Which is better: A travel agent or book it yourself

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Carolyn Nitz has been running First Class Travel for more than 2 decades. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Carolyn Nitz has been running First Class Travel for more than 2 decades. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

In this day and age, websites and apps have made it easier to book your trips online.

However, travel agents say don't forget about them. They are still around and make planning your trip not only easier but cheaper too.

I visited the office of First Class Travel. Carolyn Nitz has been running this company for more than 2 decades and she's still in business because there are a lot of people who still choose using a person to book trips over doing it themselves.

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"I love the people on the other end of the phone, I have clients I've dealt with for 10, 15, 20 years and I've never met them," says Nitz. "I have people who call me almost every day that have never used a travel agent in their life.

"You know what I tell them? What I always tell them? We don't bite and we are here to save you money not cost you money."

She says most people don't realize that travel agents also problem solve for you on your trips. For example, if you miss your flight, call the travel agent, they can sometimes get you around fees and find a cheaper option to rebook.


They can also do work around for hotel issues and give you options that you may not be able to do yourself.

So what about the prices? We are going to compare the price of a trip to Cabo in early June, all-inclusive hotel, a quick stop to Los Angeles before returning to Phoenix. The total price round trip, all inclusive food with the day layover in LA to Cabo: $2,523.

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When I searched myself, it came out cheaper with a price of $2,305.

But the flights First Class Travel booked were for non-stop tickets. The tickets I booked have several stops, they are not direct.

Plus, the hotel, the same hotel booked by the agency, I did not book it all-inclusive because it was more expensive.

Nitz says you have to factor in the convenience of being able to call your agent if something goes wrong or if you want to make changes.

"You need a human being on this side of the phone that's gonna help you, walk you through Phoenix to LA, LA to New York, New York to Cincinnati, Cincinnati to New Orleans, New Orleans back to Phoenix," says Nitz. "If you are going to Hawaii, why would you want to do it on your own when I don't charge you anything? I make my money from the tour operator."

The downsides, other living arrangements like "Airbnb" and "VRBO" aren't offered by travel agencies, which in most cases can save you a lot of money if you're into using those options.

For more information or to try a travel agency for your next trip, here's a link to Nitz' company.

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