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Is booking a trip online the best option?

Lawton_The holiday season is quickly approaching and with it comes the dreaded holiday travel.  But, delays and long lines at the airport aren't the only thing travelers need to worry about.  Online travel agencies are the latest hype and they're quick and easy.  But, when it comes down to it, they may not always be your best solution.

So, what are the pros and cons of booking online? 

If you're only buying a single ticket, most of the time booking online is okay.  But, the more complicated the itinerary gets the better it is to book through a travel agent.  Travel agent George Johnsen sees mix ups happen all the time and tickets that are not the bargain travelers may think they are.  "The last minute tickets are really very expensive," he says.  "And we've had people that had to pay well over $1,000 for a ticket that should have been about 3 or 4 hundred."

So many things can go wrong when booking online.  "The companies can change hotels on you and they have that right in there but, like I said, it's in the fine print," says Johnsen.  He says the devils in the details and without someone to explain the fine print, you may end up paying much more than you expected.  And, undoing the damage may not be all that easy.  "When there is a problem it's real difficult to get a hold of someone to talk with from an online agency," he says.

So, with the holidays fast approaching, the old fashioned way may be the best way.  Booking your trip online could leave you stranded at the airport and really wishing you were there.  If you still plan to book online, make sure to do your research - make sure they're a registered travel agency and find out how long they've been in business first.

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