If you didn’t already know it, almost all of the major airlines around the world have now official stopped their policy of travel agent commissions. The net result of this is that buying your airline ticket through a travel agent, where fees have almost doubled, has never been more expensive. Luckily, there’s a cheaper alternative – online travel.
Booking online travel takes planning
Now, don’t get to thinking that by “online travel” we mean virtual holidays, those days a still a way off, what we mean is booking all of your travel arrangements online through the internet. So, here’s the crux of the problem, if you do a search engine search on “online travel” you are going to be faced with a deluge of responses that’ll take you from now till you retire to read through. Likewise if you do a search on “discount car hires” you may well be faced with result of how to get discount car hires in Auckland, New Zealand, when all you want is a discount car hire company to cater for your weekend break in New Orleans! So, as with most things, making online travel arrangements does take planning – you need to have certain specifications, which you can then turn into keywords, which you can then use to drive your online travel searches.
Online travel facilities
One of the beauties of making your travel arrangements online is that the number of facilities available means that you no longer need to rely on one outlet to provide you with the service. Of course, you could still do your online travel arrangements through an online travel agent, but these days you can arrange your hotel booking, car hire, and tours all independent of one and other – all online on the internet. If you do things this way, you should be able to negotiate discounts with each of the travel service provider that results in your overall travel costs being far cheaper than they are in the real world.
The pitfalls of online travel
Basically there are only two minor pitfalls with online travel arrangements: first, as you are not buying in bulk, it can sometimes still be cheaper to purchase your vacation package through one of the major travel agent chains. Second, you need to make sure that the person you are buying from online is reputable enough to provide you with the service you’re paying for – after all, we all know what it’s like to arrive at the airport only to find out that the rental car hasn’t been booked or isn’t there!
Reconfirmation of online travel arrangements
In order to reduce the risk of your service provider not providing you with the service you have paid for, you should always reconfirm your online bookings. If possible, you should do this in the more conventional way – using the telephone.
Getting the best discounts with online travel
If you are booking your travel online in the hope of getting a good discount rate, then booking online still follows the more traditional way of arranging your travel arrangement – book as early as you can! Having said that, a number of online travel arrangements do offer late buyer discounts, for those who leave booking their travel arrangements online until the last minute.
Online travel and insurance
Finally, as with any travel arrangements you make with a traditional travel agent, if you make online travel arrangements you should always double-check to make sure that the service provider who you are using is adequately insured, should anything go wrong between the time you buy the travel package and the time you go on holiday. You may also want to take the time to check out some of the travel insurance websites available, which could also be offering packages that would save you money over your traditional travel insurance company.