Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Being An Amateur Travel Agent

In the old days, if you wanted to go somewhere, you would call up your travel agent.   They would use their fancy computers to find you flights, hotels, and otherwise build your itinerary.   The alternative was to make dozens of, then expensive, long distance calls yourself.   I remember booking business trips like this in the mid nineties.

Although everyone can be a travel agent these days, the Internet has made booking travel to be quite a challenge in many other ways.   I have taken it upon myself to become as much of a travel expert as I can be, considering that I can hardly call myself a frequent traveler.  

One of my tricks as been to volunteer to book travel for other people.   I was able to book some friends of mine a trip to see the Tour de France this year.    First I helped them book some super-cheap first class tickets.   Next, I helped them find a place to stay in Bordeaux, as well as some hotels in Paris city centre.   Finally, I have been offering these novice international travelers some tips on credit card usage in Europe, over at the blog I write for at

I like doing this for several reasons.   It feels good to use my knowledge to help my friends, and it is just plain fun to sort out travel itineraries.

So to paraphrase some pop culture, "If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... The J-Team."

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