Best Travel Agents & Booking Services

With all the different deals on offer, planning a holiday or business trip can be daunting. Whether you want the help of a travel agent or prefer a do-it-yourself booking service website, we’ve got some tips for you so that you can make the most of your next getaway. Continue reading...

Brand
Search brand...
Rating
Service Types
Show more

Based on 83,024 reviews
Odynovo

Odynovo

5.0  (1,154) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Raj Sivalapperi
Raj Sivalapperi
  Verified
Guided Tour of China - Guilin, Yangshou, Zhangjiajie, Beijing and DatongOdynovo were professional and provided excellent service during our recent trip to China. Would highly recommend. Show details ·  1
Getawayz NSW

Getawayz NSW 🏆 2024

5.0  (474) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Delshee K.
Delshee K.
  Verified
Clean Cruising

Clean Cruising

4.9  (639) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Krollie
Krollie4 posts
 
Amazing Japan tripEvery thing was perfect . We boarded Princess cruise out of Brisbane a flew back in a month later . Kylie is my agent and she is wonderful . On the bal with what’s available .I have been booking with Kylie for about 18 years now . Show details ·  1
Mann Travel

Mann Travel 🏆 2024

4.8  (3,059) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Munish Sharma
Munish Sharma
 
Air Ticket bookingThanks Latika for your professional and in detail advise that helps me to book my air tickets via Mann Travel
Global Work & Travel

Global Work & Travel

4.6  (754) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Mackenzie
Mackenzie
 
China Highlights

China Highlights

5.0  (100) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Murray H.
Murray H.
 
AmazingCo

AmazingCo

4.6  (885) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Shannyn
ShannynVIC2 posts
  Fair Incentive
Great day out!We had a fabulous day out with the family! The kids love solving the clues and enjoying the extra activities along the way. This was our 3rd mystery picnic and we’re keen to do the next one asap! Show reply
My Holiday AU

My Holiday AU

4.6  (846) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
viki
viki
 
most professional and personalMarissa Kucil went above and beyond to make this holiday come to life, after many emails back and forth, her thinking outside the box to accommodate all of us got us there. i would have given up if it wasnt for her expertise and help in booking groups. 10/10 for excellent service, will definitely be requesting Marissa again.
Fiji, here we come Show details ·  1
Travel China Guide Tours

Travel China Guide Tours

5.0  (92) Summary
Fabio
Fabio2 posts
  Verified
flybuys travel

flybuys travel 🏆 2024

4.6  (1,874) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Brett M.
Brett M.
 
Never againGreat location horrible overpriced run down hotel, don’t stay there Show details
The Ticket Merchant

The Ticket Merchant

4.5  (1,878) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Gavin R.
Gavin R.QLD3 posts
  Fair Incentive
AFL @ The MCGEasy to use site. Booked great tickets to the AFL at The MCG and was able to get all the information necessary to make the purchase. Price was very competitive. Show details
Traveldream

Traveldream

4.7  (275) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Ned
NedQLD2 posts
 
Japan, Vietnam Tours excellent. Would definitely use Traveldream again15 Day Japan/Hiroshima Tour, plus Sapa and Hanoi Vietnam. Mar and Apr 2024 Exceptionally well organised tours. Every aspect went exactly as planned. The tours, guides, transfers, flights exceeded expectations. The Team at Traveldream responded speedily to any request when organising our tour.
Would definitely use Traveldream again. Show details
TravelOnline

TravelOnline

4.5  (1,345) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Tarra Navarro
Tarra NavarroNSW
 
Travel online amazing prices and competent staffAmazing holiday, completely organised. Will definitely book again with Travel online. Show details ·  1
Luxury Escapes

Luxury Escapes 🏆 2024

4.5  (6,558) Summary
Craig L
Craig LSA
 
Great professional and friendly service/experienceJust had one of the best experiences when resolving a delicate matter. Danielle was extremely helpful and friendly when delivering a positive outcome and we could not be more pleased with the professional service she provided. Very happy customer, Great job Dan K. Show details
My Fiji

My Fiji

4.5  (406) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Jane T
Jane TVIC3 posts
 
Asia Tourify

Asia Tourify

5.0  (69) Summary
Samantha M.
Samantha M.
 
HotelsCombined

HotelsCombined

4.5  (253) Summary
Lindsey
Lindsey
  Verified
SCAM - ARMAR HOUSE ALL INCLUSIVE CANCUNWhen we arrived, we found that it was a closed resort under construction.
Cruise Guru

Cruise Guru

4.3  (777) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Ellenora G.
Ellenora G.
 
Simply the best booking agentAlways book cruise guru they are the best and look after you. Show details ·  1
Ultiqa Hotels & Resorts

Ultiqa Hotels & Resorts

4.4  (165) Summary
Joan L.
Joan L.VIC6 posts
 
Ecruising Travel

Ecruising Travel

4.4  (224) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Janine F.
Janine F.
  Verified
Easy bookingCory Edmondson has been very helpful over the past couple of years helping to organise my cruise. We had to make a few changes and she was very efficient in helping us with it due to itinery changes. Show details
hotels.com.au

hotels.com.au

5.0  (48) Summary
Marcus
Marcus2 posts
 
Phil Hoffmann Travel

Phil Hoffmann Travel

4.4  (158) Summary
Jo Grant
Jo Grant3 posts
  Verified
Phil Hoffmann Travel
Phil Hoffmann Travel   DM   
More
Imagine Holidays

Imagine Holidays

4.2  (1,234) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Noelle G
Noelle GWA
 
SatisfactionI dealt with Charlie for our booking. He did a wonderful job explaining all that I needed to know in a very polite manner. Show details
Wendy Wu Tours

Wendy Wu Tours

4.2  (371) Summary
Ckuan Australia.
Ckuan Australia.Western Australia
 
Peterpans Adventure Travel

Peterpans Adventure Travel

4.1  (331) Summary
Thalison V.
Thalison V.
 
Making a dream coming trueI had a dream of becoming a skydiver and thanks to Peterpans this dream has coming true, they have offered an amazing service and facilitated the all process, I can’t thank them enough. 100% recommend it for your travel and adventures. Show details
iFly

iFly

4.1  (202) Summary
Peter
PeterQLD
 
Perfect and effectivePerfect and efficient service. Taking all our questions and arrangements into account. Show details ·  1
Travlect

Travlect

4.8  (42) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Roberta Tollis
Roberta TollisWA3 posts
 
Australian Escapes

Australian Escapes

4.3  (91) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Karen
KarenWA6 posts
  Verified
Fantastic and very enjoyableVery happy with our holiday, the hire car was perfect, we had a great time accommodation and time booked was perfect at each place. We met some amazing people and the tours booked for us weee also fantastic thanks to the hospitality of the Tassie people.

Well done to Katrina B thank you. Show details ·  1

Fun Over 50

Fun Over 50

4.7  (47) Summary
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • Thumbnail
  • See all
    Thumbnail
Debbie P.
Debbie P.QLD
 
Travel Megastore

Travel Megastore

4.0  (181) Summary
YITING
YITINGQLD
 
The serveice is very good!The cruise specialist Teddy is really helpful. he's very patient with all my enquiries.
i can't wait for my first cruise trip. Show details ·  1

Two women sitting across from each other at a desk and pointing at destinations on a world globe.

What does a travel agent do for you?

Travel agents plan and book trips for their clients, whether for business trips or holidays. They listen to your travel preferences and source anything from flights and accommodation to tours and restaurant bookings for you.

Ultimately, a travel agent’s job is to ensure you have the best possible experience. To do this, they also:

  • Liaise with hotels and hotel agents, airlines, tour operators, and other travel companies to ensure you have a great experience without you needing to put in much effort.
  • Assist you if you get into any sticky situations abroad.

Using an agent is generally thought to save you hours of research, which is why using a travel agent instead of booking online may be a good idea for time-pressed people. Of course, you will be paying extra for these little luxuries, but for many travellers, the trade-off is well worth it.

Pros
Save you time and effort by doing all the research and bookings for you.
Can provide advice on destinations and activities that might interest you.
Provide reassurance to travellers, as agents handle all the details and double check bookings to ensure dates are all correct.
Offer up greater access to special deals only available or known to travel agents.
Cons
Often more pricey than booking your own holiday.
May not get refunded if you have a change of plans and want to tweak your holiday.

What is a booking service?

You can now act as your own travel agent and use airline, car rental, hotel, and other sites, such as Odynovo and Travel Online, to book your own trip. These websites let you compare different travel deals and purchase whichever ones strike your fancy.

Those who still want a little bit of guidance can still consult an online travel agent or travel consultant without enlisting them to plan their whole holiday for you.

Booking your own travel is generally more suited to spontaneous travellers who like to plan as they go, shoestring travellers who aren’t picky about where they’ll stay, and travellers who have an exact idea of what they want to do and aren’t necessarily seeking advice from an agent.

Pros
Usually works out to be cheaper, as you’re not paying for the labour of an agent.
Still relatively simple to make online bookings.
You can easily compare prices of different services with a few clicks.
Cons
Can be more of a hassle and more time consuming to plan your trip yourself.
May not have access to all the deals on the market.

What are comparison-only services?

Comparison-only services, such as HotelsCombined and Skyscanner, only let you compare prices of different travel services, without letting you book these directly on the website. This means that clicking through on a deal will usually take you to a third-party website, such as the website of an airline or a hotel.

Consider what kind of travel you want to do

Those who like to travel with a daily itinerary and have their activities planned out may be more inclined to use travel agents, while those who prefer off-the-cuff, spontaneous travel with just a general idea of what they want to do rather than a specific plan may suffice with making their own bookings.

Many travel agents these days will also specialise in a certain area, such as cruises (like cruise agents at Clean Cruising) or honeymoons. If you’re after a particular type of getaway, then finding an agent who knows all the ins and outs of exactly what you want to do could be a good place to start.

You can think of it as dating of sorts - you’re in better hands with a travel agent who takes a genuine interest in you and your travel ideas. Whether you want to do a rail trip around Europe or backpack through South-East Asia, an agent whose eyes light up at the sound of your plans and adds their own personal touch is a good match.

A man wearing a travel backpack standing in an airport looking at flight times.

What to look for in a travel agent

Accreditation

Travel agents in Australia aren’t required to be licensed, however they can still get voluntary accreditation with the ATAS, or the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme. This is run by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), the peak travel agent body in Australia, which vets agents to ensure that they meet industry standards and are adequately trained.

According to ATAS, the benefits of booking with an industry-accredited ATAS agent include:

  • Expert guidance. Agents know how to wade through the abundance of travel information online and have access to high quality product suppliers.
  • Extra value. ATAS agents have access to exclusive deals and can find the most well-suited products for you.
  • Professional advice. They offer insightful, timely, and professional guidance to get you where you want to go.
  • Consumer advocacy. If there are any problems while you travel, your agent will act as your advocate, providing support and assistance in the case of events like flight delays or cancellations, rescheduling, natural disasters, and personal accidents.

Know your rights

Even though travel agents don’t need a licence, they still must comply with relevant laws, such as Australian Consumer Law and any relevant state Fair Trading laws. This means that you’re entitled to appropriate remedy from a service if the product or service you’ve purchased doesn’t meet consumer guarantees.

Knowledge

No travel agent is going to have local knowledge of every single city and country on the planet. However, finding an agent who has been to, knows about, or is ready to go the extra mile and do research on your destination is usually a good sign.

Customer service

A high level of customer service is key to ensuring you get the most out of your holiday. Of course, a friendly travel agent will help you enjoy the process of booking your travel, not just the travel itself. On top of this, you should keep an eye out for transparency and timeliness when comparing agents.

Transparency

A good agent is transparent about their fees and charges, the terms and conditions of your trip, and why they think certain deals are better than others - some even show you their computer screen so you know they aren’t hiking up prices. If they wait before revealing hidden or extra costs, then that’s a red flag.

Timeliness

A travel agent who replies promptly is often a keeper. Not only does constant communication make booking your travel a whole lot quicker and easier, you’ll also be able to nab up the latest deals without a hitch. If things go wrong on your trip, an agent who helps you in a timely way when you’re in need can make or break your whole holiday.

Deals

Some travellers, such as students and pensioners, may have access to special travel deals, information, and discounted fares that they normally wouldn’t be able to find with a few queries on a search engine.

Don’t expect every travel agent to know about all these concessions. For example, students may want to look for a youth-oriented travel agency or agents situated in backpacker-heavy locations.

Cost

The price that travel agents charge for their services can vary greatly, and will also depend on the length, complexity, and nature of your trip. For a week-long holiday, you can generally expect to pay somewhere between $100 for more inexpensive solo trips to over $2000 for a luxury stay.

It’s normal for travel agencies and tour operators to charge reschedule and cancellation fees, so make sure you know these costs before you book.

What to look for in a travel booking service

Ease of use

A decent booking service should be clear and easy to navigate. Clicking on a link should get you where it tells you it will, rather than to an advertisement or some other pop-up. Complicated booking sites may be that way to obscure hidden fees or sway you into choosing a flight or hotel of their liking.

A website which lets you save information as you search, such as the dates you want to fly on and any hotels you’ve “favourited”, will make the whole process a lot quicker and easier.

Transparency

A booking site may advertise a certain price, but then show a different price once you click on the deal. This could mean that either the pricing just isn’t up to date, or that the website is intentionally showing you a cheaper price to get you to click through. Either way, these booking services are misleading and you may be better off avoiding them altogether.

Read the fine print

Make sure you’re well-acquainted with any terms and conditions of your booking so that you’re not slapped with a hefty fee once you’ve returned from your holiday. This is particularly important if a deal just sounds way too good to be true.

Rewards

Many travel booking sites will reward you for using them to plan your holidays, incentivising you to use the same service for any future trips.

Expedia, for example, lets you earn Expedia points with every trip you book through them, which you can then use to save on hotels, travel packages, and car rentals. Some services also offer you perks the more you travel, giving you things like discounted spa days and free Wi-Fi on your trip.

Prices

Just because using a booking service is generally cheaper than using a travel agent, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be fees associated with using them, so ensure you double check details to see whether you’re actually paying a good price.

Some booking services also offer price matching, offering the same or a better price than the lowest price you’ve found.

You can always use both

There are pros and cons to using a travel agent and a booking service, so don’t feel like using one means you can’t use the other.

Some people like to do their own research and compare prices they find to quotes from agents before deciding who to go with. Some also use travel agents for bigger purchases - such as flights and accommodation - but prefer to do car bookings, rail bookings, and organise day trips themselves.

At the end of the day, it’s your trip, and how you plan it is entirely up to you.

©  ProductReview.com.au Pty. Ltd. All Rights Reserved. General disclaimer: All third party trademarks, images and copyrights on this page are used for the purpose of comparative advertising, criticism or review. This is a public forum presenting user opinions on selected products and businesses, and as such the views expressed do not reflect the opinion of ProductReview.com.au. Further details in the disclaimer.