When looking for the best flights and accommodation deals travellers have several options. Customers can use online travel sites. a travel agent, call airlines and hotels directly, or use a travel agent. The following information discusses the pros and cons of each of these options.
Flights and Accommodation Deals Online
Even a few years ago there weren’t that many companies and websites such as Sydney Flights Accommodation offering flights and accommodation deals. That number has skyrocketed in a short amount of time. There are some incredible deals to be found online if a traveller knows what to look for and how to find it. The first step is to get organized before beginning the search. A traveller needs to decide if an early morning flight or a red-eye is the best option, or if it doesn’t matter. Is it necessary to find a hotel right on the beach or in the heart of downtown? Narrowing down exactly what is necessary verses optional for the trip is crucial before starting or the process could be overwhelming. When finding the best deals online, travellers should try to look for packages. All inclusive trips are often much cheaper than buying everything individually.
There are a few tricks to finding great online deals. Following airline tweets is one way to be privy to the best deals as soon as they pop up. Travelers will also want to sign up for alerts. There are companies and websites that send out email newsletters regarding ridiculously cheap flights. Sometimes knowing when to buy can make a difference in the price. According to Farecompare, Tuesdays at exactly 3pm eastern time is the prime time to buy airline tickets as this is when the discounts come out.
There are some drawbacks travellers should be aware of when booking flights and accommodations online. Hefty fees are often charged for cancellations. Even a change in the itinerary can incur extra costs. Lack of customer support can be another problem when using online services.
Directly Calling Airlines and Hotels
Yes, there are still actual phone numbers where representatives at the airlines can be reached and ticket reservations made. The same is true for hotels and other accommodations. The benefit of calling directly is that a traveller will be able to talk to an actual person and have questions directly related to their travel plans answered. Calling directly means bypassing even the general 800 numbers and calling a specific hotel. There may be special rates available that aren’t submitted through the central reservations system.
The obvious disadvantage to this method is that it’s time consuming and the customer is only checking rates for one hotel or airline at a time. When going online or working with a travel agent, the customer can compare several flights and accommodations in a short amount of time.
There are definitely still benefits of working with a good travel agent. Searching through all the options online can be overwhelming. For those with neither the time nor the inclination to do an exhaustive search online, using a travel agent makes sense. A good travel agent may have connections to people in the travel industry that the average person doesn’t have. The more specialized and high-end the trip, the more a travel agent can do for their customer. Those looking to book a short trip and are happy staying in a 3-star hotel probably don’t need an agent.
One drawback of working with an agent includes cost. While many make a commission through travel suppliers, some charge a fee for their time and research. There’s also the question of finding a quality travel agent. Those with connections and experience can be invaluable while others may randomly search online in the same way their customers would.
If the traveller has the time, patience, and the basic knowledge to sift through all the online options, finding the best flights and accommodation deals are likely to be found in this way. There are times, however, when travellers may find it best suits their needs to use another method.