3 Reasons to NEVER Book Travel With a Third-Party Company


3 Reasons to Never Book Travel with EXPEDITE, trip advisor, or Cheap tickets


Many people think that the Travel Agent is outdated. I promise you, we aren’t! I’ve been a travel agent now for five years, working in the travel industry for about eight years. I’ve seen every experience you can think of when it comes to booking travel. I’m here to tell you, even if you don’t use a travel agent, I HIGHLY recommend never using a third party booking engine. (But really, show some travel agents some love! We want your trip to be just as memorable as you do!)

WHAT? I thought Expedia, Cheap Tickets, Priceline, Etc were all the rage? I thought they got me the best price?!



  • You’re paying for a travel agent you aren’t even getting —
    •  Did you know that when you book a hotel direct with the hotel or with a third party site that you are paying for the travel agent’s fee? Well, you are. Travel agents make their money on commission. This commission is already factored into the price whether you book with a travel agent or not. So no, you aren’t getting it cheaper by not booking with a travel agent. In fact, you are missing out on great deals only travel agents get! Which brings me to my next point. But before I get to that, think about this: Something is wrong with your hotel room or flight. If you had a travel agent book it for you, then you have someone there by your side to vouch for you. Travel partners take travel agents seriously, They want our business. They want our clients to keep coming back. They also like to throw in special perks and amenities just to make the agent and their clients happy. It truly is a win-win for everyone involved. Believe me, a third party site is not going to stick up for you the same way your local travel agent will. You’re just another number to them.


  • You’re missing out on travel agent only booking sites–
    • Remember how I said travel agents get special perks? This is true for when we actually book the trips as well. Not only do we get specials and add ons that are for only travel agent bookings, we also have sites that don’t book to the public. I’m constantly finding flights cheaper on consolidators and hotels cheaper on travel agent-friendly sites. For example, a coworker of mine was going to a destination wedding in Antigua and showed me some prices she was given for the room and flights. I quickly went to my travel agent site, priced the same hotel for about $400 cheaper and she was more than happy to save the money and know that now I have her back if anything were to go wrong. My only disclaimer to using a travel agent is make sure they are reputable. Do a little research before choosing.


  • Overbooked & Bumped…
    • Did you know that when you book with a travel agent, you won’t have to worry about the hotel or flight being overbooked and getting bumped last minute? It’s true! Third party sites always overbook hotels and planes and I guarantee you will be the first one bumped! I recently went against my better judgement and booked a new years hotel through a third party site, simply because I couldn’t find the same hotel anywhere else. To my horror, when I called the day of to confirm my room, they told me they didn’t have a booking for me because they were overbook and the third party site should have never booked me in the first place because they’d been sold out for THREE MONTHS prior to me even booking. Let’s just say I was not a happy camper. Luckily, I found another hotel a bit farther away but what if all the other hotels had been sold out too? I don’t even want to think about this scenario. I can say with full confidence I’ll never make the mistake to go against my better judgement like that again.

Booking travel is fun for some and a hassle for others. Maybe you’re okay with booking it yourself. That’s great. But since a travel agent is free (they only make money off commission) it is still worth your while to double check the price you got with the travel agent. Who knows, maybe he or she can get you a better deal, whether that’s an upgrade, a better price or a special add on. You’ll get something out of it and you’ll be helping a small business owner keep their business alive. A win-win for everyone!

If you have questions about any of this, please feel free to comment below or reach out to me on social media! Please share this post with your friends and help me spread the word.
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  1. Amanda C @ UnrestingSea | 24th Mar 16

    I’ve never booked a trip with a travel agent before, though I’ve always wondered about it!
    I just booked really cheap RT tickets to Japan ($400!!). Do you think it would be worth booking the rest of the accommodations & tours with an agent? Or is it better for the whole package deal?

    • Katie | 24th Mar 16

      Hi Amanda! Sorry for the delayed response. That sounds like great flights to Japan! Did you book them directly with the airline? I’d just be weary of getting bumped if you didn’t, although it doesn’t always happen, just a possibility, I definitely would recommend booking accommodations and tours with a travel agent. The only time I strongly encourage not booking flights separate is when booking the Caribbean because we can normally get awesome deals booking it all at once. The rest of the world it won’t matter as much bundling, but sometimes helps. You could always plan what you want and price it yourself, then contact a travel agent and see if they can do the same or cheaper. Even if it is the same, I recommend booking with the agent so you have that person to vouch for you if anything goes wrong and you have someone to ask questions to. Also, some agents, like myself, give specials gifts to their clients before traveling. 🙂 If you need any help, let me know!

  2. Melissa | 24th Mar 16

    We just discussed over dinner whether to contact a travel agent to work up an affordable Disney trip for our family. I am LOST when it comes to finding a good travel agent?! Any tips?

    It sounds a lot like affiliate links. Yes the referrer earns money but it doesn’t cost you additional money. I didn’t realize this was true with travel agents as well… We will definitely use an agent. It would take me months to plan and book for a trip!

    Any tips on finding travel agents would be awesome!

    🙂 Melissa

  3. Vyjay Rao | 25th Mar 16

    I do agree, for example, I have found out that travel agents are able to get a better deal on hotels than what you would get directly.

    • Katie | 25th Mar 16

      That is definitely true sometimes! Hotels love us because we bring them business– quality business too! They want us to keep referring our clients and they VALUE our opinions.

  4. Hometown Betty (@HometownBetty) | 25th Mar 16

    That last tip was helpful Who knew? I didn’t know you could get bumped from a hotel or flight if booked through a third party site. I’ll have to keep that tip in mind when we travel.

    • Katie | 25th Mar 16

      It’s definitely a common misconception. Hotels & airlines are always going to take care of people who booked directly with them or a travel agent first!

  5. Scott Penton | 25th Mar 16

    I usually book directly through the airline, but I’ve been thinking of trying an agent, just not sure who.

    • Katie | 25th Mar 16

      Good for you for booking direct! 🙂 I’m a travel agent, so I am always happy to help. I would suggest asking around to friends/family in your area who have recently gotten married and used a travel agent for their honeymoon if you’re looking for a local agent. Make sure they had a good experience. It never hurts to email a couple and see what they are like. You can tell right away if your personalities mesh and they understand the kind of traveler you are!

  6. Alice Shiya | 25th Mar 16

    This is such an informative post! I’ll admit I regularly use Expedia to book my flights and luckily so far everything’s worked out but I’ve heard horror stories. I would definitely consider seeking out a travel agent instead!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

    • Katie | 25th Mar 16

      Glad to hear you’ve had good luck so far. I hope you do seek out travel agents in the future. The one on one help is priceless too!

  7. LG | 6th Apr 16

    As a long time hotel front desk manager, I promise you that if you’ve booked through a travel agent, you’re getting bumped right after the expedia people. Or, in some scenarios, before the expedia people, should they show up earlier. The lower the rate, the higher the risk – no way around it.

  8. Jenn | 6th Apr 16

    I never knew! So, how does one find a good travel agent? Do they only book large trips or do they book everything?

    • Katie | 7th Apr 16

      Wonderful questions! Travel agents are lurking all over your city but you probably had no idea! They tend to frequent wedding shows and look for honeymooners, but they do book ALL KINDS of travel. Doesn’t have to be a large trip. (Check out my travel drop down and click “from here to there travel” to read a little about my own agency if you’re curious!) I’d recommend asking newly married friends if they’ve used one and recommend them. Also searching google to find one nearby and stop by their office if they are brick and mortar or email them. You’ll get a pretty good idea of their quality by the email response. 🙂

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  10. Rita | 28th Jul 16

    Hello! I’ve lways wondered about using an agent. I’m planning a couple of trips in the next few months and I would love help finding a great travel agent in the Twin Cities MN. Do you have recommends?

    Thanks so much!

    • Katie | 7th Aug 16

      Hi Rita! I’m sorry for the delay in my response. I do not have any contacts in MN but if you google travel agents in your area, you should be able to find some and then research them. I’m always available as well via Skype/FaceTime/Google hangout for out of state folks as well!

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