Travel Agents Make A Comeback

Travel agents rebound, Laura Begley and Hannah Storm CBS/The Early Show

Travel agencies booked 75 percent of travel until the mid 1990s, but 77 million people will purchase airline tickets online in 2007. Lately, though, travel agents are experiencing a resurgence as many people are discovering that they don't like booking their own travel.

"There was a perception with the Internet you could save time and money. We've come to realize it's not necessarily the case," Travel + Leisure magazine's deputy editor, Laura Begley, told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "The thing with the Internet is there's so much information, so much noise. It's hard to know where to go for knowledge. And you really might not be saving money you think you are saving. There are fees with some of the sites."

Travel agents are often being associated with fees. But sometimes, Begley said, it can be worth it. If you are booking a simple trip to Miami, for example, you might want to use the Internet. But the second things become more complicated, travel agents can really lend a hand.

"They provide knowledge," she said. "They can help set up complicated trips. They know about those insider deals. They've got the connections that can really help you as a traveler."

For example, if you want to rent a villa in Italy, a travel agent can help you find the best ones. They are also good with things like safaris through Africa or a more complex driving tour through the United States. Begley said that before settling on a travel agent, ask them if they have been where you want to go.

"What you really want to do is find an agent who specializes in the area you're looking at," Begley said. "There are agents that specialize (in) villa travel. You know, Travel + Leisure, we list the top agents by specialty. You can look at that on our Web site or ask around and see who your friends use."
  • Caitlin Johnson

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