent for 8 yrs and after trying to book my trip with the family to Fiji , I realised that I am my own worst client....lol

I did check costing online for airfares and accommodation so that when I went to get a quote from a TA, i knew what kind of price to expect.

I would recommend booking through a TA if the costing you get online is roughly around the same that the TA is offering, or if the TA costing is even cheaper than what you are getting online. BUT make sure that you are comparing the same thing!!!

It is ideal to book with a TA because if you have an exceptionally helpful TA, they will take the worry and stress out of your trip for you. Although some TAs do charge a service fee, there are still some out there who don't charge a service fee, so bascially they are offering you a service for free.

If you can get a printed quote online, most TA's are more than happy to match it or beat it if possible.

You will find however that most TAs all go through the same wholesalers so usually the costing will be the same, unless they can get exclusive cheap airfare costing. Still doesn't hurt to shop around :) So all in all, a good reliable and honest Travel agent is the way to go!!!

Brisbane
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189 posts
46 reviews
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6. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

DIY is fine if you are prepared to do some homework. Trip Advisor is great for ideas and reviews but remember to take everyone's opinion, good and bad, with a grain of salt.

I did my first couple of overseas holidays via a travel agent and they were great. Once I had my confidence with the whole prospect of travelling overseas, mostly solo, I've planned my last 3 trips by myself with no problems. I would like to think that was because I took the time to research and compare before locking in anything.

DIY will give you access to some resorts that will not actually sell through travel agents. Also I've read some bad reviews on this forum about people being left hanging by their travel agents. A travel agent may be able to get you there but it still doesn't stop the resort from losing your reservation.

And it's only my opinion but if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel.

Port Macquarie
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261 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

It depends on which resort you intend on staying at. We have organised holidays using both DIY & TA, it pays to get a several quotes from TA's as quite often they can get "extras" on top which you can't get online, & they tend to cover the incidentals which you might not think of.

It doesn't hurt to check & maybe book your own air fares your self as a TA will charge you for this service & it can save you money if the airlines are offering deals.

The DIY trip we did was also no hassle & no TA could match the on line price we got, which was direct from the resort. (Rydges)

Remember the deals you see in the paper are for the lowest form of accommodation on offer at the resort & quite often you can upgrade to a better room for not much more when you use a TA & also their prices are usually per person, where a TA usually gives a price per room.

Thats my experience anyway

Brisbane, Australia
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3,113 posts
17 reviews
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8. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

I do exactly what jassycin as said.

Alway check on line first to see what specials are around, then take it to my TA (FlightCentre). She is always happy to price match. She said as long as it is a ".com.au" site, they are happy to price match. Only thing is that they require payment up front for price matching, same as if you purchased on line. For my upcoming trip in March, I found a cheaper price for flights through Air Pacific. She beat the price by $1 then gave me a $20 voucher to use on our next trip.

I have always booked through a travel agent and always will. Like to know that I have someone to support me if things go wrong. Also they book all the transfers etc so you don't have to worry about it.

Beerwalk :)

(13 days to go!!)

Edited: 07 March 2010, 22:30
sydney
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426 posts
7 reviews
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9. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

I've booked online through Travelonline and they only wanted a deposit, not the full amount, so I found it a bit rich for Flight Centre to want the full payment 7 months before the trip. So obviously not all on line TAs are the same?

Sydney
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1,389 posts
27 reviews
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10. Re: Travel Agent Vs DIY

We always book online- airfares, hotel, ferry transfers and insurance. Try travelnow.com or expedia