Sometimes organising a holiday can get a little stressful, and you want to have full trust in the travel agent you're booking through. Are there any companies or individual agents that you would recommend for local and international travel?
Any of the Flight Centre Travel Group companies are good (i.e. Student Flights, Escape Travel, Infinity Holidays). All the companies the agents book with have to go through testing and a particular process to be recommended by the group. I normally go to Travel Associates in Paddington - ask for Kelly. She is brilliant and we have at least a dozen family and friends that use her too and they have had no complaints.
I like Flight Centre at Westfield Sydney, except they do send marketing material too frequently. Escape Travel are also good - professional staff. Otherwise I am my own travel agent - booking my own flights and accommodation online, or my PA does it for me.
The Flight Centre at Crows Nest (on Willoughby Road) has really friendly staff that aren't too pushy. I went in there when I was just after some information on a few places I was interested in visiting (a long way from booking anything) and they were very helpful. Gave me lots of booklets to look at, and contacts should I wish to book something down the track. I never felt like I was pressured to book anything, and I thought they really listened to me and what I wanted.
I used Flight Centre in Epping recently and unfortunately found several issues with their information. (At one point, they printed the wrong information for our flights on our e-ticket.) Though the staff were friendly, there were simply too many errors. On top of this, I sent an email several nights ago with questions and have had no response to date. After speaking to friends and family, I have found that most of them have found booking online and arranging travel themselves to be cheapest and most efficient. This is probably the way I shall book travel in future too. However, visiting travel centres for information and to compare rates is always a good idea. And I have only visited one travel centre - this may be an isolated incident and perhaps other agencies can be more helpful.