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Where are the Best Deals for Hawaii: Travel Agent or Online?


When planning your Hawaii trip, you may wonder whether an online booking agent or an in-person travel agent would be best for you. Truth is, there are pros and cons to both so let’s take a look, shall we?

Travel Agent

A survey appearing on US News and World Report revealed that 20 percent of 2,000 travelers said it took them more than five hours to search and book travel online. No doubt this process can be extremely stressful, time-consuming and tiring — not to mention fruitless if you end up not finding what you’re looking for after all that. It seems more and more people are leaving the DIY approach behind and turning to travel agents once again.

Yes, the travel agency industry has been taking some big hits in recent years but growth is starting to happen again. In fact, 60 percent of travel agents have reported an increase in their businesses in recent months. The reasons for this may be attributed to the fact that travelers are inundated with too many options for travel, between flights, hotels, car rentals and tours. Particularly for travel to Hawaii, these trips take even more planning and careful thought because they can be expensive and usually last longer than the typical vacation.

This is why more people are placing their faith in travel agents once again: to cut through the clutter and let someone else handle the overwhelming task of searching for the best deals. With so many travelers busy day in and day out with work, school and family obligations, sitting down at a computer for hours at a time to compare flights seems like a waste of time to many.

Online Research

The statistics do indeed show a decline in the use of online booking agents like Expedia and Priceline. According to the NY Times, the percentage of travelers who book their airfare with online travel agents was 32 percent in 2013, down from 37 percent in 2011. That being said, if you have the time and energy to scour the web for the best deals (or perhaps you don’t care about deals and will pay the first price that comes up!), you may be better off booking online. You can often get much better deals on last-minute airfare using online sites, not to mention the package deals you can get with bundled services (such as hotels and flights) can be cheaper.

The way people search online and which avenues they pursue seem to be changing as well. Now that online booking agents are experiencing much more competition, younger travelers are foregoing all the traditional online booking sites that cause confusion in the main stream, and are opting for alternative sites like Airbnb and HomeAway.

Whichever method you choose for researching and booking your trip, it’s imperative to shop around. Don’t just settle on the first deal you see. With Hoku Hawaii Tours, though, you can rest assured you don’t have to shop around for excursions. We are the most affordably priced and skilled tour guides on Oahu.