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Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Travel Resources, Travel Tips | 2 comments

The Complete How-To Guide to Booking Holidays Online

The Complete How-To Guide to Booking Holidays Online

Booking online is widely considered to be the easiest and cheapest way of getting yourself a holiday. If you only use your computer in special circumstances though, you can be forgiven for thinking this might be a little trickier than popping down to see your local travel agent.For some, it’s actually the increased selection of breaks which makes them wish they’d braved the cold and ventured out to the high street, rather than taking their chances with booking over the web. Complicated booking forms and rumors about fraudulent websites also act as deterrents, but older holidaymakers should not use these as excuses for staying clear of their computers whilst booking a trip.Holiday websites are (for the most part) reputable, convenient and easy-to-use. Furthermore, at a time when belts are being tightened, they can also help people shave precious pounds of the cost of their holiday – in some cases actually allowing them to afford one. In order to benefit though, you’ll need to know how to shop for a holiday in the right way. Patience is vital and you must keep thinking of that spotless beach if you’re to find the best deal.

Tools

So, what do you need to book a holiday online? A computer with an active internet connection will give you more or less all you need to research and book your trip. Having fast internet will prove useful when you’re flicking through tens of sites. Still, you can get by with one that keeps you online through the three to five minutes it takes to process a payment.

The third item on your kit list is a credit or debit card, as this will be the only accepted method of payment across all the major websites. In addition, you’ll need an email account for receiving a booking confirmation and your full contact details. After getting these together, you’re ready to start searching.TimesIn theory there’s no wrong time to book a holiday over the web. Sure, booking well in advance should help you save money in some instances, but leaving it to the last minute can actually help your case. Tour operators need to put people on planes and in hotels, so if one of their deals hasn’t attracted any interest with just a week until the flight leaves, there’s always the chance of them reducing the price to find a taker.

Essentially you’re giving yourself less of a headache by booking up with plenty of time to go, but there is at least the option of finding a reasonably-priced holiday at the last minute.

Search engines

The type of website you go for will rest on your budget. For instance, if you’re looking for a luxury break then it’s best to heard for the search engines and enter a term for your specific destination – i.e. ‘luxury holiday Spain’ (don’t worry about missing out words, the internet knows what you mean).

You’ll find that search engines like Google and Bing will give you the best selection of websites to explore if you’re not really sure on the kind of holiday you’re after. A country, maybe a price range (budget, luxury, cheap etc.) will set you on the right track. This is where being a little more vague can pay off, mainly because you’ll be presented with plenty of other options to compare with some of the places you know (image by

epSos.de).

Tour operatorsYou can also head for the search engines to bring a view of the high street onto your screen. By searching for the big names in travel you’ll skip the sales pitches and get straight to customizing your trip.Most big companies will have a website which almost acts as a search engine for their own products. It’s here that you can select your destination, your type of holiday and ideal dates to get a feel of what they can offer. Perhaps you feel confident enough to piece a trip together without going for a package? Remember that car hire and travel insurance (see Columbus Direct) as well as your flights, hotel and tickets for tourist attractions can be purchased online.

Price comparison sites

If you really are looking to save money on your trips, it’s best to package up all the things you need and head for a price comparison website.

These will compare rates from various tour operators and websites to give you the cheapest holidays that match your criteria. Regardless of what you enter in the first instance, you should be given a run-down of the price, dates, type of holiday and the hotel you’ll be staying at. There might also be an option to view more details about the hotel or the tour provider, which should always be taken.

Payment

If you find something you like then it’s the simple task of paying for your break. Most sites will require you to pay via debit or credit card but there’s also the option of Paypal if you’ve set this up for buying with another site.

Perhaps the most important thing is to double check is the cost, as travel operators have a habit of sneaking in extra expenses when you’re not looking. You may have accidentally ticked a box or failed to untick one that upgrades you to the penthouse suite. Note down the cost that was advertised and check this is what you will get billed for, remembering that some websites will throw in a small booking charge.

Finalize

In addition to checking that all the numbers add up, you’ll also want to review the terms & conditions attached to your break. You don’t want to get to the airport and realize that all you’ve paid for is to reserve your seat on the plane – the real payment still pending.

Double check that you’ve got a way of collecting or being sent your tickets and remember, if an offer’s if too good to be true, it probably is.

Header image by  Kenzoka

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing information as tips for booking services online. It is important that every one should know about online services and how to use them.

  2. Whenever you are going to plan for a holiday, then one of the necessary things to keep in mind is to decide whether you want a package holiday or you want to visit as an independent traveller over there. Once you have decided you can choose what to do next. Generally travelling by your own has various options and you can explore various places. What you need to do is to book for flights online according to the timing you want to go and then book for accommodation in a hotel. When I went to Dublin for my summer vacations I had booked for Dublin apartment on booked a car prior to the visit from Dan Dooley car hire at Dublin airport. Apart from all this I have also booked tickets online for some places I want to visit in Ireland. You can save your time and can enjoy the trip without any worry if you have done some preparation ion advance. One of the necessary things when you are booking any service online is to read all the terms and conditions properly.

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