We know what you’re thinking: with flights and hotels just a click away, it’s never been easier to plan your own trip. But at a moment when your time and money matter more than ever, a trusted expert can take all the hassle out of travel planning—whether you’re looking to snag that seat on a sold-out flight, book that elusive corner room with a view, map out a complicated itinerary, or secure the best guides, upgrades, and (yes!) deals. T+L has evaluated thousands of agents to come up with this highly selective list of the best in the business. Scroll down to see who made the cut. Plus Tips from the experts, great values, travel trends, and what’s on the horizon for 2010.
U.S. and Canada
T+L A-Listers cite the growing appeal of Canada’s Rockies and British Columbia as closer-to-home alternatives to New Zealand or Alpine Europe (B.C.’s Clayoquot Wilderness Resort was a particular favorite). Meanwhile, Alaska is going strong for small luxury cruises.
Harold C. Jenkins Years as agent: 21. Other specialty: Skiing. Consulting fee: Varies.
Margret Propper Years as agent: 34. Other specialty: European river cruises. Consulting fee: From $100.
Carolyne Brandon Years as agent: 27. Other specialty: River cruises. Consulting fee: Varies.
Julia Kostenko + Years as agent: 4. Other specialty: Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Consulting fee: From $150.
Darlene Mulkewich Years as agent: 22. Other specialties: European river cruises, Alaskan cruises. Consulting fee: $150.
Maria Guerrieri Years as agent: 26. Other specialty: Canada. Consulting fee: $100 per person.
New York City
Amy Glass Years as agent: 30. Other specialty: Soft adventure travel in the U.S. Consulting fee: Varies.
Deborah Trevino Years as agent: 15. Other specialties: Australia and New Zealand. Consulting fee: Varies.
Mark Hoyer Years as agent: 20. Other specialties: Costa Rica, gay and lesbian travel. Consulting fee: Varies.
* tour operator
+ New to list
** T+L’s travel agent advisory board member, 2009