Not so fast: Travel agents aren't as irrelevant as you think

Now I get it.

Travel agents. Maybe travel web sites have seemingly made them obsolete to a large portion of the public, but I just returned from a four-day summer vacation, having used my first travel agent, and now I'm a convert.

I'm not an expert on the topic, and obviously my one great experience isn't going to be replicated across the world with every other vacation, so consider this travel commentary and not hard-nosed reporting. I'm not imploring every person who travels to ditch Expedia and Travelocity or the lesser-known but well-regarded Kayak.com and never darken their doorsteps again. In the landscape of travel planning, they have their place, of course, but I'm convinced that travel agents do, too. Still.