When it comes to planning your vacation, it's tempting to go the do-it-yourself route. After all, it's easy enough to book an airline flight reservation. Why shouldn't you also do your own booking for a car rental, hotel, or even a cruise? Here are five reasons why you should leave your vacation planning to a professional, full service online travel agent: 1. Terrific Deals You can do your own booking, but you won't necessarily get a low far or the best deal. Airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and cruise ships count on people to make their own reservations and charge higher rates to those who do. Yet they don't really make a profit until they're completely booked. Think of hotel rooms, airplane seats, and cruise ship cabins as perishable commodities. Just like an expired carton of milk has to be pulled off the grocery store shelf, on any given night, an empty hotel room is lost revenue that will never be regained. Similarly, an airplane is going to fly and a cruise ship will embark whether or not the seats and cabins are full. It's in the best interest of hotels, airlines, and cruise ships to be fully booked. That's why they offer discounted fares to an online travel agent, who can then pass along the savings to you. 2. Full Packages A full service online travel agent can put together package vacations to destinations and hotel properties to which you might not otherwise have access. Perhaps you're a golfer, and want a dream golf vacation. Maybe a Caribbean vacation is on the horizon. Or maybe you are looking for the perfect cruise package. Although it's sometimes possible to book travel packages with the destination, you often don't get the options that best meet your needs. An online travel agent can put together packages that work best for you and your family. 3. Great Service When you go the do-it-yourself route, it's often difficult to coordinate all aspects of your travel. Making sure that your flights depart and arrive at optimal times, that your hotel reservation is in order, that your car rental will be available, and that you'll have everything in order to board a cruise ship is no walk in the park. An online travel agent can do all the legwork for you so you can concentrate on preparing for your trip. And, if you have a change in plans, the great service that an online travel agent provides can make the transition a smooth one. 4. Group Travel Extended families often travel together, and businesses have group travel requirements from time to time. In either case, a full service online travel agent can easily book trips for people who have the same destination but who are traveling from different places. Having a group travel coordinator gives everyone peace of mind and ensures that the group's needs are met. 5. Honeymoon Registry If you're planning your honeymoon, an online travel agent can provide you with the latest trend in wedding gifts: the honeymoon registry. When you register with a full service online travel agent, your guests can contribute funds to your honeymoon, or they can buy specific services (such as a spa treatment or a romantic breakfast in bed) that you have on your wish list. While it's possible to book travel yourself, why would you want to? After all, the advantages in using a full service online travel agent are limitless.