Booking travel...


MizzRobin
on Jan 18, 2008 @ 11:02 pm

...when you ladies book trips do you do it online with an airline, online through a website like travelzoo or expedia or with a travel agent? I am in the midst of booking a couple of trips and wondered what others normally do when booking travel...
 

13 Replies


Bubblybunny
Travel agent and Expedia on Jan 19, 2008 @ 08:33 am

When my hubby and I planned our trip to Italy, we booked all our hotels through Expedia because they offered much better rates than the travel agent did. The hotels through Expedia mostly met our expectations. Our only complaint was that the locations were often too far from the city center and made traveling to and from the hotel a bit hard. However that's not Expedia's fault...we were looking for something affordable, so we had to live far. The hotels themselves were beautiful, very clean and extremely comfortable. The hotel staffs were friendly and helpful. So we were quite happy with our experience through Expedia.

We booked everything else through the travel agent, including the flights, travel insurance and local tours. The flight rates were the same as what we've found online. We felt more comfortable with getting travel insurance through them because they said if anything, ANYTHING, happens, we just have to contact them and they will take care of everything. They assured us that we will have nothing to worry about. Also, they recommended several local tours to us, booked everything and gave us vouchers. Once again, they said if there were problems, just contact them and they will take care of it. We felt the travel agent took really good care of us and she gave us a lot of valuable suggestions since neither one of us are experienced travellers. All we had to pay to receive this wonderful service was $10 to open a file with them!!
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mamaluv
internet shopper on Jan 19, 2008 @ 09:15 am

I have been using Expedia or Travelocity for a while now, and also have booked directly from the individual airlines. After reading Bubbly's advice though, I think I'll call an agent next time I want to do something more elaborate. In the last few years, I've only traveled to where I have family, so I haven't booked a package deal in a long time. Good advice, BB! I think in general it's a good plan to check several sources. I've had the experience too where different travel agents have access to different deals, so if you want something that will have a large price tag in the end, definitely shop around!

ONe last thought: We went to Florida last year and I booked the hotels via TripAdvisor.com. That's another good site.
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spotty
the hook up on Jan 19, 2008 @ 11:36 am

Now that I've got the ultimate hook up through Northwest via Fiance, all I ever do these days is list standby and fly for free. But before Fiance began flying for them, we would use expedia or a specific airline's website.
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Ali de Bold
jealous! on Jan 19, 2008 @ 12:18 pm

Spotty you have it the best! I look everywhere when booking: TravelZoo, expedia, Air Canada web deals, West Jet, Canoe. For travel agents I've only used The flight center and they have been pretty good! For hotels, we always go to tripadvisor.com. The recommendations are generally spot on!
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Jessica McDowell
It depends on Jan 19, 2008 @ 01:06 pm

If you are doing really simple things like a flight from toronto to NY i would say don't both with a travel agent but when you are doing complicated trips with a couple of stops or to unusual locations I would say use a travel agent. You need their experience and they will make your trip that much better.

Consider this... If you are having a stopover or switching planes they need to give you 1 hour gap to do this. But there are times when this is not enough time and the travel agent can spot this and move the flights around. Imagine getting from one end of London Heathrow to the other, getting through customs and your flight was 20 minutes late getting in. I think I cried my eyes out to anyone I could and got onto my flight but if I hadn't then I would have had to pay for another flight!
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Bubblybunny
need to do the research yourself on Jan 20, 2008 @ 08:27 am

When we make trips within Canada and US, we always just book flights ourselves and do our own thing (ie. The internet is our best friend). The only time we went with a travel agent was when we went to Italy because neither one of us have been to Europe, we don't speak Italian and we need some advice on the best way to divide 2 short weeks.

What we actually did was went to Expedia, checked out their best deals and figured out the most we can get out of hotels/flights for the cheapest flight. So we knew how much the hotels and flight would cost if we booked online. We also verified the flight rates online with the different airlines. Then we went to the travel agent, told her we want to spend 2 weeks in Italy and asked her to find us the best trip/cost. Her quotes for the hotel was twice as much as Expedia but the flights was the same.

In the end, we ended up with no packages because it was cheaper and more flexible to book without the deals. We sat down one night with our calculator and compared the pricing. It was a lot more work for us, but the trip was worth it and we were very happy with the results. We spent a lot of planning the cost of our flights and hotels because that was our biggest expense. However, for what-to-do while we were there, we totally trusted our travel agent's advice.

Before we decided where to go, we went to the travel agent and asked her for tour books on the locations we were interested in. These travel books were free and it gave us a really good idea on where people go on vacations, prices and the time it requires. Also, we asked the agent recommendation on travel books and she gave us an excellent suggestion which we found to be extremely useful (Eyewitness Travel).

By the way, when we were in Italy, we met a lot of tourists from US, England and Australia...many of them highly recommended TripAdvisor.com!
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Nessie
I have my place on Jan 23, 2008 @ 12:29 pm


If you are flying into Barbados, give Marville Travel a call. They specialize in trips to barbados only, and buy up seats cheaply. My ticket there for easter is $755.80, the cheapest flight I have ever gotten to Barbados. It's an air canada flight, and when i checked air canada's site the same ticket for the same flight costs over $100 more!

When traveling in canada I go west jet. But I do check various places online first before booking, just to be sure.

Guys, I think I need a new bathing suit!!!!
Reply

spotty
yahoo news on Jan 23, 2008 @ 05:25 pm

I read this article today on yahoo news that you may find useful. It indicates that time of day can even play a role in getting good airfare.

http://tinyurl.com/3cbnp9
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MizzRobin
ooo.... on Jan 24, 2008 @ 11:04 am

...very interesting Spotty! I will check it out! Thanks!
Reply

Patricia
...spotty is right... on Jan 25, 2008 @ 02:10 pm

I was looking for tickets to Ireland a couple of years ago and the dates I wanted for the good price were unavailable at 5pm. I'd given up on going all together when I went to look one more time around midnight and the exact times at the cheepest price were there!! :) I was so excited and had a great time! :)

Another tip... I got a GREAT deal on tickets to Belfast at the British Isles show on Globe span for about $360 return taxes in!!!! The BEST price I have ever gotten on plane tickets! It was a show special and I had to scamble to pick dates that I could go and I called my Mum and got her the same deal! The flights themselves were very "no-frills" and we were delayed leaving Hamilton by 15 hours and 5 hours coming back from Belfast... but at that price I couldn't really complain too much! hehe
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