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Top 5 Reasons to Ditch Online Booking

May 20, 20244 min read

Top 5 Reasons to Ditch Online Booking

Booking online is simple, right? You can plan your entire trip in your underwear without talking to a single human. But is that wise? Or are you missing important inputs that can lead to headaches later?

Our lives are simplified by technology, but (ironically) that makes the human touch more important. If you are booking cruises and all-inclusive trips online, know that you are gambling at a casino. I'm crossing fingers for you that everything goes as planned, but if you run into issues? Hope you like long hold times and unreturned emails.

Over the years, due to my own experiences, I’ve discovered that a travel agent is the secret sauce for a fantastic vacation. And can you still book it all in your underwear if that's a thing. Here are five reasons to ditch the OTA or online booking portals and trust a travel agent:

1. Online portals don't offer added value

People often price shop online portals and travel agents looking for the cheapest fare. Ironically, the cheapest fare isn’t always the best value. For instance, if you are taking your first type of trip (first cruise, first international flight, etc.), there is a GIANT learning curve. Who will you bounce questions off of? Who will aid you if you have issues prior to or during the trip? Can you put a price tag on good customer service?

2. Online portals don’t understand your needs

Travel advisors value connecting with their clients personally to flesh out travel preferences. Whether it’s bucket list excursions, dietary needs or travel insurance, they can make your travel less generic and more tailored. An online portal is not set up to advise you in this way.

3. Online portals don’t care about how your trip is going

Is your trip amazing or a trainwreck? How does it feel that a call center agent could give a rip? A travel agent, on the other hand, is all about connection and is a partner with you and your family in good times and bad. Afterall, if your travel agent has booked your destination wedding, honeymoon, babymoon cruise and first trip to Disney with the kiddo…trust me, they are invested in YOU. A good travel agent is as committed to lovely experiences as you are.

4. Online portals won’t prioritize your emergency

Life happens. Period. When the worst happens and your emergency is unceremoniously placed in the queue (and you bounce around to multiple departments), how is that "great deal" feeling now? Travel advisors will be with you for the initial sale, servicing, and beyond. They won’t need to be brought up to speed on your particulars. They can act as a partner to help you with medical issues, insurance claims and more.  

5. Online portals aren't set up for servicing

The last time I booked a cruise online, my sales rep was completely unresponsive to my issues leading up to the cruise. <cue crickets> When I finally reached her, she straight up told me that they only exist to take servicing option. Needless to say, that was the last time I booked a vacation with a call center.

An online portal won't give you a personal cell phone and say text me any time. Instead, you can jam out to the awesome on hold music...and be prepared to tell (and retell) your story a few times if you are passed around to different people. Travel agents work around the clock, 7 days a week sometimes, to assist clients with questions and troubleshooting.

It's National Tourism Week, and we are celebrating travel and the global awesomeness it inspires. That includes the travel customer service superheroes aka travel agents.

You can expect the unexpected, and that's where their expertise and loyalties are worth gold!

I like to think of a travel advisor as a flight attendant. Hopefully, the flight is on point. If things go sideways? Count on them to save your bacon and guide you to safety. So, the next time you “shop” a travel advisor, understand that this conversation includes the greatest value of all….a caring partner, passionate about travel, that aims to forge a connection and help you explore the world safely.

This friendly human could become your Batphone in times of duress, and that is the best value of all!

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Lisa Farrimond

Travel Agent

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Hillary Mayrhofer


Lisa is an amazing travel agent! She booked my Cruise and found some amazing deals and excursions for me! She was very knowledgeable and helpful with answering all of my questions, since this was my first time taking a Cruise. I had no idea what to expect. I will definitely be using her services for my next trip!

Jerad Carpenter


I had the pleasure of booking a cruise through Lisa. She has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the ins-and-outs of a cruise ship. The tips she gave me from arriving to the ship and leaving was spot on. It made my life and planning so much easier. I will definitely be using her services in the future.

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