You’ve got a great trip all planned out. But now you have to figure out the details and book it all online. Booking a trip can be a stressful undertaking. You can spend hours online, searching for that perfect deal on flights and hotels. You download apps and try new booking websites. You bounce from one website to another in pursuit of the perfect schedule and price.

Our culture has become focused on DIY solutions. But many of us realize that sometimes it’s just better to let the experts help us out. When it comes to travel, we face many choices for flights, hotels, car rentals, and tours. Some of us have decided to dump the DIY approach and go the old fashioned route of hiring a travel agent.

But how do you know when it’s time to hire a travel agent?

Taking the Stress Out of Travel Plans

Sometimes a trip is pretty straightforward. You can hop on your favorite booking website, buy the ticket, and pack your bags. Often it can get pretty complicated, though. We jump from site to site, becoming frantic when our good deal gets away. Sometimes you just need to call in the experts so you can focus on the excitement of your trip, not the headache. Here are a few scenarios to help you determine when it would be a good idea to hire a travel agent.

When You’re Short On Time – An agent can save you time by vetting thousands of flight and hotel options to find the right fare at the lowest rate. They have access to sites and networks that the regular consumer doesn’t. This means they have an advantage to finding that perfect flight that you won’t have.

When You’re Tight On Cash – Some people shy away from using a travel agent because they think they’ll be charged extra for the agent’s services. You’re going to get more value from your money booking with a travel agent. Different agents charge for their services in different ways. Often, it becomes absorbed into the travel cost. This means that you don’t actually pay extra for their services. Plus, they have an extensive network. They can tap into this network, saving you more money than you would save on a DIY travel website.

When You Need Connections – Agents may have people on the ground who you can connect with, such as a local tour guide, as well as people you can reach out to if you encounter any problems. They spend their days forming loyalties with hotels, resorts, and other companies. They have experience with many of the companies you’ll rely on to make your trip go smoothly. Your agent will know what you can expect and if it will be the right kind of experience for you. They can often also use their networks to get you perks and upgrades at no extra cost to you.

When You Want Authenticity – The right travel agent will enlighten you about trip options you may not be able to find online. They’ve been working with clients for a while, so they know all the tips and tricks. You could show up in a new city hoping everything works out. Or you could rely on your agent’s experience and knowledge to help plan out the perfect trip.

When You Don’t Feel Like Troubleshooting – Despite extensive travel planning, you might encounter some bumps on your trip. Having a travel agent handle them for you can make your travel experience a lot less stressful. They can talk you through all of your options and see the holes in your logic. Agents are well-versed in travel and can help you figure out exactly what you want so your trip is enjoyable. And if something goes wrong during the trip, you can shoot them a message and they will help get you back on track.

When You Could Use Advice – Flawless travel plans lie in the details, and travel agents are experts when it comes to handling it all. Sometimes you know what you want, but you’re not sure how to get it. This is especially true when you are going somewhere new. Travel agents are experts in creating well-crafted travel plans. They can help you decide what stops you want to take, find the perfect B&B, and plan that romantic dinner on the beach. You don’t have to be alone in your planning.

Sure, DIY travel websites have revolutionized the travel industry. As consumers, we now can be our own travel agents and take control over our own choices. But there are times when this is just not practical or enjoyable. Sometimes it is time to call in an expert. For those trips that matter, a travel agent can help you figure out all the details. They can use their networks to find the best deals and get you that honeymoon suite upgrade. They can help you avoid an African safari disaster. If something goes wrong on the trip, they are just an email or text away. And they can make sure your planning is just as fun and exciting as the trip itself. Next time you’ve got a great trip to plan, look up a travel agent. You may just have the best trip of your life.