We have not used a travel agent in over a decade, I am the queen of online search as you could tell in my Finding A Cheap Flight blog post and we are totally supportive of this guest post by Sandra on booking online.
Whilst searching for a holiday bargain, your best bet will always be the Internet. Not only are you subject to online discounts, but you’ll also be able to do your search in the comfort of your own home, cup of tea in hand, and comfy chair!
Of course, like anything in life, you have to know what you’re doing in order to do the best job, but searching for bargain breaks isn’t difficult, and provided you stick to reputable sites and companies, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t save big.
It’s not only the actual main basis of your holiday that proves cheaper online either, as you can book many airport extras, such as airport parking from Airparks, at great online rates. This is a service I always use, so as soon as you’ve pressed ‘book’ on that holiday and you know when your flight time is, I’d recommend looking into how you’re going to get to the airport. I often book Luton Airport parking when grabbing a cheap short-haul flight from the this particular airport, as not only do I save money on the flight but I also give myself a stress-free start to my break by driving myself. If you’ve got kids also, this is a godsend.
As you can see, there’s no facet of your holiday that can’t be booked online, and with most companies you will be given a contact number to speak to someone if you have any questions or problems - just remember to note down your reference number to make the whole thing easier.
So where do you start?
Well I always stick with a group of websites that I trust, including Travel Republic and Sunshine, amongst others. As for booking a flight separately, I usually deal with the airline direct, as I know I’m getting an ABTA and ATOL protected booking, and I have no reason to worry. Do this for whatever company you use, as in the event of a problem, you’re covered. However, remember that this shouldn’t replace your travel insurance, so get that booked online too!
It’s all as easy as A, B, C really, and your search can take you as long as you like. I often peruse a few hotels, checking out reviews and online photos before I decide on anything, which isn’t easy to do when you’re booking in a travel agency store. This is another huge perk of booking your holiday online – you have time and comfort in which to make your decisions, without feeling rushed, yet you can speak to someone if you need any help. It’s the best of both worlds, whilst of course saving money.
I sometimes find great last minute deals through Teletext Holidays too, which searches several deals and brings them all together in one easy place. Again, check your protection with each particular deal, but on the whole, you can grab some serious bargains here.
Another great bargain place is vacationstogo.com for last minute discount cruising. I have been on several cruises because of this site and the amazing specials.
Saving money here means more to spend when you’re away, and less stress during the booking phase by doing it all online. What are you waiting for? Grab that laptop!
Sandra Blake is a web designer who might not travel as much as she likes, but does live vicariously through the internet. She recently became addicted to travel blogs and vacation discount sites and hopes one day to actually be able to hit the BOOk button.