Traveling certainly is not what it used to be. First of all, there are very few travel agents in this day and age, and the number is always shrinking. This is because, with advent of wireless Internet, few people need to have a third party scope out hotel and flight reservations, or book tours. Just do a little research on your 4G phone, and you will easily find the best, most convenient flight, or the coolest hotel with a deeply discounted rate. You can contact travel companies directly, and even ask specific questions and/or make special requests, like finding out if the tour will be wheelchair accessible, or appropriate for small children. But when replacing a travel agent with a wireless Internet connection, the one thing that you can miss out on is the touch of personal advice that having another human being plan your trip can provide. But there are ways to fill this void; fear not!
In this day and age of ubiquitous wireless Internet, there are actually a number of ways in which people who are planning their vacations can see advice from other individual travelers. Many online booking sites will actually allow user reviews to be posted alongside of hotel information, for example. After booking a reservation through a website like Expedia or Orbitz, guests can rate the lodging that they stayed at, choosing a “starred” rating and giving more details about service in a written section. You can scroll through these reviews to get a vibe for the place. You naturally want to take these proclamations with a grain of salt. Some people become bitter about past accommodations simply due to their own pickiness, so one stinker of a review in a batch of generally positive ones need not be a red flag.
Wireless Internet has created another space for individuals to share traveling information, and these are online forums. Different guidebooks often have sections of their websites that are devoted to user-generated information. People can make posts giving or seeking advice, and others are able to respond. Imagine this, for example. You are trying to plan a trip through Western Europe, but cannot, for the life of you, find information about whether or not there is a direct train between Lyon and Barcelona. Instead of fretting, you can simply post the question on one of these forums, perhaps in a section dedicated to transportation advice. A number of other users are highly likely to respond, perhaps even directing you to appropriate websites to book reservations for the train itself, or recommending that you fly between the locations because it only costs $35 USD.
One thing is for sure: in this age of wireless Internet, there is certainly no dearth of information regarding different options for traveling. Really, the only task that you are charged with is assessing all of it and figuring out what can be trusted. Once again, there are some people out there who have an axe to grind. But most people just want to be helpful to other travelers.