I'm looking to do the once in a lifetime trip from the U.S.A. to the Amalfi Coast next year. Just a flight into Naples and then fly out of Naples with a hotel for 10 days +/-. I will look into both travel agents and online. Keep your great travel reports comming! I really enjoy them .
"If I was on death row and given one last meal I would ask for a fortune cookie. "Come on 'long prosperous life!'"-
I almost always sort myself out with flights, hotels etc. Went to the Maldives once and picked up a package, which is almost obligatory.
One of the benefits of a package is that you have minimal hassle when making the arrangements and you will certainly find some places that you would never have dreamt of arranging yourself.
Doing things yourself makes you feel a little more 'indipendent' I think. You can go where you want, when you want and how you want.
The DIY option can sometimes cost more and other times cost less. The economies of scale cannot be reached on your own, but some locations/agents have huge mark-ups, so you have to do your home-work, which is one of the drawbacks of the DIY option, I.e. that you have to dedicate a little time to making arrangements yourself, and getting them right, as there is no one to blame if you don't.
I always go DIY. Since the internet took of back in the 90s I have never used a travel agent and think that it is actually fun to research the trip (airfares, lodgings, sightseeing, food, etc...) and then see how things turn out. Especially when staying at B&Bs and going off the beaten path, I think doing it yourself is more work, but more fun.
My two yen,
PS Asking for help here at P.com or at another watch forum like TZ seems to elicit some great advice, too. When I ever get a chance to visit Europe, I will be sure to seek the collective wisdom of other Ristis!