Nowadays, when every household has an Internet access, many people are wondering if there is any reason to use the service of travel agencies while they can do all the booking on their own. In most cases it's beneficial to book your trip through a travel agent as airfare prices change daily and the great deal you found on your own today may be outdated tomorrow. Take into consideration that a difference of one day in departing or arriving dates can save you hundreds of dollars and travel agents often have first-hand experience with the places they recommend. Another advantage is that certified travel agencies have a lot more influence than individuals when settling disputes with airlines and travel suppliers.
Travel agencies can be divided into several groups depending on their specialization. Some travel agencies specialize in airfare only and they can also be subdivided into those offering domestic and international flights. Most agencies offer consolidator fares which are airline tickets purchased by "airline wholesalers" and then resold to travel agencies at considerable discounts (up to 70% off regular fares). Bear in mind that cancellation fees on consolidate fares may be substantially higher (50% or more of the fare price). In some cases no refunds are available at all. Therefore, don't purchase a consolidator fare unless you are sure about your travel plans.
Some travel agencies focus on business or corporate travel and cater for the needs of the companies with a large number of employees going on business trips on a regular basis. Some agencies have even more narrow specialization servicing specific industries or specific destinations. Another sphere of specialization is meeting and conference planning.
Another large group of travel agencies specialize in leisure and business travel in specific destination, such as Africa, Europe, or North America.
Another large sector of the travel industry is travel agencies specializing in cruises.
Some agencies target specific groups of customers, such as students, families, singles, honeymooners, nature people, seniors, or people with disabilities. Some agencies can also specialize in different types of vacation property - from luxury hotels and villas to inexpensive apartment rentals.
There are agencies that offer sports events tours, luxury tours, or adventure tours (hiking, biking, safari, fishing, diving, etc.)
Some agencies offer customized travel services and will have your vacation organized to meet your needs. They will provide you with the insight into the country's culture and geography. They will sell you the knowledge to make your own package.
Today's travel market offers a wide range of option for everyone. You can choose a Caribbean getaway or go diving in New Zealand; rent a studio or a luxury suite in Four Seasons in Paris; go cycling or yachting around the globe or just relax on a Mediterranean cruise. The process of planning your next trip and looking forward to new adventures is an exciting experience. Finding the travel agent that meets your needs will make your dreams come true.