(Closed) best site to book honeymoon?

posted 6 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 5
Member
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Generally speaking, I find the best deals are to be had directly from the service provider themselves… also gives you the best recourse if something should go wrong (ie Your Credit Card Company being the ONLY middle man between you and the Service Provider)

IF you book with a 3rd Party… then “the contract” is essentially between the 3rd Party (ie Expedia) and the service provider (Airline / Hotel / Rental Car)… and IF something should go wrong, you won’t get much response from the Service Provider, as they’ll tell you you have to talk to the 3rd Party for resolution of whatever problem you have.

Not sure what type of vacation you are thinking of… but self-booking takes only a bit more time and can save you money (and frustration) in the long run. 

Dealing with a Travel Agent (TA) or Vacation Planner (VP) that specializes in Europe is a possibility… but do be aware that TAs & VPs do make a commission… so they are more likely to pick things that mean they’ll make the most money off your trip (their mark-up for example is in the prices they get for you… so you’ll usually pay more for Hotels, Airfare, etc than going right to the source)

Since the internet, with a bit of research and websites like TripAdvisor (if you have the time & interest) there are savings to be had by doing your own Planning & Booking.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 7
Member
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO Bellagiobride:

Ok a bit of background about me… so you know where I am coming from.

I am over 50, semi-retired… and travel a lot for both Business & Pleasure.  (Mr TTR and I spend on average 60 to 90 Nights a Year on the road).  So I’ve gained a lot of knowledge…

TripAdvisor is strictly a Travel Information Website… not a booking agent.  So on TA you’ll find all kinds of great info on Destinations to travel to… and info is basically divided into 3 categories…

REVIEWS – Where you’ll see what other Travellers like yourself report of their own experiences with Hotels, Restaurants and Things to Do / Attractions

DISCUSSION FORUMS – Similar to these Boards we have here on WBee… where you can post Questions and get Answers from Locals and those that know a Destination best

TRAVEL GUIDE – Just like a printed Travel Guide… there are areas on TA where you can find out all kinds of info about things like… Weather, Currency, Geography, History, Transportation, National Parks… etc.

TripAdvisor is owned by the same company that owns Expedia.  So when you use their website, it is strictly for Information purposes.  IF you ask the Website to quote you any prices, it will actually take you to other websites for that info… naturally the links provided are part of the Expedia family of companies… so Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com etc.  (And in many cases there is also the option to go directly to the Service Provider’s Company Website as well… so for example, Marriott.com, Hilton.com, etc)

Travelocity, Priceline, Hotwire, Expedia… are all on-line Booking Sites (think of them as virtual Travel Agents).  The thing is tho that you are dealing with a 3rd Party… and not one-on-one with the actual Service Provider you may be interested in (such as Hotels, Airlines, Car Rentals etc).

Just like Travel Agents in the real world… these Booking Agents get a commission for selling you something.  So they will offer you what they advertise as “preferred” rates on some things, in hopes that you’ll buy other stuff as well.  (Discounts given by volume).  So this is WHY you’ll find say a great deal on an hotel room.  They’ll have promised the Marriott that they’ll sell so many 1,000s of rooms this month.  Thing is tho, that when you are on their website you also book Airfare & Car Rental… and infact may pay more than you need to for those items (vs booking directly with the Airline yourself)

As well, when it comes to Hotel Rooms for example… these Booking Agents may be guaranteeing the Hotel that they can off-load their rooms that aren’t good sellers for them (in that every hotel has both good rooms & bad rooms… such as the one beside the noisy elevator or over the loading dock).

With a company like Priceline or Hotwire… you are bidding on “a hotel room”… you don’t know what room.  And in some cases if it is BLIND BIDDING… you won’t even know what Hotel until you win the bid and get your confirmation.  Sure you could end up snagging a room at a 5 Star Marriott for under $ 100 … but it could just as likely… be the worst room in the whole building… small, smelly, noisy, hot etc.

Problem is… if you have a problem… the Hotel doesn’t have to deal with you.  As you didn’t book with them… you used a 3rd Party Service or a Travel Agent… so they can easily tell you… “Sorry your contract is with the Travel Agent… you’ll need to deal with them… such as in the case of a dispute, refund etc”

Pain in the butt, when you are looking at a Hotel Room… but a major problem if you are doing so with an Airline or Car Rental Company… it really sucks if you find out your Return Ticket is “almost” worthless now that your flight got cancelled (in that you can’t get the airline to change it / refund it… you have to go thru the 3rd Party Booking Website when you get back home)

What is that old saying…

Sometimes a Bargain is a Bargain for a reason…

OR

IF it looks too good to be true… then it probably is !!

On the otherhand, if you book right with the Service Provider you have recourse thru your Credit Card… if something should go wrong. 

As well, the Service Provider is far more invested in you the client, and making sure you are a satisfied customer.  More so if you are a member of their Loyalty Program such as the ones where the Airlines offer air miles, or the Hotels give Reward Points (always advise folks to join these FREE programs… even if you never collect enough points for anything FREE… the company’s typically give their best service to those folks who have these cards and present them… including often for example, FREE Upgrades at check in for Hotels)

Not only is dealing directly with a Service Provider best from that point of view… but often times if you find a price on-line and then call the Service Provider directly, to do your booking, and tell them what you found on-line and where…  they’ll honour the price you found on line.

Hope this helps,

 

Post # 8
Member
9691 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@This Time Round:  I agree.

In my experience I like to use these sites to get an idea of prices or which airlines have the best fares to that area.  But more often than not it is the same amount, or less, to book directly with the hotel and airline. And it saves you any future trouble.

I’ve been on some where it will give you the per person amount (for air and hotel let’s say-4 people to a room) and I go to look at all the costs separately and end up saving money to book separately.

If your flight is cancelled and you’ve booked it with a travel company (expedia, travelocity) you will have to go through them and not the airline itself.  This can be a huge pain in the ass when you’re standing 10 feet in front of airline service and you have to call Travelocity.

Generally I always book through the provider for these reasons.

Trip Advisor is nice for being able to read reviews and figure out where you want to stay or go.

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