The Benefits of Using an Online Travel Agency

Most people who go on vacation like to book trips through a travel agent in order to take some of the stress out of the planning process. Travel agents can also help you save money on flight, hotel rooms, cruises, and more; but what about online travel agencies? While people worry that Internet travel agencies could scam you or provide low-quality service, there are actually a number of benefits to choosing an online travel agency, providing that you pick the right one.

First and foremost, with an online travel agency, you can work with the place that has the lowest prices without geography limits. In other words, you have more options! When you opt to choose a travel agency in an offline setting, you are limited to the handful of companies that operate in your neighborhood, or at least within a reasonable distance. People who live in major cities might especially be affected by the high prices of brick and mortar travel agencies. Online, there are not proximity limits. The travel agency with which you work might actually have headquarters thousands of miles away, but if they have the lowest prices, you can still work with them over the Internet.The increased number of choices does not just help you save money. It also means that you have limitless possibilities when it comes to travel. The travel agencies in your areas probably can book dozens or even hundreds of different trips, but there will be limitations. Even if an offline travel agent can plan a vacation to an obscure destination for you, it is not likely that he or she will be an expert in travel to this location. Online, you can find a family or an individual who has been there and will plan an amazing vacation for you. There are few places in the world where you can’t travel if you work with an online travel agency.

Another great aspect of working with an online travel agency is that you can shop for your vacation package any time of the day or night. Brick and mortar business usually close soon after the end of the regular business day, and many are not open for long hours on the weekend. The Internet is open 24 hours a day. While you may not always be able to call a customer service representative, especially if you like to do vacation planning at three in the morning, you can always check out packages offer on travel websites. This is especially handy for parents who need to plan after the kids are in bed, people who work odd hours, and those living in rural locations where the nearest travel agency office is a fairly far drive.

One of the often-overlooked benefits of an online travel agency is the control you have to make your own choices without outside influences or pressure. When you visit an office, many travel agents have the same tone as used car salesmen. You have to remember that these people are often working under some kind of commission program. Instead of making an hourly wage, they earn a percentage of your total vacation price, and even if they do have a salaried job, they may get incentives from travel companies (hotels, cruise lines, etc) for selling amount every month. Many travel agents get to go on free trips for every ten or twenty vacation packages they sell. So, you might feel pressured to book a trip when you are not done exploring your options or upgrade certain aspects, even though you do not have the money. Online travel agencies typically take a more hands-off approach. That does not mean that they won’t help you, of course. Most are more than willing to answer questions via email or over the phone. However, when it comes to working with an online travel agency, you do not have someone looming over your shoulder, trying to make a sale as you check out your vacation options.Also, when you work with an online travel agency, you usually have more payment choices. Today, some offline travel agencies offer payment plans, credit card payments, and so forth, but this is not always the case. When you work online to plan you vacation, however, you can always find a type payment that will work for you. Some even have payment programs that allow you to earn points for every dollar you spend, which can go towards gift certificates or future trips.

Be aware that there are still scammers posing as online travel agencies and other travel sites, and you always need to read the fine print of any website where you make a purchase. However, online travel agencies are often a less expensive, easier, and more convenient way to book a vacation.

Book Flights Online – How to Find a Reputable Online Travel Agency

Tips for Online Flight Bookings

Below are some tips you can use next time you’re looking for an online travel agency to book flights online.

Social Media channels like Facebook and Twitter have been game changing in the way online businesses conduct themselves and deal with their clients and prospects. Take advantage of this by checking if the online travel agency you’re interested in has a social media profile. Keep a lookout for how active they are in their social media – do they respond to their fans and followers, when did they last post and how many fans/followers do they have? In addition to social media, many online businesses will have a blog where they can ‘open up the floor’ to their followers and encourage industry related discussion. Check if the company you’re interested in has a blog and you’ll soon be able to tell whether or not they’re a suspect fly-by-night or an authentic travel company.Find out what others are saying about the online travel agency you’re leaning towards by carrying out a quick online audit. A few search engine searches and you should be able to come up with some balanced reviews and testimonials.

Are they displaying airfares including taxes and fees? It’s one thing claiming to have the cheapest airfares, but many OTA’s that make these claims fall short in that their cheap flight prices suddenly skyrocket when you come to the booking page and see the total. They’re wasting your time and are not giving the online travel industry a good reputation. Save yourself time and money by finding an online travel service that displays the total cost of the flight including taxes.

Internet is a faceless business and reputable online travel agencies should be easily reachable through channels other than their website. Check their website for a valid business address, phone numbers and email addresses. Some online travel agencies will have the option to chat to them directly from their website.

Check that the website has a safe and secure Internet payment facility. This is usually identifiable by a clickable badge that will take you to another page that displays the security certificate.

How much flexibility does the travel agency allow? In other words, how flexible are they when it comes to booking a flight online, how long do they hold the seat for you if you don’t pay immediately, what is their cancellation policy? The top online travel agencies will usually have a full customer support team and experienced travel consultants to help with any flight bookings for business and leisure travellers. Also check on the added services the OTA offers. This will usually be things like SMS itinerary reminders and travel insurance.

What can you find out about the company on their website? You will usually find this information under the ‘About Us’ or ‘Company History’ sections. Avoid fly by nights and try to book with a company that is established within the online travel industry. Look out for press releases and carry out some searches on local news websites to see if they’re getting any media coverage.Finally, make sure the company you book through makes it clear what you need to bring to the airport when you fly. To get on the plane it’s usually an e-ticket (provided by the OTA), a personal identity document (passport if you’re flying internationally) and in some cases the credit card you used to make the booking (if that’s the payment channel you chose).

Remember that the services an online travel agency provides are designed to make your life easier. Sought out a good one and you’ll never have to bother visiting a bricks & mortar shop ever again.

Online Travel Agencies – The Advantages and Disadvantages

Planning on having a vacation with your family? Do you want to have a hassle free option for you to set up your travel plans and choose the best travel destinations around the world? No worries. The easiest and the most convenient way to book your ticket and help you with your travel itinerary are through the internet. You can find so many websites about travel guides and tours that would certainly help you with your trip.

You can find online travel agencies that can be helpful in giving you information about great destinations around the world without going to any travel agency office or talk to a travel agent. These online travel agencies will surely give you all the comforts to set up your destination plans in front of your laptop or PC. When you choose your online travel destination, you have to remember to find the best deal that allows you to choose your own destination and at the same time gives you all the comfort and convenience.The benefits and advantage of online travel agencies is having low cost and convenience. Online travel agencies is also available at any time, as long as you go online, you have all the time for bookings that you need to complete. With all these online agencies, you have all the option to choose the best deal and the right budget for you. It also gives the comfort in the country of destination; you are provided with the transfer to your hotel and agencies are the one taking care of any problems you might encounter.

Also, the advantage of choosing online agencies is your control on your decision without influences or pressure from travel agents. If you visit a travel agency office, many travel agents have the same tone like a salesman; remember that most of these people are working under a commission program. So basically, you might be pressured by their sales pitch and book a trip without checking other good options and much less affordable.

Usually one of the concerns for online travel agencies is the security of paying large amounts of money online. Online security is a major issue for any online business, so it is very important to make sure and choose a travel agency online with a good reputation by checking customer reviews and feedback. Not all agencies can be relied on because some of them might disappear with your money. There are so many scams over the internet nowadays, so b very careful. It is better to be safe than sorry.So overall, make sure to choose the legitimate and quality online travel agencies to avoid scams. Always seek some tips and assistance if you’re not sure about the online travel agency. Most importantly plan your trip carefully to avoid any hassles or problems. Good luck and enjoy your vacation.