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What is a travel agent?

Are you trying to plan a big bash, an anniversary trip, or milestone birthday? Planning a vacation can take days or even months of research: finding the best hotels, looking for package deals, scheduling excursions, and more. Some people enjoy this challenge, and others find it stressful. You may not want to become a travel expert just to go on vacation—and that’s why travel agents exist.

Find out if using a travel agent makes sense for you and your travel needs.

What does a travel agent do?

A travel agent or travel advisor helps you plan your trip, from booking flights, reserving hotel rooms, to planning your itinerary. Many are experienced travelers themselves and can offer you travel advice, from the best time of year to travel to your destination, to interesting things to see and do while you’re there.

Also, your agent can often assist with travel-related issues that occur before or during your trip, like rebooking canceled flights or finding new hotel accommodations.

How to pick a travel agent

Check online reviews to make sure you’re working with an experienced professional or ask friends or family who they’ve used. Getting recommendations from someone you know can make a difference when deciding which travel agent to use.

Also be aware that some travel agents specialize in a specific type of vacation, like cruises or theme park destinations. 

How much does a travel agent cost?

Some travel agent services are free, as the agents often earn a commission from airlines, hotels, car rentals, or other travel service providers. However, some agents charge a fee for research and planning. The typical fee charged by travel agents is between $100 and $500.1

Trips that require more time to plan, for instance those with multiple destinations, may cost more. Be sure to ask about any fees before booking your travel plans.

If a travel agent isn’t the right fit for you, check with your employer. Some companies offer a concierge service that may be able to help with your planning and reservations.

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1. Lori Zanio, “Do I still need a travel agent?,” Bankrate, November 23, 2022,

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.