Planning a vacation can be easy if you do it online, but like brick and mortar travel agencies, you have to ask yourself, are you getting the best deal? Most deals come as a package – you can get hotel reservations, flights, and car rentals all from one provider.
1. Do Your Homework
In order to get the biggest bang for your buck, be sure to do plenty of research well in advance. You will want to compare prices between competing companies. The internet can be quite an excellent tool to help you do this. But don’t only compare prices, make sure you check out exactly what you’re getting for that price. Visit the websites of the hotels that you’re interested in and look at all the pictures. Read reviews of the hotels, to find out what other people have to say about them. Sometimes you can get a great deal on a fantastic hotel, but you have to do your research.
2. About Security Online
Identity theft is at an all time high, and you will want to protect your personal information if at all possible. If an online travel service asks you to make a username and password, make sure the password contains some letters and some numbers and isn’t something that another person – or program – would be able to guess easily. Never use your birthday as a password. You will also want to make it such that you can remember it easily yourself.
3. Additional Security Tips
If you can, make sure the site you are visiting is a member of the Better Business Bureau and has security certificates from companies like VeriSign. A secure site will display in your web browser with a small lock icon in the address bar to let you know that it is a secure page.
4. Read the Fine Print
Many people find that on some websites prices can be deceiving because tickets are typically advertised at the prices prior to tax being applied. Furthermore, the prices you see may not be in your local currency and so look much lower.
5. Avoid Online Scams
Anyone and their dog can make a website that looks professional nowadays. Make sure that the website you are using is reputable and legitimate. Do not use a website you have never heard of before, stick to the more popular travel sites. The website will provide you with a web receipt or email receipt following your purchase. Be sure to print this out and keep it in case of any problems with your trip.