When I graduated college in 2009, I came down with a case of the traveling bug and, a year later, I still haven’t kicked it. In 2009, I ventured to Madrid and Barcelona; this year I tackled the painfully long flight to Australia. Even while on these vacations, I would catch myself dreaming of where I would go next. But with the joys of traveling I have always experienced high volumes of stress that comes along with planning and coordinating the trips. So when I saw in today’s Wall Street Journal an article titled “Planning a Dream Trip with Travel Agents,” needless to say, I was less than intrigued.

Every time I make a purchase online, I suffer a deep-seeded fear that I’m being had. Like there is an angry leprechaun at the other end of my internet line claiming to have the cheapest flight and best 4-star hotel deal, when really he is just stealing my money and identity and ruining my credit. I know that’s a little over the top but with all of the schemes out there you just never know.

Thankfully, WSJ writer Jane Hodge and her travel agent research has helped to erase my “evil leprechaun” fears help me begin to feel more comfortable with the assistance of someone who knows exactly what they are doing. Not only do travel agents know the best time to travel and help you find the cheapest flights, but they have the hook-up to hotel bundle packages and activity packages at a much cheaper rate than if you’re planning a vacation by yourself.

So, if you’re beginnig to plan a trip, take a look at the following article to help make sure you are making your arrangements in the most “wallet-friendly” way. From there it’s happy travels!