London Hotels Articles

August 13, 2010

Recommended travel agents for young adults traveling on a budget

I would recommend using yourself as a travel agent. You will be able to save alot of money by following these simple steps:

1. First, you will need to book a flight. Go to a sight such as orbitz or travelocity and plug in your dates, times, and destinations. This will give you an idea of what airlines fly to your destination, and give you an idea of price. While doing this, try using the option for flexible dates to see if you can get a lower price. For instance, if you fly on a Saturday it may be less than flying on Sunday (also try Tuesday and Wednesday.) After you find the airlines, then go directly to the website of the airline. Often the prices on the airline’s site itself are lower than the travel site. Partly this is due to the travel site having to charge a fee for you to use its services. For instance, if travelocity shows Southwest and Continental will take you to Fort Lauderdale, go to Southwest.com and check the prices. The advantage also to booking with the airline is the difference in refund and change policies. Southwest offers you the ability to change your flight date and time with no penalty. If you had booked through a travel site, though, you might have had to pay $50 to make the change.

2. Next, you will need hotels. Go to a site like hotels.com just as in with the airline. Type in the location, and you will pull up the hotels in that area. Then, you can go directly to the hotel’s website to verify their prices. I have found often that the hotel price is the same as or lower than the travel site. I haven’t yet figured out why this is. Many times you can also call the hotel and ask them if they can match the price you found on hotels.com, etc. The advantage, once again, is the payment policy. Alot of hotels will allow you to give your credit information, but the payment will not be processed until the day of your arrival. Hotels.com would need money right when you make the booking. This might give you three extra months to save the cash! By contacting the hotel directly, you can also make special requests. For instance, we stayed in a hotel in Switzerland. I contacted the hotel directly and was able to request a room with a water view and balcony, that would not have been available by booking through the travel site.

3. Third comes transportation. Using the internet search engine, type in rental car and your destination. You will pull up sites that offer rental cars, and from there you can find the direct companies. As an example, London deals mostly with Avis. So you would then go to the Avis website, and get a toll-free number to call Avis. By calling Avis, you can ask them what discounts are available. They may have discounts that weren’t available on the travel site, like one for your AirTran frequent flyer mile card. They may also have a club you can join that offers a discount, such as a frequent renter or fastpass once you join.

4. Last comes booking activities. Orbitz was helpful here, because once we booked our flight to London, it showed activities we could purchase as options. For instance, we could purchase London Pass tickets for attractions in London (Yes, orbitz in that instance, when prices were double-checked with the airline, had better prices so we used orbitz.) Another option is to type into the search engine discount tickets attractions London, and see what comes up.

I must recommend being your own travel agent over using a professional. With the advent of the travel sites and the internet, you almost always can plan your own trip with a great savings! With a tight budget, the extra time spent can be worth the money saved. Good luck, and happy traveling!

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