(Last updated on: 28/03/2022)
Which are the best travel agencies to use? Booking your travels through a travel agent can be a great way to get added security (e.g. ABTA and ATOL protection) and the expertise of someone who spends every day planning holidays. But which is the best travel agent to use? In this article I outline which are the best travel agents to use, both online and in store.
Will travel in 2021 be an option?
With the Coronavirus pandemic still hitting the travel industry, many people are avoiding booking trips right now. However, there is still the option to book future travel and of course, things are changing by the day in terms of what we can do this year. The UK now has a roadmap out of lockdown, and other countries aren’t far behind now that the vaccine effort is ramping up. Of course, in some countries you are free to travel already.
It is always well worth checking your government’s website in terms of current travel advice when booking a trip. Hopefully it won’t be too long until we are all exploring the world once more, making memories, trying new food and seeing places we’ve been dreaming of seeing. Whether you are looking to escape to Egypt or party in Paris, cruise to Croatia or sunbathe in Sout Africa, there are plenty of options to help you book safely.
Thanks to social media, news articles and company transparency, we have also been able to see how various travel agencies have handled the pandemic. With refunds and rebooking being a necessity for many, how companies have treated their customers is an important factor. When booking, look for free cancellations and good Covid-19 policies. You want to be sure that you don’t end up losing all of your money if anything happens in terms of border closures, travel bans or illness within your travel party. With that in mind, here is the lowdown on some of the best travel agencies in 2021…
What’s a travel agent?
A travel agency is a private retailer that sells travel-related products and services to consumers. This includes package holidays as well as individual holiday elements such as hotel rooms, flight tickets and travel insurance.
Travel agents typically use global distribution systems (GDS). These systems enable to travel agent staff to receive real-time updates on availability and prices and to make bookings.
Travel agencies typically take a percentage of the overall fee that a consumer pays, known as commission. Commission rates vary depending on the product and/or service that is sold. It is for this reason that consumers will sometimes pay more for a holiday booked through a travel agency than they would if they booked it directly with the suppliers.
The best travel agencies in 2021
Travel agents can do a lot for the tourist and it can be a great way to book the most suitable trips for the best value. Here is my list of the best travel agencies in 2021 and beyond…
As travel agencies go, Jet2 are one of the biggest. They are a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP), and come highly rated by many travellers. They really looked after customers during the pandemic/travel ban, offering excellent customer service and sorting out refunds or re-bookings with ease. Jet2 offer holidays to 83 different destinations including Greece, Poland, Spain, Italy and more.
With connections to various resorts and hotels within these destinations, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to booking a trip with Jet2. Their booking system is easy to use, too. Pop in your departure airport, preferred dates and destination as well as how many guests are in your party, and be rewarded with a huge variety of options for your upcoming trip.
Jet2 will look after you from start to finish, with reps on site to ensure your entire holiday runs smoothly. Whether it’s a beach holiday on the island of Kos or some Roman exploration in the heart of Italy, you’re bound to have a good time with one of the best travel agencies in 2021.
Looking for a luxury holiday? Kuoni is one of the best travel agencies in 2021 to help you book one – they’re also a WRP, offering trips to Africa, Europe, South East Asia and many more beautiful destinations.
You can book activity holidays, city breaks, safaris, cruises, ski holidays and so much more with Kuoni. The new Kuoni Flex offers you unprecedented flexibility when it comes to booking. This is to ensure you feel confident planning a holiday in a post-pandemic world. This includes moving your travel dates or changing destination – and the Flex+ option even includes a groundbreaking late cancellation guarantee.
Kuoni are working hard to ensure your safety, too, meaning anywhere you travel to will have the highest safety standards. This means you can enjoy your holiday safe in the knowledge that you’ll be just fine!
This is the largest independent travel operator in the UK, and they are also a Which? Recommended Provider. Book package holidays, city breaks, cruises and more with Hays Travel – one of the best travel agencies in 2021. Everything is ABTA and ATOL protected, as with all of the agencies on this list, so you can travel safe in the knowledge that your money is protected too! Free cancellations and amendments, Covid-19 secure travel insurance and a holiday money buyback guarantee are all added levels of protection for your trip.
With a variety of destinations from the Canary Islands to Malta, Bulgaria to the USA and so many more, you won’t struggle to choose somewhere that’s perfect for you. Their call centre is open 8am-11pm seven days a week, too, offering brilliant customer service to travellers. With deposits as low as £49pp, what are you waiting for?
With plenty of awards to their name, Trailfinders are one of the best travel agencies in 2021. Offering holidays across the globe from Africa to the USA in the form of all-inclusive breaks, cruises and more, there are is an endless list of options. Their easily recognisable orange and black website is easy to use, too. They even have WRP status. Search by destination or type of trip and find your perfect holiday.
Trailfinders are also offering travel insurance with extensive Covid-19 cover, meaning your trip is well protected. They have a travel clinic which offers plenty of advice, too! With a handy blog, virtual appointments, a great call centre and a helpful enquiry form, it couldn’t be simpler to book a holiday. Sunbathe in the Seychelles or adventure in the Arctic – either way you’ll make the most amazing memories.
Offering holidays for the over 50s, they have over 70 years experience in providing amazing holidays. The last Which? Recommended Provider on this list, they offer holidays across the globe. Choose from cocktails in the Caribbean or pottering about in Portugal to make the most of your time abroad. Saga offers UK breaks, too! You can book beach holidays, cruises, singles holidays, group trips, long-stay holidays and much more. With 24 hour customer service, coronavirus cancellation cover, ABTA/ATOL protection and a door-to-door travel service option should you want it, everything is included in a Saga holiday.
From UK breaks to beach holidays in Santorini, Sharm El Sheikh and sunny Cancun, Co-op offer a wide variety of ATOL and ABTA protected trips. Their front page booking system is easy to use. Add your destination, airport, dates and duration and see what comes up for you! With city breaks, cruises and much more on offer, you’ll find your ideal trip.
Their customer service desk operates daily from 9am until 10pm, and the website has a dedicated Covid Travel Service. This has some really helpful Q&As about testing, where you can travel to and so much more. This really helps to give customers peace of mind. Hence why Co-op have been named one of the best travel agencies in 2021!
Offering ski holidays and summer breaks across Europe as well as trips to Lapland to see Santa, Inghams are dedicated to providing beautiful holidays. They focus heavily on Italy, but you can also book trips to Austria, Germany, France and more.
Inghams is the original ski holiday company, pioneered by Walter Ingham who is famed as “the man who took Britain skiing”. They have been around for 85 years now. Inghams are the one of the best travel agencies in 2021 when it comes to booking a ski trip. But don’t forget their other types of holidays, as they still have great experience in providing these trips too!
Their Coronavirus page offers advice and updates regarding the ongoing pandemic situation. There is flexibility in terms of re-booking and refunds. Customer service is available 9-5.30 Monday-Friday, and 10-4 at the weekend.
If you love planning your own trip and don’t require too much ongoing support, Expedia is great as it still offers ATOL and ABTA protection. They offer cruises, all-inclusive holidays, city breaks and more. Car hire and flights are available through their landing-page booking system too. Their website provides a wealth of ideas and inspiration too, from pet-friendly trips to the best destinations for LGBT+ travellers. Put together your ideal trip safe in the knowledge that your money is well-protected. Expedia is a huge brand with a great reputation, and therefore still one of the best travel agencies in 2021.
The Covid area of their website deals with advice, refunds and using any credit you’ve been given from past trips that might have sadly been postponed or cancelled. Expedia also offer free cancellation for most hotels when you book through them. This means there is a level of flexibility included.
The best travel agencies in 2021
There you have it, the best travel agencies to book your holiday with. If you found this article helpful you may also like: