Mexico City With a Travel Agency: Pros and Cons

Mexico City With a Travel Agency: Pros and Cons

ViaHero · April 19, 2019

Not sure if you should book your trip to Mexico City using a travel agency? We’ve compiled a pros and cons list of the typical agency’s perks and offerings in Mexico City to help you make your decision. Any questions? Message us.

Want to explore Mexico differently? Have a local plan your trip.

#1: Travel deals and discounts

Pros: One of the best things about using a travel agency: the deals and discounts they offer. Since some travel agencies have connections all over the world, it’s easy for them to find the cheapest flights to Mexico City or inexpensive day passes to some of the city’s best attractions—especially since Mexico City is packed with museums and landmarks.

Cons: Travel agencies build connections through repetitive business transactions, meaning the more tours or trips they sell to travelers, the more money they make on commission. This makes it hard to tell if you’re really getting the best deal for that archeological day trip or if you’re being sold a “deal” for the company’s benefit. This can be a particular issue as Mexico City’s high number of tourist attractions tend to spawn a large number of package deals and kickbacks (just look at TripAdvisor).

#2: Industry contacts

Pros: When traveling to Mexico City, you may have a lot of questions about your trip. Travel agencies are a great point of contact and are always there to help you figure out any bumps in the road during your travels.

Cons: Unfortunately, it’s more than likely the travel agency you’re using isn’t actually located in Mexico City. So although a travel agent may have connections and knowledge about Mexico City, they’re no more well-informed than you are about day-by-day situations. If you’re looking for someone to help you with on-the-ground or local support, this may not be the best way to go.

#3: Custom-made itineraries

Pros: Another perk of booking through a travel agent: the custom-made itineraries. Through a series of questions, a travel agent can provide you with an itinerary that fits your plans and expectations. Love sightseeing? Foodie? A travel agent can provide you with an itinerary that includes a hot air balloon tour over the Teotihuacan pyramids or a taco-and-mezcal crawl through Mexico City.

Cons: Due to the high volume of requests travel agencies face, those “custom-made itineraries” aren’t usually as customized as one might hope. Travel agencies use a variety of pre-made itineraries—often, they’re a mix of typical Mexico City landmarks and a couple of token “insider recommendations”. Often, they’ll include stuff you’re not interested in, make you walk or take cabs further than you’re comfortable with, etc. etc. Such is the risk of the wholesale itinerary.  

#4: Knowledge and connections

Pros: Travel agencies’ connections make them an attractive alternative to booking your travels alone. These agencies can be a wealth of information and can guide you to some of the best places to visit in Mexico City.

Cons: Despite their wide network of connections in the area, it’s hard for travel agencies to understand Mexico City like a local. We’re talking about the hidden gems that only locals know, like where to eat or the best non-touristy things to do in Mexico City. Often times, travel agencies can’t point you to the specifics that only locals know.

Pro tip: If you’re worried about falling into tourist traps, you can always chat with a local travel expert to make sure you’re getting the most out of your trip to Mexico City.

#5: Research and planning

Pros: Travel agents provide you with a trip itinerary that allows you to pack your bags and not worry about the day to day logistics of your vacation. Your itinerary lists what you’ll do in Mexico City every step of the way so there’s no need to stress or worry. Plus, it takes the stress out of planning your trip in the first place.

Cons: One big downfall of having someone else do your research for you: there’s little or no room for independent exploration or personal touches. If you’re someone who plans to wander around Roma or Polanco (a couple of Mexico City’s best neighborhoods) or travel through Mexico City on your own, this disconnect may present a problem.

#6: Conclusion: Ditch the travel agents and experience Mexico City like a local

ViaHero is your best bet to ensure your trip to Mexico City is exactly what you hoped it would be. A ViaHero local can help you create an itinerary and guidebook to fit your budget, interests, and travel style—plus, since they’re actually in Mexico City, they know all the hidden gems and insider info (and they’re available with 24/7 on-the-ground phone support).

Don’t travel blindly—make sure a local has your back so you can experience Mexico City the way you want to. Go beyond travel agents and TripAdvisor and see all there is to discover on your next trip.

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Excited for your trip to Mexico City? Before you book your stay, make sure to ask a local trip planner to help you along the way. Questions? Message us or check out:

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