There are quite a few advantages to using a travel agent while on holiday - but many of them are not recognized. A lot of people seem to think travel agencies are a rip-off, and that people can do it all themselves. You're right, you probably can. But I know someone who tried to go to Peru - got a quote from a travel agency and did not like it. He then organized the trip himself. His flight was delayed by 2 days on the way there because he chose a bad company. He got there, and found out he could no longer rent a car because he came too late. His suitcase was damaged, and he ended up ruining what could have been the trip of a lifetime.
How could a travel agency have helped? They can get you a decent quality airline for a cheao price, to start. This is because they bulk buy, and get a discount. Secondly, if you arrive late and find that you can not rent a car anymore, then you can not do anything. But if the travel agency were to book the rental company - then they probably use that company every time someone wants to go to Peru. The rental company does not care about losing 1 customer - but if the travel agency is not grateful the company could have lost a huge amount of customers so they'll probably arrange something for you. It's the same for if you miss a flight and you are late for you hotel booking - they will compromise because you are with an agency. In essence, if you run into trouble, all you have to do is pick up the phone.
But what about the cost? Well, you will have paid the agency a certain amount, and probably saved at least that if not more. And that's only talking about money, do not forget that they'll have saved you a lot of money. And everyone knows that time IS money. Travel agnecies get good deals, so you'll either end up paying the same amount of money overall that you wouldve done without travel agency and get a better standard - or pay less and get the same standard. Just outline what you want from the trip and what your budget is. And do not forget that travel agency's have experience. They've organized safari holidays where animals have gone wild, they've organized hiking holidays where someone has been injured. Just pick up the phone, and they can give you details of the nearest hospital or put you through to the emergency services, like a 24 hour personal assistant. So if you want to get value for money, I recommend travel agencies - even if they cost you a little to hire.
I'm not saying that you should use a travel agent all the time, but it's worth checking out if you're going on a long trip, far away - or a trip that could be extreme. Travel agencies can save you money and time - and provide you with a service.