Save: Travel Agent
What once was a struggle is now as easy as some online research and giving your credit card number to a secure server: Unless you're going to an exotic locale, there's little reason to splurge on travel agent fees.
Some travel agents, of course, don't charge a service fee, although even without that expense, you may be able to get a better price online, since you'll have access to special rates. So if you're staying in the country or going to a popular international destination where lots of people will speak your language, get online and search yourself.
You can use travel Web sites like Travelocity or Orbitz; check out discount-compilation Web sites like Travel Zoo, which searches the Web for travel deals and collects them in one place; or go directly through a travel company that offers discounted trips. (It's especially easy to find cruise and ski-vacation discounts that way.)
Up next: Splurge on speed.