So it's that time of year, when I begin shaping plans for the Christmas holidays for the family. I usually find rates and stuff by going to online travel sites, and they have worked fine in the past. This year however, my plans are a bit more ambitious, and a bit more complex, something I don't think the online travel sites can bundle under a single package (this is flights, hotels, multiple cities, and a car rental in certain cities). I've looked, usually in the "Vacation" or "Packages" section, but they usually only have Flight+Hotel[+Car] option, not offering that with a multi-stop itinerary. Not to mention, for some reason I cannot (to the point of giving up on some destinations) find ANYTHING for the Christmas dates to SXM, or anywhere in the Virgin Islands! (this being on Kayak) ????
Anyways, long story short, I've considered going to a travel agency and have them worry about it. It's kinda nice thinking of walking into an office, telling someone what you want, and have them sort out the rest. I understand booking fees in travel websites are really low (some even claim "no booking fees"), so are the services provided in a travel agency much costlier than online? Are there fare types or special discounts only traditional travel agents have access to? Should I, for future travels, ditch the Kayaks, the Expedias, and Orbitzeses and stick to old school?
What are your experiences with today's travel agents? I look forward to any insight and happy travels!