Should I resort to a travel agent? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 12-24-2007, 10:11 PM   #1
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Default Should I resort to a travel agent?

I'm pretty sure I would like to go anywhere (in europe or asia) between the month of april or may, the day is not important.

Whenever I look at travel sites you always have to specify the date and place. But for me, that's not good because I want to find the cheapest deal for a broad range of dates and places, nothing specific.

So, would a travel agent be able to help me with something like that? Are they able to see prices for a large range of dates and find a few very cheap flights?
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Old 12-25-2007, 04:53 AM   #2
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Just look at whats available in the different flight search engines online. The best way to get cheap tickets is being there at the right time and right place. I'm not sure if there is a science.

On the other hand, a travel agents may be able to help you. Ask around and see what they offer. Sometimes they may be able to help you. But it would help you if you find a starting point and an exit point. Find out where you want to go, make a list, and come up with a strategy. Just doing that is a lot of fun and can be a learning experience. You can learn about geography, history, literature, culture and politics. When you finally get there you will see a world that is both familiar and unfamiliar. Great fun.

Have a happy search!

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Old 12-25-2007, 04:59 AM   #3
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Unless it is STA a travel agency will cost more than doing it yourself. I am not sure how good the Kayak feature is but you can do a from Toronto to Europe search and it will return cheap fares (although it seems like more specific information has returned better prices)

The cheapest cities to fly into are usually:

Frankfurt
Dublin/Shannon
London
Amsterdam
Paris
Barcelona

Keep in mind that your flight is probably the smallest fiscal chunk of your trip. For example, if you are heading to Italy and a flight to Milan is $905 CAD and a flight to Frankfurt is $785 there would be a temptation to save the $120 and fly to Frankfurt. Imo, you should only do that if you want to see Germany because a train to Milan is normally 120EUR or $170 CAD. But let's say you want to hang out in and around Frankfurt. One flight keeps you there a few days longer than you planned though. At roughly 70 CAD per day, a "big" difference in price can be offset by staying two or three extra days. It is typically more expensive to fly from Canada to Europe than from the US (especially given our parity exchange rate)

Sample fare: YYZ -> AMS for $470 Apr 23 - May 7. on Martinair

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Old 12-25-2007, 08:12 AM   #4
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Use kayak.com, it searches everything - expedia, cheaptickets, all the airlines, travelocity, etc. If you register (it's free) you can say "my dates are flexible" and find the cheapest days to fly into.

I found very reasonable airfare from Columbus, OH to Frankfurt for June, so I'm sure you shouldn't have any problems.

Good luck!
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:27 AM   #5
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Tuesdays end to be one of the cheaper days of the week to fly on...weekends are more expensive for obv reasons
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
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^Mondays and Fridays also tend to be expensive due to business travelers. Wednesdays/Thursdays have been my good luck fare days

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Old 12-25-2007, 09:32 AM   #7
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I count mondays and fridays as part of the weekend....
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:33 AM   #8
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So far the only things i've been using are kayak.com and reading travelzoo's top 20 every week. I guess i'll keep doing that until something good pops up.
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Old 12-25-2007, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simply_angelic View Post
I count mondays and fridays as part of the weekend....
Can I work for you?

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Old 12-25-2007, 02:36 PM   #10
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also, you can go to Orbitz, enter destinations, and search for a number of days within a 30 day period. From the home page click on "Flexible dates". You still need to choose places though. I agree that you should keep checking TravelZoo, i love that site.
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Old 12-25-2007, 05:40 PM   #11
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I'm all for using STA. I've always dealt with really lovely people and it's one extra person to share the excitement of your trip with! I don't think its more expensive because they help you find deals that you might not have known about or can tell you a cheaper time to travel etc.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:05 PM   #12
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I feel like you just gotta check prices constantly. I've booked on Priceline and found a flight for $300 and a couple hours later, the same flight was $215. You just have to keep track of the prices for a few days; if they're going up or down and usually you can figure out the best price you're going to get it for.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:37 PM   #13
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Have a look at http://www.momondo.com, they have brought up some very cheap fares for me before and include a lot of the budget airlines as well.
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