Finding the Best Travel Deal

Searching for travel shouldn’t be a chore. Many times most of us will visit our favorite search engine, type in what we are looking for and then take what’s listed. This of course is a major mistake.

Every travel search should employ at least three search engines. The most popular are Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz. A simple search on most of these will produce average results. If you want to really dig in and find a great deal then follow this advice.

I usually start with the first three travel search engines. When I find what im looking for, I go to the companies website directly. Just about every travel search engine tacks on fee’s. This means you will always get a better deal if you deal directly with the hotel, airline, or car company.

Here is another tip….use a ultimate travel search engine. These travel engines query multiple websites including the big three listed above. What’s great about these engines is that they pull info from the companies themselves. Some of these engines query over 100 websites to find you the best deal. This is the best tool in your bag and you should always use one of these engines.

The final tip is to subscribe to travel newsletters or hotels that you might want to stay at in the future. Hotels are eager to send you discounts or coupons. I recently received two free nights to a Las Vegas hotel because I signed up for their newsletter!

If you find that deal just isn’t what you were looking for, don’t despair. Keep an eye on the rate. Hotels and airlines change their rates all the time. Call the hotel directly and ask them for their best rate sometimes you can get the best deal by calling.

The Travel Social Media Guide

If you have been waiting for the right travel social media guide then you do not have to wait any longer. In fact, you can organize a successful trip using the travel social media guide in detail below. First things first, employ a combination of the top social networks in addition to popular media sharing sites. In no time flat, you can quickly and easily put social media to work for you while on vacation. Even better, you will be able to get real time information as well as find out about the best means of transportation, hotel accommodations, leisure activities, restaurants, safety and much, much more. If you are like most folks, you will find it easy to depend on the internet for planning just about every aspect of travels. Leave your guidebook at home and use social media to research your trip.

In this travel social media guide you will find that TripAdvisor will allow you to use your network of friends to gain truthful travel advice about your trip. Using Facebook Connect is the easiest way to access this information. When you begin to research a location with the help of TripAdvisor, you can be as specific or as broad as you want. For instance you can research a country name or find out specific information about a certain hotel or restaurant. With Facebook Connect you will be able to see if one of your friends visited that particular location and how they felt about it.

At this point you can email them directly to get advice, information or to read their online reviews. A great Facebook application you will love is BootsnAll Connect. Easily find other travelers who are planning to go to the same place as you plan to go or simply connect with locals who live in the area. Here is a fantastic opportunity to ask all your travel questions. With travel social media, it is also helpful to keep your Facebook status updated. In this way you will receive travel advice. Ask for recommendations directly or just mention where you intend to travel to. Make use of other travel or tourism websites to learn about the place you intend to travel.

The travel social media guide recommends that you create a Twitter account to get even more travel updates. You can follow popular sites such as Concierge and World Nomads. Create separate lists for different areas. And get this: When you follow certain travel websites on both Facebook and Twitter you may be eligible for certain discount codes, media contests and other money saving offers to help bring down the cost of your trip. You no longer need to weigh yourself down with a dated guidebook on your trip. Instead rely on personalized advice you receive from your family, friends and other travelers who have been where you are going. Use this travel social media guide experience to effectively organize your trip. Social media is the solution to all your travel needs. Take advantage of promotions using social media and get ready to have an exciting trip.

Benefits Of Direct Booking

If you are planning to travel as a corporate, you should highly consider making direct bookings. This is because the bookings come with the following advantages:

Best price

It’s usually very expensive to work with agents. This is because you need to pay for the booking and at the same time pay the agent fee. This is usually expensive and results to wastage of money. When you book direct, you don’t work with agents and as a result you get the best price.

Exclusive service

Booking direct gives you exclusive promotions and packages. For example, companies will give you a discount of up to 30% when you book your flight with them.

The companies will also give you discounts of up to 20% when you book hotels with them. When you are given the discounts you are able to save and as a result you have more money to spend on your journey.

Direct relationship

Making a direct booking establishes a direct relationship with the booking company and as a result you are able to get the services that you want at a fast rate. For example, if you have a problem, the problem is solved very fast thus you travel with a lot of peace.

Saves you time

Time is important when travelling; therefore, you should take all measures to ensure that you save it. Since you won’t be dealing with third parties, you will save a lot of time which will ensure that you get to your destination within the shortest time possible.

Great customer service

Many middlemen have inadequate and very poor customer service as a result you are bound to have a bad experience when you work with them. This is not the case when you book direct.

For example, when you book your flight with a flight company, you are bound to have a great experience because the customer service representatives are professionally trained; therefore, they will treat you with a lot of professionalism thus you will have a great experience.

Easy to make changes

There could be changes in your business that would force you to make changes in your journey. When you book direct you will be able to make the necessary changes within a short time without any problem which is contrary to when you will be working with a third party that will require you to undergo a series of complex processes thus making your work difficult.

Ensuring Your Holiday and Finances Are Safe When You Travel

There are a number of ways to ensure you enjoy your holiday and keep your payment safe, all you need to do is ensure your holiday is booked through a reputable travel operator who should offer you the below safe guards. Below is an explanation to some of the jargon which you need to know to protect yourself and your holiday.

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) provide their tour operator members with protection against the failure of a member travel agent, but no direct protection to the consumer as such.

CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) ATOL scheme offers protection for travellers who book with ATOL members, however as the failure of the XL airline in summer 2008 showed, such protection is not nearly as clear as it seems and many people who thought they were protected under the scheme were left disillusioned and out of pocket.

If you pay for your holiday by credit card, then under the consumer Credit act 1974, you are probably protected in the event of a travel company going bust. However, this protection applies only to credit cards, and not to debit cards, such as Maestro and Visa Delta.

Some travel agents these days insist that they don’t necessarily sell you a ‘package holiday’, but sell most of their arrangements on a split contract basis i.e. all elements of the holiday you book are deemed to be contracted (by you) directly with the individual suppliers of the elements of your holiday. If any of these individual providers fail, then your claim is deemed to be against that individual supplier and not the agent through whom you booked the arrangement.

If you book directly with a schedule airline, and that airline goes bust, your financial protection is very limited or nil.

Trust accounts are operated by a number of travel organisations and afford some protection for the traveller in that they don’t pay your money over to the suppliers until you have travelled, however, if the company operating the trust goes bust before you travel, it is then up to the trustees which creditors are paid out of the remaining monies in the trust fund.

Using a Travel Agency Or Purchasing a Ticket From the Airline

When you want to go on a vacation that requires a flight, you have two main options for purchasing that ticket. You can purchase the ticket from the airline directly or from a travel agency. For decades, purchasing a ticket from the airline was the best option for many, unless they planned an entire vacation package with a travel agency. Even if you do not intend to do any other vacation planning with an agent, you can still sometimes get a flight through them. But what is the difference, really, and is one option better than the other?

To answer that question, you must first define what services a travel agency offers. Today, the Internet is a premier way for ordering tickets for many people. Websites sell thousands of tickets every day. Are these travel agencies? Some say yes, because they serve as a third party helping you to plan your vacation while others say no because these websites do not actually have vacation packages similar to those offered by your local travel agency. For now, let’s assume that these are not travel agencies and look at a comparison just between airlines themselves and travel agencies that plan vacation packages for travelers.

When you buy directly from an airline, the price of the ticket will depend most on your date and time of travel. Usually, you can get a cheaper price if you travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. You can also save money, for the most part, if you are willing to travel during times that other people usually do not want to travel, like very late at night. With an airline there is no middleman, so you do not pay any kind of commission fee along the way.

That’s not true when it comes to travel agencies. When you book a flight through an agent, you are paying them a commission for their time. This does not necessarily mean that you will pay a more expensive price overall though. Travel agents usually buy tickets in bulk. That does not mean that they purchase all of the seats on a single flight necessarily, though that can be the case in some situations. What it usually means is that the travel agent commits to selling a certain number of flights or a certain dollar amount from that airline every month or every year. In exchange for their business, the airline sells them seats at a lower price. So, even when you add a commission on top of that price, in many cases, you are still paying less than you would pay to buy directly from an airline.

When you buy a flight from the travel agent, you may also be getting a deal because you are paying more in a different area. For example, maybe your travel agent puts together a vacation package that costs you an even $1000. When you see an itemized list, you might be charged $300 for the flight, $400 for the hotel room, and the rest of the money is for activities you have planned as well as the commission. Had you planned the trip on your own, both the flight and the hotel room would have been $400. So, you are not saving any more on the hotel, but you’re saving a whopping $100 on the flight. The travel agent might have used her connections to save just $50 on the flight, but he or she was able to give you a bigger savings because they charged you full price for the hotel room, even though that room was secured for half price. This is a misplaced savings, but a savings for you nonetheless, and your travel agent also made money on the deal. Do not automatically assume, however, that if you just book a flight next time, you will get the same low price. When you are dealing with a vacation package, the savings you see are not always specifically associated with the flight ticket price.

Sound confusing? Just think of it this way: with an airline, you buy a ticket with no price changes, and with a travel agent, you buy a ticket with multiple fees and discounts attached. Who has the better bottom line? It varies from situation to situation.

You can then factor in “travel agencies” that are websites selling discounted tickets. They do the same thing as typical travel agencies in that they have a lower price, but some may charge a commission. With sites such as these, that lower price comes from their ability to sell seats at the last minute, though, so the real advantage here is usually to last-minute travelers. Basically, no matter where you buy your ticket, make sure to do a lot of price comparison shopping.

A Quick Guide to Comfortable Travel

Air travel has increasingly become one of the most popular way of traveling. Whether its leisure or business, every day airports assist thousands of people getting to their final destination safely. Choosing the perfect airline involves a number of factors, some of the most important ones including the price, destination, time, and comfortability.

Nowadays, there are numerous flight comparison websites who specialise in providing a quick and easy service to assist people finding the cheapest, quickest, and most suitable flights for them. And though there are a number of ways to guarantee a cheap flight, the cheapest options often come with restricted comfortability.

Thousands of people settle on a non-direct flight every day, something which is definitely not recommended for those who are looking for comfortability. Though non-direct flights are generally cheaper than direct flights, it will take a significant amount longer to reach the final destination. Lay-overs often come hand in hand with anxiety and high stress levels and whereas a direct flight from London to New York usually takes between six to seven and a half hours, a non-direct flight which stops at Raleigh (North Carolina) will easily take up to twelve hours, which is almost twice as long!

Whether it is a direct flight or not, the most common way to guarantee comfortability is by travelling Business class instead of Economy. Business class is generally distinguished from the Economy class by the quality of its seating, food and drinks, ground services, and other amenities. But for those interested in cheap flights, comfortability is definitely achievable in economy class as well.

The Evolution of Booking Your Travel

We all remember the days when we needed to book a flight or hotel we would have to march into the brick and mortar type travel agency to communicate our travel requirements or dream vacation and have the travel agent provide their recommendations along with options and pricing. This used to work out fine with the airline or hotel paying commissions to the travel agent (although some might suggest this was a conflict of interest when the agent entices you to take a flight or stay at the hotel where commission rates are higher). However, over the past 18 years, these commissions have been shifted onto the consumer – so you will pay more using the traditional bricks and mortar travel agency.

Then came along the ability to book directly on hotel and airline sites, these proprietary sites were built for one purpose only – to entice you to book directly with them without comparing any other options – assuring you the lowest rates. I would be stating the obvious to say these sites aren’t going to show the price of another comparable carrier or hotel offering the same flight/hotel for 20% – 80% less – that certainly wouldn’t be a good business model for them. Now, you can search through the hundreds of sites out there yourself to compare options – but the information overload and hours you would have to spend doing this make it not a viable option for everyone.

Today – we have options which put the choices available back into our hands. The most popular and sensible way to book your online travel is to use a search aggregator site. These sites essentially data mine the hundreds of websites out on the web and consolidate all the results into an independent and unbiased display for you to choose. Along with displaying prices and options, these sites also offer ratings based on user reviews and direct links to those reviews so you can read what other travellers have experienced. Now, having said how great search aggregator sites are, you need to realize that they are not all built equal or have the same business model. Some of these sites only search the many carrier and hotel sites to provide you with a price comparison; while others search the carrier, hotel AND the other aggregator sites to truly provide you with the best prices and options – these are the sites that are recommended. Now, the question you may have is how do I know what sites a search aggregator is providing me results for – look around their site and see if they tell you what they are searching. If not, the results from a search should display the source – if it shows results for some of the other aggregator sites out there – then you’ll know that you are truly getting an unbiased display of all prices and options available.