4 Tips on Getting Better Deals on Travel Web Sites

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

When it comes to saving money on travel, you can save by following a few simple rules. Booking online can help, as can arranging travel in advance, or choosing to travel during the off season. However, it is important not to be blinded by the perception that what you find on travel web sites is always the best deal. There are some sneaky ways that travel web sites make a little bit extra. Consumer Reports Money Adviser shares some information in its January 2011 issue about how you can avoid some of the pitfalls associated with travel web sites:

Look Deeper for Better Bargains

You might not get the lowest price listed first. In some cases, you might have the prices listed by airline or hotel chain. Preferred vendors, who pay for the status, may be listed first, whether you are getting a care rental or looking for some other travel price. In order to find the lowest price on travel, you may have to click on a tab that is labeled “lowest to highest” or something similar.

Pay attention to the way the site lists its results, and make sure that you sort them properly, even if it requires an extra step.

What You See May Not Be What You Get

I’ve seen this myself when booking flights to New York to see my husband’s family. You see a great fare, but from the time you choose the fare until the time you actually complete the transaction, the price jumps — sometimes significantly. This can lead to frustration. The good news is that the travel web sites have to show you the final price before you complete the purchase. This means that you can have a back up in place, just in case your first choice fare jumps.

Cookies Add to Your Costs

In some cases, one of the ways that you can avoid a fare jump is clear your browser cash of cookies. According to Money Adviser, cookies accepted by your Internet browser can allow travel web sites to track what you’ve paid in the past for travel, as well as seeing the prices you have been looking at. In some cases, this can trigger a higher rate at some travel sites. Before you begin looking, disable cookies on your browser, and clear what you have already. Doing this may also help you reset your search parameters if you have experienced a fare jump during your booking attempt.

Make Sure Bundles Really Do Cost Less

When I was booking my trip to Blogworld last October, I was offered a bundle on a travel web site, which included hotel and airfare (I didn’t need a rental car). Before accepting the bundle, which one would think was the best deal, I did some double checking. First of all, I found that the fare offered at the hotel was less when searched for separately from the airfare. The next thing I discovered was that I could get an even better rate by visiting the hotel’s web site.

Sometimes, getting a package really is cheaper. In other cases, though, you can save by going right to the source and booking your travel a la carte. Try a couple of different scenarios to see what is truly the best deal.

This post was featured in the Festival of Frugality.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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