An Unsolicited Testimonial

Real Simple magazine finds agents provide good prices, value

By: Theresa Norton Masek

We always like to see major consumer magazines verify what we already know that travel agents usually provide the best price, in addition to personal service and expertise. The May issue of Real Simple magazine has a story titled “Virtual Vacations: Online travel packages promise value, convenience and selection. But do they really deliver?” The answer, three out of four times, was no. The article compared the price of four different types of vacations on four big-name online companies and also included a quote from a traditional travel agent. Not only did the agents come up with the best price three times, they also found the most convenient airline schedules, offered to set up tee times and recommended a hotel near the calmer beach for swimming. In comparison, Hotwire doesn’t even let you know what airline you’re flying or flight times until you pay. Sounds like this magazine is recommending a real simple way for its 1.5 million readers to book their travel next time.