Trailfinders are an amazing survivor in the travel world, in the age of internet bookings - especially when, I suspect, most of their core clientele are capable of using the internet. (Other travel agents presumably only survive catering to that shrinking number who don't have internet access).
But Trailfinders know their stuff - they are good at recruiting seasoned travellers, including (but not exclusively) lots of antipodeans and South Africans, who have themselves been there and done it. As Shopoholic says, they are good for complex itineraries, or advising on odd-ball plans like train travel in exotic places, or booking adventure activities before you go, not all of which feel secure on-line (it can be hard to check out the credentials and liability insurance on-line).
A very useful new service is providing innoculations and other such preparatory medical advice for visits to the tropics.
There are several addresses in the Kensington High Street area, each specialising in a different part of the world. Recommended.
It seems really odd to be writing a positive review of a traditional travel agent in 2007; I do most of my bookings online, but I have to say that for complex itineraries, it is still difficult to beat Trailfinders. They know their stuff, they advise according to your budgets and your tastes, and their prices are very competitive (although you might want to check hotels separately, I got some better rates by going direct or online). Staff is generally really pleasant and intelligent!
I booked a recent cruise with Trailfinders. I would have been much better off having gone directly to the cruise provider. When I had to change the date (many months in advance) for family commitments, Trailfinders came up with a punitive charge & an increase in the fare which was hundreds of pounds more then the price being charged by the cruise provider for the new date. I was stuck in the original contract with Trailfinders otherwise I would have cancelled.
Customer services passed me on to an ineffectual agent who did nothing.
Having been recommended by a friend, I had previously booked all of my long haul trips with Trailfinders. I shall never use them again.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.