Once upon a time, somewhere not far away, but in a long forgotten era, there was a magical thing called a full service gas station. Do you remember? People will literally come out and pump your gas for you! It may sound like a fairy tale, but it’s true, it really happened!
Now days, our travel agents go to full service gas stations. People don’t have time anymore, time to go in and meet with travel agents, time to discuss options, basically – they don’t have time for full service. Online travel agents are all around us now, on the internet. They are convenient, but not the full service “stations” we are used to when making our travel plans.
What is an online travel agency? Online travel agencies are more like online booking sources. This is any website you can visit to make travel arrangements. I’m sure most of you have visited a site like this. You can log in, perform multiple searches for flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, etc. and order online – very convenient!
Online travel agency booking sites are helpful in many ways; people can explore all their different options for traveling directly in one place. If you are looking for flights to Europe, for example, and your routes are flexible, users can map different itineraries online.
Then, users can choose which one suits them best and make a decision about what they want to do. In addition, users will be faced with options that may not have been thought of before; therefore broadening their horizons on what types of travel arrangements are available to them.
Another plus for using an online travel agency website is the wide variety of products they offer. Customers can not only search for flight ticket options, car rentals, and hotels. Travel insurance, airport transfers and tour tickets are also available for purchase. This is very helpful for online travel planners, as they can fulfill most of their travel planning needs in a single visit to the website.
After booking a confirmation on the travel website, the customer will receive an email with the confirmation and contact information. Information provided to customers usually includes information about E-tickets, car rental policies (or where to look for those policies), and provides information on what to do if travel plans change. All this information is right at the fingertips of the travel planning consumer.
Many people wonder if booking this type of travel arrangement online is safe. It is. Websites spend a lot of time and productivity ensuring that their payment systems, whether outsourced or not, are secure. Their reputation is important to provide a reliable payment system and keep tourist attractions safe. Bad news spreads quickly, and if a website doesn’t serve their customers, it won’t take the world long to notice.
Taking from personal experience I have never had a problem with booking with an online travel agent. I’ve been booking trips online for over ten years and I can’t say I have a single problem! I even found that after booking my super cheap airfare on our site, once I received my reservation information by email, it was very easy to change my reservation details with the actual airline.
I’ve never had a situation where I’ve paid for my booking online, and it wasn’t valid either when I showed up for a reservation. Basically, booking online with an online travel agent website is an easy, affordable, and safe way to book your trip.
Online travel agencies may seem intimidating to some. With news of security breaches and privacy concerns, I can’t blame people for being embarrassed about booking travel plans online. I have to say though, give it a try! You must have had a great and educational trip planning experience. And who knows, it might even be fun!