What are the Different Types of Travel Resources?

Sheri Cyprus

The different types of travel resources include agents or consultants, tour group leaders, guidebooks and websites. Rather than just relying on one resource, many travelers use a combination to plan a trip. While travel professionals provide customer service and industry knowledge, websites in which other travelers post unbiased reviews on hotels and attractions can also be a helpful resource.

Some travel agents specialize in niche travel, such as booking couple's packages or luxury hotels.
Some travel agents specialize in niche travel, such as booking couple's packages or luxury hotels.

Travel review websites are a popular resource for those looking for what others who have stayed at a hotel or visited a tourist attraction have to say about their experience. Such unbiased reviews, when combined with other travel resource information such as that from guidebooks and agents, can help travelers decide where they'd like to stay and which attractions seem the most worthwhile. Bad reviews in these types of travel resources don't necessarily stop people from staying in those hotels or visiting those attractions. What is a negative to one traveler may be a positive to another, for example. Much of the time, good reviews about already popular travel venues only confirm to travelers that they do want to experience these for themselves.

Online guidebooks usually include maps and other helpful travel resources.
Online guidebooks usually include maps and other helpful travel resources.

Other websites contain informative articles written by travel writers. These pieces may be similar to those found in guidebooks or city guides. Some web-based travel resources contain much more informal, personal travel experience stories. Professional travel writers typically offer a lot of practical, useful information based on both personal experience and research. Guidebook articles may also include helpful travel resource material such as maps and what to pack for the weather in each season.

Many guide books are available in electronic fomats that can save precious luggage space.
Many guide books are available in electronic fomats that can save precious luggage space.

While not unbiased in terms of their feedback on attractions, since many of them work for or with these places, tour group leaders can be great travel resources for information about a particular city. Many of them have traveled extensively in the city and can offer travelers many tips based on their experiences. Similarly, travel agents or consultants are usually experienced travelers as well as professionals in the industry and have many tips to share.

A travel agent or consultant can save travelers time and money in calling airlines or hotels. He or she often gets price breaks that can benefit travelers. Consultants or agents are usually excellent travel resources, as they build relationships with clients to get to know their preferences and needs. Many travel agents and consultants are familiar with good resorts in different areas and can advise travelers in booking airline flights that offer the best value for them.

Some agents specialize in round-the-world travel itineraries.
Some agents specialize in round-the-world travel itineraries.

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There are also local travel centers that can be a huge help when you arrive in a place last minute. When I had to do some New York travel at the last minute I just stopped by a travel information kiosk at LaGuardia and didn't have a problem putting together some plans. They even booked a nice hotel for me that stuck to my budget.

I think too many people stress about getting everything perfect on their trips and tend to get caught up getting everything set in stone in advance. I actually found out about some smaller events I didn't know were happening in the city just by asking when I was there. Nothing like the knowledge of the locals.


While I feel that travel agent resources are good, I really haven't had trouble beating their prices by using Travel Advisor and hitting my web search engines. Nowadays there are so many good last minute deals online with lots of reviews of hotels and sightseeing locals that there just doesn't seem to be much reason to bother seeing a travel agent.

I do all of my international travel planning completely by myself and so far I haven't been disappointed. I think as long as you do your own research you can do just fine without outside help. Travel agents seem to be more of a matter of convenience now.


@Latte31 - That is true, but if you are traveling domestically it is so easy to look information up on the Internet that you really don’t need a travel agent.

Also books like Fodors and Zagat’s can give you a lot of information about the attractions and restaurants in the area that you are traveling to.

I also think that tour guides can really add to the travel experience. When my husband went to China, he booked a tour of the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall from a reputable travel company online by himself.

He picked this company because they offered a toll free number to the U.S. which made him feel good about the company. A lot of these travel sites also offer reviews from past customers which could be very helpful.


I think that if you are traveling abroad you should definitely look at a travel agency to help you with your travel plans because they are usually more familiar with many destinations and can steer you into the better hotels.

Also, travel agents usually offer great insider tips that you won’t get anywhere. Experienced travelers like this can be a great help for the little things about your trip that you didn’t anticipate.

Sometimes visiting a new country can be overwhelming and you might miss out on things that you should really experience while you are there if you don’t get a travel agent.

I also think that the State Department offers information on locales that are considered high risk and can provide information about vaccinations and places to avoid.

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