My Travel Blog

Why You Should Consider a Travel Agent

For the second half of our Ireland trip, Lisa used a travel agent.  I was a little surprised. I thought with the advent of the Internet, travel agents had been abandon to the scrap heap of useless enterprises along with the milkman, pay telephones, and full service gas stations.  Generally speaking I still believe my assumption to be true.  The good news is that those travel agents that to survive the Internet incursion were the best in their field.

For our trip to Ireland we used Carolyn Durup with Town and Country Travel in our hometown of Thousand Oaks, CA.  Town and Country is a full service travel agency, and yes they charged us a small fee for their services.  If their name is familiar it’s because we used Town and Country for our trip to Africa last year.  Was their fee worth paying?  At least ten times over if not fifty.  Carolyn made the planning for our trip so much easier.  We told her the things we like to do and what we were looking for.  She wanted to know what kind of accommodations we wanted, and did we mind driving on narrow roads in a country that drives on the wrong side of the highway.

They weren’t kidding when they said narrow roads.

We ate at Linnane’s seafood restaurant on this beautiful sound. There was a dock for fishing boats right outside the restaurant.

Even the Irish cows look healthy.

Some beautiful horses.

Lisa and I have always supported our local vendors. In this day and age, travel agents are mostly small family owned business.  These people live and work in the community, and deserve your support.  But they also provide the invaluable service of knowledge and experience.  Besides, if something goes wrong during your travels you’ve got an advocate in your corner. You have no idea how important that can be when you’re traveling in a foreign country, and things go wrong.

We have friends that work in Ireland, and have traveled there on a regular basis for years. When we told them we were going they said we didn’t need a travel agent. They could tell us everything we needed to know.   Fortunately we stuck with Carolyn’s recommendations.  Just the perks that Town and Country provided were worth more than their small fee.  They included everything from a free tour guide for a four-hour hike, to room upgrades, and even free high tea – which by the way was killer.

The view from Gergan’s Castle.

University College Cork.

Our first stop was Gregan’s Castle. It’s not really a castle, but a very nice hotel. Of course we had to go see the Cliffs of Moher.  When we first arrived it didn’t look like we were going to see anything.  The fog was so thick I could barely find Lisa. We first checked out the museum hoping the fog would eventually burn off.  That didn’t work so we walked out to the cliffs.  Nothing. We couldn’t see a hundred feet down the 600-foot vertical rock face.  We followed a trail just a couple of feet from the cliffs edge with signs that warned us of landslides.  At some point we could just make out the sea below.  Then we could see a little further, and a little further.  We wanted to visit some other sights so we decided to leave.  Of course just as we were leaving the fog receded and left us with an incredible view.

The foggy Cliffs of Moher.

The fog finally started to burn off.

The fog finally burned off as we were leaving.

-Tom Miller

Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.