U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-24-2012, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,492,619 times
Reputation: 8778

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakeneko View Post
Wow, sounds like you have some adventures planned. My husband and I travel alot now (his work) and would like to continue to do so once we retire.... lurking on the "retiring on a shoestring support thread" on this board is a great motivator for me to stick wth our budget/savings plan.

Parasites kinda freak me out too. We stick with bottled beverages or hot beverages, for the most part skip salads and fresh fruits and have cooked entrees instead. And carry our own antibiotics just in case...

Re: vaccines - it might be good to get started on those sooner rather than later - some are a multiple course treatment and take awhile to reach maximum benefit.
Well, we will have the time. Then, my husband's family is in Britain and there are some places we can use when unoccupied, free of charge. It seems a better idea to use them as a sort of base and just travel from them until we tire. Air flight from the states to Europe seems so expensive, so rather than traveling back and forth we can just stay in England or Scotland between treks. We're not young, so we'd like to take in as much as we can while we are still able to do so.

I knew a bacteriologist who was very well respected in his field. He would seldom eat fish and never shellfish. He told me if you could see some of that under a microscope you'd swear off such foods.

We now know a research parasitologist. His thing is worms. More than half have not been categorized. There is a lot that remains to be known about these creatures. Their eggs can be smaller than a grain of sand, and naturally are wind born. People have them without knowing. Both hospital labs and doctors in the West generally miss a great many of them. It takes a lab tech who is very experienced and knows what to look for and does nothing but worm diagnosis all day. That is VERY specialized. The eggs can remain dormant for up to five years in the body.

Ugh. Talking to these people is troubling. I would never, ever eat raw meat or fish. Anywhere.

Oh, worms hate hard liqueur, which is one reason why seamen, years back, would be given a daily ration of alcohol.

Sorry to get side tracked on parasites. It's one thing catching something that can be cured, and another to get something that is so hard to even detect.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-24-2012, 07:49 PM
 
67 posts, read 111,224 times
Reputation: 54
No, if you r planning popular tourist spots like Paris or London. Exotic or specialised tourism like safari in Botswana then use a travel agent.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-25-2012, 10:39 PM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,679,370 times
Reputation: 22283
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
20 years ago when putting together a ten-country trip including some fairly obscure parts of Norway I definitely used a travel agent. These days the only travel agent I use is, believe it or not, AAA because sometimes, once in a while, they can get better airline fares.
That would be my first choice if I were to use one. For one I have the roadside service and I go there for the maps and booklets they give you on a region. They can advise of road conditions. But I've noticed they also have all sorts of literature about cruises, and all kinds of destinations and package tours.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-25-2012, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
2,986 posts, read 3,325,250 times
Reputation: 5622
My fiancee and I plan to spend a week in Manhattan, get married and then spend a week in Cuba for our honeymoon (we're Canadians).

The Manhattan leg of the trip I planned and booked myself, using VISA points for the flight and Expedia for the hotel. When I booked the Cuban leg of the trip, I used a travel agent. Having never been to the Caribbean before, she was helpful in some aspects. My questions were generally answered within minutes (via text), and she sent me a variety of resorts to choose from. However, as soon as I paid for the trip it was like she forgot who I was. Responses to my inquiries took days for her to answer, and she was kind of vague when she did. All in all, I really fail to see what she did that I could not have done myself. Additionally, I was promised all kinds of info on Cuba as well as a list of side trips available to us, but she failed to send any of it.

Maybe she is just a bad agent, but I don't think I will ever use one again. I have booked trips to Ireland, NYC, Las Vegas and various other destinations myself and never had any issues whatsoever. Perhaps in the pre-internet days a travel agent was your best bet. But now I'd simply log on to one of the more popular online agencies instead and do all the work yourself.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2012, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,044 posts, read 83,719,346 times
Reputation: 41819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tober138 View Post
I can't remember the last time we've used a travel agent. Nowadays, it is so easy for anyone to go on-line and search / research places, fares, costs, etc. (as well as find reviews of hotels and restaurants) that there really does not seem to be much of a need to pay someone else to do that for you. At least not like there was 15-20 years ago.

We're in the early stages of planning a trip to Tahiti (Moorea / Bora Bora) at some point in the next year or two. From the east coast of the States, its about 24 hours each way, multiple airlines, a possible ferry, hotels, island hopping, etc. We considered possibly contacting a travel agent to help arrange this. But then I spent about an hour on-line and was able to map out flights to and from Papeete, as well as travel between the islands and hotels all on my own.
when in the heck have you ever paid your travel agent a penny? The consumers do not pay, the vendors do and often the agent can get you a much better rate. This certainly isn't always the case, but they stand a better chance of bargaining than you do. yes, the internet helps all of us and for those who have hours to spend checking and checking or if you are talking about a simple 3 day trip to say, Vegas that is one thing, when you start looking into extended days or out of the country, an agent is still the way to go. The one exception might be, those who travel all the time, out of the country on business. They are more experienced travelers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2012, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,044 posts, read 83,719,346 times
Reputation: 41819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annuvin View Post
My fiancee and I plan to spend a week in Manhattan, get married and then spend a week in Cuba for our honeymoon (we're Canadians).

The Manhattan leg of the trip I planned and booked myself, using VISA points for the flight and Expedia for the hotel. When I booked the Cuban leg of the trip, I used a travel agent. Having never been to the Caribbean before, she was helpful in some aspects. My questions were generally answered within minutes (via text), and she sent me a variety of resorts to choose from. However, as soon as I paid for the trip it was like she forgot who I was. Responses to my inquiries took days for her to answer, and she was kind of vague when she did. All in all, I really fail to see what she did that I could not have done myself. Additionally, I was promised all kinds of info on Cuba as well as a list of side trips available to us, but she failed to send any of it.

Maybe she is just a bad agent, but I don't think I will ever use one again. I have booked trips to Ireland, NYC, Las Vegas and various other destinations myself and never had any issues whatsoever. Perhaps in the pre-internet days a travel agent was your best bet. But now I'd simply log on to one of the more popular online agencies instead and do all the work yourself.
The secret is finding a good agent. As I said earlier, there are too many that are order takers only, but the good agents can do so much more for you than you can do on your own. Even a simple cruise can be made simpler if you have a good agent.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2012, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,356,695 times
Reputation: 1159
I use a TA for cruises, and she provides perks. She's very good, and I don't think I'd ever book a cruise direct with a cruiseline.

But that's all. Everything else I do myself. I should have *been* a travel agent, although knowing how hard they work, it's probably best that I wasn't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2012, 08:50 AM
 
9,082 posts, read 9,519,692 times
Reputation: 7974
Last year I went to Vegas for the first time, and scheduled it at the same time a friend was going to be there. She used a travel agent I did not. She kept trying to tell me to call her TA, but I was having too much fun on my own researching flights and hotels. SHe kept warning me that if I used a service like Expedia my flight would get changed a bunch and I would over pay.

Here is what really happened...

My trip was 1 night longer and I ended up paying almost $200 less for my hotel/flight package. My flights were shorter, and none of my flights got changed...but hers did. A week before she was to leave, her flight home got moved to 6 AM. (leave for the airport at 4 AM ugh!) Also, the TA booked her on an airline (Delta I think) that flew her to Memphis, then to Vegas (we are in Des Moines). So, her travel time was longer as well. (I flew to Denver, then Vegas which makes much more sense) I am heading to Vegas again this weekend, and booked myself and got a good deal again.

That being said, I know that was a pretty easy trip to plan. A TA could be helpful if someone is planning a long vacation with lots of different destinations. A couple I am friends with took 9 months and travelled the world. (from England to China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, then accross the US before heading home) They used a TA to coordinate everything.

If I ever took a complicated trip, though, I don't know if I would use a TA. I enjoy the research.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2012, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Ayrsley
4,714 posts, read 8,482,679 times
Reputation: 3814
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
when in the heck have you ever paid your travel agent a penny? The consumers do not pay, the vendors do and often the agent can get you a much better rate. This certainly isn't always the case, but they stand a better chance of bargaining than you do. yes, the internet helps all of us and for those who have hours to spend checking and checking or if you are talking about a simple 3 day trip to say, Vegas that is one thing, when you start looking into extended days or out of the country, an agent is still the way to go. The one exception might be, those who travel all the time, out of the country on business. They are more experienced travelers.
Well - I generally don't look to bargain, or spend that much time doing the research on flights, hotels, etc. (at least for rates - I will look at hotel reviews on TA if it is somewhere I have never been before). I know where I want to stay and when I want to go. It is fairly easy. Just booked a 9-day trip to Germany - flight from CLT-FRA, train to heidelberg, 4 nights there, train to Munich, another 4 nights there, flight from MUC-CLT. Took about 30 minutes.

Although I do travel frequently (and did it every week for several years) - so maybe I am just more savvy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2012, 09:48 AM
 
1,774 posts, read 2,446,577 times
Reputation: 5169
I've tried to use travel agents and have never found one that was any good. I do my own research and particularly love the website 'virtual tourist'. I think satisfaction with travel agents may also depend on how one desires to travel. The very thought of tours, cruises and that sort of thing horrifies me. I prefer adventure travel to remote places with few plans. Obviously, I'm not too concerned about my own safety!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top