How to Book Your Winter Holiday Online
Monday, December 30, 2013
Booking a holiday online is easy. Browse to find flights and accommodation, book and pay. In practice, however, it is nowhere that easy.
- Most importantly, read what others say on discussion forums. Some tour operators are legitimate, some charge massive additional fees that even the most diligent consumer would not find in the small print, and some charge you for tickets that do not arrive or hotels that do not exist. If you do not want to be scammed or pay extra, read what people say who have dealt with the operator you are considering.
- If a deal looks too good to be real, it is probably a scam. If you do not like to do a lot of research, stick with the large well-known operators that also have an offline presence.
- Pay with your credit card. There might be an extra fee, but at least the card issuer is legally compelled to refund you should you fall prey to a scam.
- Many tour operators mark up the price of flights and accommodation to make a profit. Before booking through a travel agent, try the website of the airliner and hotel to check whether it is cheaper there. It is usually cheaper to travel independently of an operated tour. Pick your destination, find the cheapest flight on different airliners' websites, search for accommodation at that destination through a search engine and book it.
- Trip Advisor has a large user forum where Canadians can rate destinations, flights, accommodation, restaurants and tour operators. It also links its visitors to the websites of operators and airliners where they can book. It has beautiful pictures of numerous holiday destinations and you can browse through potential holiday spots in hundreds of world cities. If you feel overwhelmed, you can start with the destinations and packages that other Canadians rank in their top 25.
- Expedia is the granddaddy of international travel price comparison sites. It is much shorter on destination ratings, but tracks travel sites worldwide where you can find good deals and brilliant last-minute deals. It can even rate destinations by price, best time of the year to go and weather conditions.
Book your winter holiday online this year. You will see the options are incredible.