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Direct or via travel agent

Sydney, Australia
2 posts
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Direct or via travel agent

Hi all,

I am going through the process of arranginga trip to Fiji, Mana Island Resort.

After doing a bit of research i have found our cheapest option is:

1) accommodation via travelonline.com as we are able to get the free day included

2) flights via qantas.com

3) transfer from airport to marina direct via airportshuttlefiji.com

4) boat transfers direct via south seas cruises

5) meal plan direct on arrival

6) insurance via internet (not yet priced)

Saving (online) = $560.76

saving (local travel agent) $835.22

Has anyone done similar? if so what was your experience like?

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
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4,048 posts
260 reviews
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1. Re: Direct or via travel agent

Hi aronfiji - we've mixed it up with a combo of some self-booked and some TA booked or online bookings. Travelonline were great about making sure our booking with them blended seamlessly with arrangements we had made ourselves (including flights & onward transfers to alternative accommodation that they couldn't book). Transfers with SSC should be the same whoever you book them through and TOL have well priced insurance through QBE but if you're booking your flights direct - get the insurance through Qantas and get points too :)

Melbourne, Australia
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64 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Direct or via travel agent

I have found zuji.com to be even cheaper. You can get the free nights through this site. And the airline flights are cheaper here than what the airline offers themselves.

Bellingen, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji, Mamanuca Islands, Navini Island
Level Contributor
8,974 posts
137 reviews
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3. Re: Direct or via travel agent

You are on the right track. Skyscanner is another good way to check the cheapest fares yourself. It is always a good idea to get a quote from travel agents as you have done and then get quotes direct. Pick the best from each. Depending where you are staying makes a big difference too as some of the larger resorts have trouble filling rooms and put up some great specials via the travel agents. If you book direct and think you could be going back again you will most often get returnee rates when you have booked direct with the resort. The commission that resorts pay to travel wholesalers is quite a bit so they are usually happy to pass on quite a bit to returnees who book direct with the resort. Always ask when you book direct if they have returnee rates. Sounds like you have done good research.

Brisbane, Australia
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3,113 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Direct or via travel agent

Have always booked thru an agent as they were able to give me the best prices. They also mached any price I could find online if it was cheaper than theirs.

Nola ;)

Bellingen, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji, Mamanuca Islands, Navini Island
Level Contributor
8,974 posts
137 reviews
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5. Re: Direct or via travel agent

You have been lucky Nola, only once have I got a better price and have never been able to have a price matched. Have had better luck going to a wholesaler direct but it anoys me when they say come back to me after you have found your best price and I see if I can match it, why can't they give you the best price up front. Can be advantageous booking with an agent for airfares especially if there are timetable changes and you have internal flights as well as international that are thrown out of sunc. they pay for any o/nite accommodation necessary as a result. Still find returnee rates better than advertised specials.

Brisbane, Australia
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3,113 posts
17 reviews
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6. Re: Direct or via travel agent

I think it helps if you have a really good agent that you use all the time, like I have. She know that I do my research on an destination I’m traveling to and have an idea of what the prices are. She always seems to get me a better price than I can find myself, but if I do find one, she always matches it. I like booking with an agent as they worry about all of your transfers etc, you just have to go in a pick up the paperwork. An example is for our trip in March the late transfer with SSC was cancelled. One phone call to my agent and she had arranged a water taxi instead…….didn’t have to worry about a thing.

I my instance the agents rates were much better than the returnees rates to Mana. Mana even told me to go to a travel agent as they could give better deals than the resort themselves………go figure!!

Nola ;)

Moreton Island...
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6,622 posts
67 reviews
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7. Re: Direct or via travel agent

ditto Barb, never use an agent either.

We contact accommodation direct and get the returnees rates, some less than half other prices I've seen.

Book airfares direct with airline - and are registered to receive airline's emails with all the low fares and specials

all the best with your bookings Aron

LTB

Sydney
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1,195 posts
41 reviews
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8. Re: Direct or via travel agent

I just saved $1500 (compared to a "special" advertised), by booking direct with Treasure Island and booking air fares on line.

I feel more confident of the plans if I book everything myself.

Julie.

Lennox Head...
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72 posts
32 reviews
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9. Re: Direct or via travel agent

I have recently booked for Mana Island and booked airfares direct with Qantas, booked accommodation using flight Centre as travelonline were unable to confirm straight away for availiability. Flight Centre was a few dollars cheaper than travelonline . For transfers I found that a taxi is the cheapest way of getting to the boat and that the backpackers speedboat is much cheaper than SSC - only FJD65 (AUD35)As for travel insurance i always use travel insurance direct - the exact same underwriters that many travel agents use but a lot less you can use a promo code for a discount of 10% (tidthanks)

Hope this helps I am going in June for a wedding

10. Re: Direct or via travel agent

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