Advantages of using a local travel agent: If something goes wrong with your travel plans it is easier to hold a local travel agent accountable, including filing a lawsuit if necessary. An out-of-state travel company can disappear without a trace after they have your money. Ask your friends and family if they know a good travel agent in the area.
Advantages of planning your own vacation: You can find websites that sell plane tickets in packaged deals including hotels and car rental. Before purchasing any items be sure you know the website´s rules about changing flight times or dates, cancellation policies and other costs.
Be careful when buying a package deal from an unknown website. Call the resort or hotel at your destination and check to make sure those gorgeous Internet photos are current and display the actual location where you are staying. Another useful idea is to call your destination´s local Chamber of Commerce.