By Matt Castell @MattCastell02 Apr 2017Airfares and hotels are probably two of the easiest products to compare and/or shop around for. All it takes are a few simple keystrokes on your computer, phone or tablet and voila; you’ll have all the information required to make your decision in mere seconds. I’m constantly surprised when customers choose which website or agency they book with over a measly few dollars, especially when the product in question costs thousands. I’ve witnessed some people obsess over saving $1 so badly that they literally take days off work so they can drive around to different travel agencies to “get the best deal”. I mean, congrats on reducing your family holiday by $5, but how much would you have earned at work? But then it makes me think what it would be like if this whole “shopping around to save a dollar” thing extended across to other industries, products and services we use throughout our daily lives? Like your daily cup of coffee… Imagine rocking up to your local java spot, ordering your usual double-shot soy cappuccino and then looking your barista square in the eyes and telling him that you can get the same exact cup of coffee for 50 cents less from the guy at the train station – and will he better it? See how that goes for you. Or how about a haircut? So you’ve successfully saved 50 cents on your caffeine hit, now it’s time to visit your stylist for a wash and cut. You sit in the chair, offered another cup of coffee, and then talk about your ideas for your haircut. You both agree on the plan, but before you’re whisked to the weird sink thing you ask about the price. $75 she says; but you’ve seen the barber down the road advertising cuts for $15! Do you ask for a written quote, thank her for her time and leave? Doubt it. What about lunch? Now that you’re looking spiffy its time for a nice salad. The café across the road is well known for their professional service, lovely setting and its team of well-trained cooks in the kitchen. You’ve perused the menu and decided that the gravlax salmon salad sounds delightful, but before locking in your order you tell your friends to wait a few minutes so you can pop over to Woolies to see how much it would cost to buy the ingredients and make it yourself. Haven’t we all done that! No? Weird. Time for a tipple… After you smartly put together your own salad and ate it at the bus stop you decide to join your mates at the café again for a glass of wine. Since you’ve already saved $11 on the salad you agree to splurge on a bottle of vino for you and the girls. The wine menu arrives and you’re shocked to find that their prices are higher than the bottle shop! Who do they think they are? All you’ve done is sat in their venue and used the services of their professionally trained staff. Why should anyone have to pay for that, when you could pop down to the bottle-o, grab a bag of fruity lexia and some plastic cups, and then pull up some grass in the park for a session? “You’re so smart, you’ve saved so much money today” you say to yourself, as you crack the goon and look around to see all your friends have left. How ridiculous does all of this sound? I’m hoping that my point comes across; every service comes with a cost, coffees and haircuts are relatively cheap, holidays are not. Choose wisely when pinching pennies and support your local Travel Agent. What do you think? Sound familiar? Share your thoughts below. Other stories you may like Off the clock: 5 places you’re likely to find Travel Agents after work Travel agents dish out occupational advice & tell us where they’re at in their careers Are Hyatt Hotels about to check out of Expedia?