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booking hotels through travel agent v.s. yourself.

Ciao everyone,
Going to Venice next April. Just wondering if it's a better idea to book through my travel agent for the hotel as well. He is looking after the airfare for me but I'm wondering if it's better to book on my own for the hotel. Thanks!

Posted by
11503 posts

Michelle, I haven't used a TA to book a hotel anywhere in Europe for at least 15 years. With the internet its so easy to do ones own research,, and pick a hotel in your price range,, based on the many sites that may list suggestions, either on forums or through reader written reviews. People that have actually been at the hotel .

Most TAs haven't stayed at the hotels they recommend.. they can't go everywhere. So they will either have a limited few to recommend.. or they will recommend the ones they find in glossy brochures that will pay them a commision. They do have to make a living,, and TAs do that by earning commisions on hotels. They rarely will get you the best rates,, you can do better yourself.

Posted by
7209 posts

Look at to learn about the best and worst hotels in most every city/town in the tourist-frequented world. There is more information there than any 1 TA could ever hope to know.

I don't use TAs because I think my knowledge of my destination surpasses that of most TAs in my area. I have access to at least as much information and probably more than my local TAs. When I book a hotel I have the knowledge and the hotel's email confirmation that my hotel is actually booked and reserved on the date that I want it...I don't have to hope that the TA booked the correct hotel on the correct day in the correct city.

Posted by
12154 posts

I also book all my travel. The last time I used a travel agent for personal travel was when my employer gave me a travel award that had to be booked through the company travel office.

They had absolutely no expertise in what I was looking for (a family ski trip in BC). I ended up researching everything myself then booking through them. Since the options I picked didn't give commission to the TAs, they added a ten percent service charge to book for me.

Posted by
1987 posts

We prefer to book our own, and for all the aforementioned reasons. I like to email the hotels directly; there are times when we have stayed in chain hotels, and the rates the "official" website offered and those that we were quoted in direct communication with the hotel weren't always the same. Good luck.

Posted by
348 posts

I would book the flight myself with especially if your days can be flexible. I would book my hotel using or for hotel areas and basic pricing then go to tripadvisor for comments on hotels ( be sure to look if comments were recent) then compare prices with the websites and email the hotel directly. Takes some time but it is a great way to learn about the city you are staying in

Posted by
7737 posts

We used a travel agent to help capture a flight deal that had just disappeared from or someplace. (The price had jumped $500.) But I don't know that you gain much going through a TA for a hotel room, unless you don't want to do the research and contacts yourself.

FWIW, the smaller hotels and B&Bs would prefer you make the reservations directly with them - that way they don't have to pay the fee and a bonus for you is that they might give you a slight discount.