Travel web sites are big business, and a lot of power has been placed in hands of consumer… or has it? Does your urge to always look for a better deal play into somebody else’s greed? A travel web site is a great tool but before booking online you must know these 5 dirty little secrets.
1. ALL TRAVEL WEB SITES ARE CREATED EQUAL – RIGHT?
Afraid not. These days there are really two types of sites for booking online travel. The more traditional travel web sites like Expedia, Travelocity, and Travel Now… and new kid on block known as travel search engines, which include sites like SideStep and Kayak.
A travel web site only searches its own database of available flights, and rooms, and car rentals. So search is limited. On plus side you’ll get more search features and booking services offered.
At travel search engines, results will be more comprehensive than at a travel web site. These engines will include results directly from airline sites, travel web sites, and other databases containing flight and room availability. But you’ll find a more restrictive search capability, and you won’t get “bells and whistles” of a travel web site.
2. IT REALLY DOES PAY TO COMPARE AS MANY AS YOU CAN
A travel web site will negotiate and purchase blocks of fares and rooms directly from airlines and hotels. They can then set their own reduced rate. Because of this same seat on a flight, or room in a hotel, can vary between travel web sites. So if you want cheapest fare or room always check out at least two or three before booking online travel.
3. TRAVEL WEB SITES DON'T ALWAYS GET THE BEST DEAL
And just before you press that “submit” button at your chosen online booking site… hop over for a final check at airline or hotel web site for any special offers or lower rates you may get if you book directly. Sometimes best deals are reserved for their own online customers or preferred clients, and you’ll even avoid fees.
Speaking of fees…
4. BEWARE OF TRAVEL WEB SITE SERVICE AND TRANSFER FEES