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View Full Version : Travel Agents = Better Prices ??????



BobArnold8265
10-15-2007, 10:45
Hey,

Just wanted to check with everyone. Does anyone have a travel agent that they use to set up their dive trips ??? These days with the internet is it better to just book everything yourself at or less than a travel agent can do it for you ??? Finally, anyone know aof a good travel agent ??

The reason I ask is that most of my trips I book myself. The exception is Bonaire (which we visit once a year). I found a really good travel agent who seems to match or do better than the prices I can find and he takes care of all of the work. The problem is that this travel agent (www.bonairepros.com (http://www.bonairepros.com) for any one interested) only books travel to Bonaire. I was just curious if anyone else could recommend an agent.

Bob

diversteve
10-15-2007, 10:59
We have a small group 5-10 or so that often travel together. One of our group likes to find the best deals so we let him. So far he's always beat the best package we could find.

In the past I've used Dani at Aquadreams (http://www.aquadreams.com/). She's a diver and has been places in the Caribbean and knows the local situations.

I also had them compete against Caradonna (http://www.caradonna.com/) once, both were within a few dollars of each other.

One other experience I had with Caradonna, I found an airfare special cheaper through American Airlines than they could get it for. Even their agent told me to book direct.

One I've seen lately is Save Money Diving (http://www.save-money-diving.com/index.php?pageid=intro). Don't know anything about them except for a couple of positive reviews on Scubaboard.

I've noticed that the worst deals are through my local LDS's. Two of which have dedicated dive travel agencies.

FedLuvsNicola
10-15-2007, 11:50
I've used Neal Watson's Undersea Adventures for my Caribbean trips. They are pretty reasonable and have a nice selection of hotels and packages. The only issue you may have is that you have to book your own air travel; their packages cover only the hotels and dive portions.

http://www.nealwatson.com/

caroln
10-15-2007, 12:03
I've found trips to work out cheaper not through a dive specialist travel agent, but through regular travel sites like applevacations.com, or cheapcarribbean.com that package air and hotel, and then I work out a dive package with the dive op. Next time, I'm going to try pricing through one of these agents and see how it compares since I've only really done 3 dive trips so far.

subsur
10-15-2007, 12:34
travel agent is not necessarily better than DIY approach. I've found that plane tix can be really cheap if you get them through a travel agency that specializes for that country (for example, the best price for Japan i got from a Japanese tour agency). in terms of hotels, car rental, dive packages - depends.
big questions:
(1) how much time are you willing to invest in finding everything yourself?
(2) what's the biggest price difference between what you get from a travel agent and DIY to justify yourown search? but it's a catch 22 since you won't know until you research.

i prefer to do all the booking myself. in this case i learn more in the process of searching and talking to people. asking travel agency is easy and fast, so you can have a quote and then see if you can beat it.

ReefHound
10-15-2007, 13:05
I always research and book myself, usually saving a little money. Some people consider this to be a hassle and want to be able to make a quick call to book a trip then just show up at the airport. For these people, the minor added cost is a bargain and the travel agent is well worth the money.

I consider the research to be part of the fun. It lets me daydream about the vacation. I always run across lots of additional info during my research that further saves me money or lets me have more fun. Maybe it's tips about the local taxis, maybe it's discount coupons for restaurants, who knows? I feel like I arrive with a better knowledge of the place and am much better prepared.

unclepooty
10-15-2007, 13:38
I agree with subsur and ReefHound. Working on a trip in Feb., and learning so much about the different aspects of the locations, air travel, resorts, dive ops. etc. I feel much more prepared than if I'd just shown up for the flight.

BobArnold8265
10-15-2007, 14:38
Time is not really an issue for me. I always do the research as well. I have just found that sometimes the agents seem to have better prices on plane tickets etc. or simply negotiate a set package that is a little better than I can peice together seperately.

allison finch
10-18-2007, 22:48
:smiley2:

I used to do it all myself, but found that there are many details that I miss, not knowing the areas and the people to contact. After using a few companies, I will only use Scuba Travel Ventures now ( www.scubatravelventures.com (http://www.scubatravelventures.com) ). They know everyone! They have made flawless trips plans for me and have saved me money to boot. Heck, Ernie even arranged for my group to have dinner with the owner of Borneo Divers on our trip to Sipadan. You will always have someone meet you at airports, you will never be left high and dry, you will have neat side trips (if you want them).

Ernie, you ROCK!!

caroln
10-19-2007, 17:41
:smiley2:

I will only use Scuba Travel Ventures now ( Scuba Gear and Scuba Diving Equipment dive gear (http://www.scubatravelventures.com) )

Thanks for sharing. I checked out the link, and I'll definitely be getting in touch with these guys next time I'm planning a trip.