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Have your heart set on a particular airline to earn frequent-flier miles or take advantage of their great amenities?

Your travel agent may not be able to book seats on certain carriers without booking a whole vacation package, says Stone.

For an agent to book, say, a Southwest ticket and get paid for it, they go through a third party that allows them only to book vacation packages, likely with a hotel.

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A travel agent won't necessarily find the best price.

You can often find a better price on a room than a travel agent can by calling a hotel directly or visiting their website.

Check sites like Groupon and Living Social to find them.9. A travel agent won't tell you that they make the bulk of their money on packages, so if you're booking hotels, airfare or rental cars with rewards points, they're losing big dollars.

Still, Wasson recommends doing your homework before committing to a card—and then using it appropriately.

Stone explains that reputable agencies encourage their employees to take "familiarization (FAM) trips" which allow the agent to learn about a destination at a deeply discounted rate.

She suggests asking about recent FAM trips your agent's taken to learn which destinations and accommodations she truly knows well.4. Being open about when you travel and where to can slash your trip costs.

Jeff Wasson, owner of travel site Gusto.com, used a travel agent who specialized in his honeymoon destinations of Italy and Greece.

"I could've winged it and taken a subway or bus from the airport, but my travel agent arranged to have a town car whisk me away, cool drink in hand.

In the not-so-distant past, online booking engines didn't issue refunds, so travel agents were the way to go if you were concerned you'd have to cancel your trip. Department of Transportation mandates that airlines refund your money if you book online at least one week prior to departure and cancel within 24 hours of booking.

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