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Networking with Online Travel Agencies


Online travel agencies proliferate on the Internet and more than seventy-five percent of all travel purchases are made through them. Online agencies are convenient, reliable, and inexpensive.

The anatomy of an agency

Because these organizations work with reputable travel and accommodation providers, they are able to keep costs low because all of these vendors are available in one location. Depending on the quality of the software used by the travel agency, it is easy to coordinate all the different components at the lowest prices.

The most important advantage to working with an online agency is there are no time and distance limitations. When you work with a travel agent, you are restricted to what is available to your immediate area. While local agents are not trying to price gouge travelers, they may have ties to only a few vendors, and prices may be higher. Online agencies can explore all available options to find the lowest prices on all phases of a vacation.

All that glisters

While great bargains and limitless possibilities may be available through online travel agencies, there are some areas where the buyer must beware. For example, an inclusive vacation may not include everything. There may be limitations on the number of meals, what dining establishments – even within a resort or onboard a ship – are available, and the use of ground transportation. It is important for the buyer to read and understand all limitations and exclusions.

However, that is no different from working with any travel agent. Because online agencies are available at any time of day or night, as well as having no geographic boundaries, travel possibilities increase exponentially. Travelers are able to play innumerable combinations of time, locale, and cost to create a dream holiday.

Paying for your trip

Like traditional travel agents, buyers can pay for their vacation through traditional means – cash, credit or debit card, or check. Online agencies have expanded possibilities, while having to eliminate cash payments (out of necessity). In addition to using plastic or bank transfers, some agencies have payment plans or allow for delayed payment up to a certain point in time.

Do your homework

Consumers can easily research the credibility of an online travel agency. By checking with the Better Business Bureau, various blogs devoted to the travel industry, and with the vendors with which the agency contracts, a good picture can be painted as to an agency’s reputation and reliability.

If you are planning to take a trip, consider exploring the possibilities offered by online travel agencies. There is a completely new world waiting for you – and it is affordable, too.

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