Fanny Sia (326205)
Have you ever had the troubles of planning a weekend vacation or a long holiday, not knowing where to begin, what to do or where to research from? This was exactly the predicament I was in a couple of months ago where I first had to plan a 3-week trip in Europe with my friends.
We knew travel agencies aren’t our saviors especially when we didn’t want to be restricted by structured programs. We wanted to be able to plan our itinerary, decide on where we want to stay and most importantly, planning the trip to suit our preferences!
After hours of searching for a viable solution, we found what we needed most – online booking websites.
Effortless and time-saving!
Wonders of technology has enabled many things possible, including allowing us travelers to tailor what is best suited for our travelling needs. And what’s more – all these can be done within a few clicks on the internet!
What I like about online booking websites is it makes researching for our trips so much easier. If we want to book a flight: with just a single search engine, it can look up several sites and collect real-time information about flight details and prices and even zero in and highlight the best price available.
Now, we don’t have to search individual airlines websites for the best deal!
Furthermore, if we want to book an accommodation, we can search the website using filters such as price, reviews, popularity etc to best locate the most suitable accommodation for us! We can easily accomplish all these with merely a few clicks on the webpage.
Catch the best deal!
Online booking websites often offer exclusive discounted rates so you can, for instance, easily book an accommodation in a hotel at a much cheaper price than directly through the hotel itself! This is made possible because of the merchant model some booking websites adopt – where they secure and buy a number of rooms from hotels at wholesale prices and thus able to offer such rooms at much lower prices to us.
Be informed by reviews
While a brief description about a hotel or accommodation may already be available, what’s more valuable and useful to me and can be usually found on online booking websites are its databases and collections of reviews from other travelers. Such raw information posted by other travelers can be a good guide to our decision in choosing a comfortable shelter over our heads for the couple of nights.
Some sites to begin with!
It is ironically a headache with loads of travel-booking related sites swarming all over the internet and us not knowing where to begin from. Here are some of my personal recommendations:
Booking.com – Always one of my favorite websites in searching hotels all over the world. Simple and easy-to-use interface with options of filtering your search, this certainly narrows my search according to what I would like to have. Special prices and discounts given are usually jaw-dropping!
EuroCheapo – A great site (even though the website name doesn’t do it justice) for budget travelers going to Europe searching for inexpensive lodging. Searches through accommodation-booking sites like booking.com, hotels.com and highlighting the cheapest deals from the various websites! Totally useful for travelers as lazy as I am.
Zuji – A search of major airlines to extensive number of destinations to obtain real-time prices and details and provide us users with air tickets prices that are tax and fees inclusive so that we can make the best informed decision when we purchase our flight tickets.
SkyScanner – A good search of all the budget-travelling airlines around Europe such as Ryanair, Easyjet etc for budget travelers.