Q – (1.12.24) My husband’s Dad passed away a few months ago and we have inherited enough money to do some serious travel going forward. We live in Colorado and we are skiers so we have not felt the need to travel overseas more than once. But as we get older, we want to see Europe, Antarctica, the Maldives, and portions of South America.

Some of this will, I suppose, be escorted tour travel, some will be cruises (which we have never done) and I still think we have it in us to do a few totally independent journeys to places like Rome and Paris. We still won’t shake our desire to save money while enjoying upscale travel opportunities so my questions is should we be looking at booking our travels online or should we make contact with a travel agent? 

A –  If you have confidence in your planning skills, it might be fun to do some of your independent travels on your own using trusted internet sites. Currently, Statistica Consumer Insights reports that 53% of travel bookings are made this way because users feel it more convenient and faster than using a traditional travel agent. Online sites can sometimes make it easier to compare pricing.

Be aware, however, that when you book things online independently you are still charged the built-in travel agency commission which runs from 10-15% on average.

For your longer, more complex travels, we think you would be most satisfied with the services of a caring travel advisor. Try to choose one that is associated with one of the three or four most trusted consortium groups – their membership requirements are normally quite strict. 

There are many excellent agencies in major areas of Colorado. You may want to create a face-to-face relationship if you live in an area with an excellent agency. Do let us know if we can ever be helpful.