Experienced business travelers just a few years ago had a first name relationship with their favorite travel agents. Air travel, rental cars, hotels and special reservations were all part of the travel agents purview. Today, through the use of online sites, business travel is most often arranged by the executive themselves. With the world at your fingertips through the use of the internet, it is simply much easier to make scheduling decisions and flight choices with first-hand input. Rental cars and hotel reservations are easily accessed on the web and the choices are much more readily adapted to one’s personal agenda.
Travelocity, Priceline.com, CheapAir, and direct airline connections make flight scheduling a breeze. Today it is also possible to choose your seat on the plane and to print out your boarding passes. For international travel, pre-boarding can also be accomplished by supplying passport information ahead of time. The entire process has been streamlined and made much more accessible to the business traveler.
Cruises are also easily booked by the consumer, where just a few years ago a travel agent was a must to accomplish this task. It is as easy as clicking your mouse, and a deluge of cruise options becomes readily available. Itineraries, ports of call, cabin selection, dinner seating, excursions and vessel selection are all easily accomplished online through user friendly cruise sites.
International group travel is also quite easily accomplished online. There are fewer surprises today as top rated hotels and tours offer videos and testimonials online. It is a simple matter to garner a video tour of a perspective hotel with pictures of the lobby, individual rooms, dining facilities, work-out rooms, and meeting rooms easily seen online from the comfort of your home or office.
Video tours of perspective foreign travel offer the consumer an in-depth understanding of expectations and requirements. It is much easier and for many people, planning is half the fun.
Today, travel agents may still have a function, but this author is hard-presssed to understand what a travel agent can offer over simply doing it yourself through the last travel technology offered on the worldwide web.