At risk of upsetting hotelcomparez.com, choose flight.com, Agoda.com or the four million other hotel and flight booking websites out there, I enlist a travel agent to book my trips. I know! Next I'll be using a fax machine or riding a penny-farthing.
Of course for zippy direct flights, I do it online like everyone else, but for overseas jaunts with several connecting flights and many accommodations, I use a Travel Agent. My Travel Agent knows:
a) Which flights will be cheapest on which days;
b) If I can upgrade my flight with points ("NO");
c) How to avoid a nine- hour stop over in Munich en route to LA;
d) The luggage restriction (0.03kg per person) and cost (4100 per extra milligram) on Ryan air;
e) How to snaffle room upgrade/ breakfast package;
f) How to prevent me losing my mind/money when connections are missed mid-trip;
g) Which diseases I might die from/should have shots for when heading to remote places;
h) How to get special favours from her connections.
The fact I got to 'h' should indicate how useful travel agents are, but on top of that: they cost nothing. Travel Agents don't cost a dang thing! Their commission comes from travel suppliers! It sounds too good to be true, but it IS true and it's NOT too good, It's just the right amount and most likely cheaper than you can book online directly with the Hotel. But for some reason, we forget that as we scalp through site after site, trying to be the King of Travel.
I gave that up after booking accommodation on a site called Flurp - or crump or Swipple - and arriving at the hotel late at night, after 32 hours of travel, to discover there was no such Flurp/Crump/Swipple.
And so, I returned to travel agency-ing!
"They're professionals and are there to help!"
I declared to nobody. "And not just grandparents booking cruises!"
Of course, you may already have your own Travel Agent, but if you don't, I highly recommend remembering they exist.