Travel Agent vs Doing it yourself

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by KiwiMouseGirl, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. KiwiMouseGirl

    KiwiMouseGirl Mouseketeer

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    Me and my friend Alicia are getting into planning for our trip to SoCal next year. I REALLY enjoy planning, and am starting to map our where our ADR's are going to be! When my Nan and I went on out trip in April, we booked everything through a travel agent. For me it was easier knowing that she would take care of everything. I told her that I wanted 5 days at Disneyland and she said that would be too long and advised us to spend 3 days at the most. That's what we ended up booking, but for me 3 days was no where near long enough and I was in such a rush that I forgot to do half of the things that were on the top of my list. So my question is this...Should I just book with the travel agent and be very stern on what we want. Or should we book it ourselves?? I know it will require some serious orginization...but I know for some people that's half the fun. :confused3:wizard:
     
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  3. KalamityJane

    KalamityJane DIS Veteran

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    Book it yourself! I get much better deals doing it myself :D Plus, I really enjoy that sort of thing (down to the spreadsheets!).
     
  4. disneydreamerinny

    disneydreamerinny I wish I could make a living planning Disney Vacat

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    Def book yourself! And your right, planning is half the fun!
     
  5. inluvwithbuzz

    inluvwithbuzz Mouseketeer

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    Book it yourself! I always find better deals doing it myself. Trip planning is a lot of fun. Almost as much fun as the trip. If you book yourself you get to do exactly what you want and you dont have someone telling you what you should be doing.
     
  6. lwilkison

    lwilkison Mouseketeer

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    We booked our own hotel only because we got the "Hojo ET rate" and one night on the family rate. super good deals.

    Our flights I am going to have our travel agent book only because it is way less messy. I tried booking with a couple of sites and there are fees that are sometimes hard to see until after you book...not one of my fav things.

    Plus, a good travel agent will listen to you :listen: and a travel agent (especially a Disney specialist) knows things :stir:

    :laughing:

    Either way, good luck! have a great trip :thumbsup2
     
  7. Escape2Disney

    Escape2Disney Friendly Neighborhood Disney Fanatic!

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    I always save money by booking our family's trip myself. It also extends the Disney magic by allowing me to dig through all of the details and focus on our trip for months :-)
     
  8. mydisneymoney

    mydisneymoney Prince Alex's Mom

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    I think it depends on the time you have available to research etc. I like to do it myself and I keep a spreadsheet that show all my options. I check to see what a package deal will be and what it costs to book each thing separately. Typically packages are not the best deal but on a rare occasion they can be. On my spreadsheet I have columns of airfare, hotel/motel (including parking fee), car rental, ticket prices and food. Then I go there and check out all my options. If you go onto places like Hotwire you can do a search for flights based on a 30 day window and it will show you over 30 days which days are the cheapest to fly. I don't necessarily book through them but use it as a tool to get an idea of what airfare is around the time I am looking at going. The more flexable you are, the more you can save. Also, I subscribe to TouringPlans.com and I can see projected attendance for the days I am looking at. It helps me determine when the best time will be to try and go and get the biggest bang for my buck! Have fun.
     
  9. mydisneymoney

    mydisneymoney Prince Alex's Mom

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    Oh yeah, don't forget to check out flying into other airports other then LAX. Try SNA and LBG as well. Sometimes they are cheaper.
     
  10. Crazy4Disney06

    Crazy4Disney06 DIS Veteran

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    The past two trips to DL I have booked using Costco travel because of the extra perks such as $20.00 Disney gift card, free character meal, free pin and lanyard, and priority seating for the shows in DCA. The price is the same as you would find through a travel agent on on Disneyland.com, but the extra perks make it worth it for us.
     
  11. Aussie Princess

    Aussie Princess Mouseketeer

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    Coming from Australia I tend to only book my flights through the travel agent and then book the rest myself - our trip in 2010 I saw a deal from
    Our local travel agent and decided to research And see of i could beat it - which I did by $1000 with the help of entertainment book rate being available at hojos
     
  12. Caseheidi

    Caseheidi DIS Veteran

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    We are of the plan it ourselves school. Especially if you have been before and know what you want to do / see. We spend months planning our spreadsheet and researching other things. It is too much fun to pass on to someone else, and the different things we have discovered in our research have enhanced our experiences even more. I say do it yourself and have fun! :cool1:
     
  13. KiwiMouseGirl

    KiwiMouseGirl Mouseketeer

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    I think i'll plan to book everything myself. If I get too confused with the airfare i'll leave that upto the travel agent! ... and the countdown begins!
     
  14. DSNY4ever

    DSNY4ever I am going to keep hunting

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    It sounds like you need a travel agent that knows Disney a little better and understands what you want. May I recommend Dreams Unlimited Travel? They are run by the owners of the Disboards (so they obviously know their stuff!). They will let you plan as much or as little as you want. You can plan out all the places you want to eat, but they will call and make the ADR's for you (which would be nice since it looks like you'd be calling from New Zealand!).

    We usually book Disneyland ourselves because we are right here and don't need a package. But we use them for WDW because I like to support their company since I get so much help on these boards! I still plan everything since I enjoy that part of it, but I let the agent book it all for me (tickets, hotel, ADRs).

    The best part is- THEY ARE FREE! I used to think travel agents cost money, so I never used one, but now I like to be able to help someone keep a job.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. I hope you have a great trip!
     
  15. Showpony

    Showpony Mouseketeer

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    The one and only time I ever used a travel agent to book my vacation was when we went to WDW. Not knowing the 'lay of the land' so to speak, I'm glad I did. My Disney travel agent took care of all our hotel ressies, and ADR's for meals (we had the meal plan). I booked our air fare but let the travel agent do everything else (of course I told her what we wanted and she took care of it). Good luck with your planning!
     
  16. DisneytheKid

    DisneytheKid A bad attempt at Billy the Kid

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    On smaller trips, we trend to do the planning our self. With that said, on overseas trips we usually go with a travel agent. Its just important that you have one who knows your personality so you don't have a mix up with something like days in the park. Have a great trip!
     

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