Should I Book Online or Use a Travel Agent to Travel to Malta?

by Julia on July 2, 2019

In the modern world, with so much available at your digital fingertips, many people are asking why they should bother using a brick-and-mortar business like a travel agent. Isn’t it quicker and easier to just do it online yourself? Many Millennials certainly think so. The reality, however, may be just a little bit different.

Exploring Both Options

Millennials and other tech-savvy types will tell you to use an online guide to multi-destination travel to set up your itinerary, arrange your hotel accommodations, and purchase your airline or other travel tickets. There are definitely some advantages to doing it that way, no doubt about it.

Airline travel has been revolutionized by the internet and cheap ticket sites. Once, the only way you could book a flight was through a travel agent. You were at their mercy for times, prices, and type of seat. You were lucky if you got to choose the airline you wanted because most of them earned a commission from one or two airlines for every ticket they booked and nothing from the rest. If the airline you wanted wasn’t one they earned a commission from, they could stick you with whatever they wanted or charge you an arm and a leg for booking with an alternate airline.

Now it only takes a few clicks to find more options than you can shake a stick at, and at prices, no travel agent can beat. The airlines are funneling all their seating through travel sites. With a little surfing, you can get last-minute deals you wouldn’t believe.

So yeah, online sites are great for getting you to where you’re going. But what about the rest of your vacation?

There’s More to Traveling Than Just Traveling

Getting from point A to B is only part of your vacation. What are you going to do once you get there? Travel agents are people, and like all people, they build relationships with people they work with on a daily basis. They can leverage those relationships to get crazy deals you’ll never find online

“Hey Joe, it’s Frank. Listen, I got some great people here. Can you treat them a little extra nice on their room service? Thanks, buddy. I owe you one.”

You can’t find that kind of service online no matter how many mouse clicks or Google searches you perform. As the robots in the old black-n-white Sci-Fi movies might say, “Relationship does not compute.”

Travel agents do more than just click buttons. They call people and meet them at conferences and seminars. They get paid to travel to various destinations so they can promote them to customers and tell them about hidden secrets that don’t, and never will, show up online. They’re on a first name basis with restaurant chefs around the world and exchange Christmas presents with hotel managers near and far. They’re friends with tour operators and “local yokels” who can show you sights no online site ever heard of.

Prices Are Hard to Argue With

It’s also impossible to deny that online sites such as can get you prices and deals for somewhere like the Republic of Malta that travel agents can’t beat. If you’re itching for a Mediterranean vacation where the natives speak English and you are free to come and go as you please while saving money in the process, online sites have a lot to offer.

You can certainly do a lot of online research to find information about your hypothetical trip to Malta. There are sites that tell you about the historic churches there, such as the Mosta Church that has one of the biggest unsupported domes in the world; or the Hagar Qim Temple, the oldest man-made building in the world.

Online sites let you sit down with your family to look over the list of tours, museums, boating trips, and beaches in Malta. You’re not limited to office hours between 8 am and 5 pm, you can go online any time, any day of the week and browse to your heart’s content.

Combine Them Together

You could also do what many people have successfully done; use a travel agent and an online site together. There’s nothing saying you can’t combine them. In fact, the travel agent industry is making a comeback because people are doing exactly that. While there are advantages to price shopping online, there are also benefits to having a real person on your side that can’t be overstated. Instead of either/or – why not use both?

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