Photo: Flickr / jbcurio
Like it or not, sometimes going the old-fashioned route is the best way to save. New York Times’ Seth Kugel found this out when he decided to pit online services like Expedia, Kayak and Vayama against travel agencies around New York City to book international trips.
Nearly every time, the agencies beat the sites on price and service.
One Croatian-owned agency in Astoria, Queens gave him a great deal—$480 for a round-trip ticket compared to $798 on Expedia—plus tips from the perspective of a local who knew the country.
Kugel also tried Chinese, Russian and Brazilian agencies and noted the speedy, professional responses he received. He didn’t even need to visit in person; often, just making a phone call was good enough.
Kugel does note that for domestic coach fares, online sites are usually good bets.
But for the 22 per cent of Americans planning to travel abroad in 2012, booking with a human can save lots of cash and time.