I'm new to the miles/points games, and I'm not sure if these are the right questions. I'll ask, and hope I learn something. To get good value, I think I'll need a tool or person to help me book my first few (complicated international) awards, until I learn more about the various award programs. How does a basic (or premium) paid membership to Expert Flyer compare to using an award booking service? Clearly, an award booking service is the easiest to use, since someone else takes care of almost everything. But with three travelers (wife, kid and me), it will be significantly more expensive. Does Expert Flyer provide enough tools to approximate an award booking service if I spend some time and effort?