Best travel site? Need travel advice!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by JellyFish, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. JellyFish macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #1
    Hi everybody,

    I am trying to figure out which is the best travel site to use for booking trips...I need to book the flight, pick the hotel and all that stuff.

    Sorry if it's a stupid question but I don't travel much so I am not sure whether I should use a travel agency or one of the online sites. How do you get the best deals? And what if you are driving? Do they map your route or is that just a Triple A thing? :confused:

    I am hoping somebody here can steer me in the right direction.

    Thanks so much. :)
     
  2. aosman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #2
    I am a big fan of kayak.com and expedia.com. Kayak does a nice comparison thing with flights and usually has the cheaper prices for airfare.
     
  3. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #3
    Which country are you going to?

    I sometimes use tripadvisor.com, but I often doubt the travel experience of those who write some of the glowing reviews. Have they really been to other hotels in the same town - to justify giving their destination a 'best hotel' rank?

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/
     
  4. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #4
    I love tripadvisor but I'm the other way around. I'm often astounded at what people choose to moan about! On the other hand, if everyone is complaining about noise or dirt, I've generally come down on the side of avoiding it.

    I find it really useful when on a travel site with 'deals' to check out what that hotel is actually like.

    Opodo/Expedia et al can have some good deals if you book component parts on one booking with them but then again so can some airlines. I saved £200 booking a flight/hotel with British Airways over Expedia and Opodo.

    Your best bet is to work out roughly what you want to do and where in the city/country you want to stay and then do some price comparisons between the major sites as a 'deal' or separately. One thing I do do, is use Expedia etc to get an idea of which airlines are currently cheapest and then look at their own sites.

    I haven't booked anything via Expedia for 3 years after they completely screwed me over a mistake that they made and refused to reimburse me £300.
     
  5. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    kayak.com for flights. Also check southwest.com as their prices aren't on Kayak. I just booked a flight that would've been around $1600 for the 4 of us had we gone with the cheapest result on Kayak, but it was $1300 and change on Southwest.

    We used Expedia once, and while it was fine, on the next trip, we discovered that we really weren't saving any money using Expedia than if we booked hotel and flight separately. With Expedia, you tend to lose some flexibility (it's harder to change flight and hotel reservations) and with Expedia, you can't choose your seats on the plane. The one time we went with Expedia, I ended up sitting in the back....with the crappers on the left, and the loud engine on the right (and blocking my view out the window). Although with Southwest, you can't choose seats either, but with AA and most others, you can.

    If you're driving, I don't even know why you'd go through a travel agency (same with flying for that matter). I would just figure out the route (google maps, or better yet, invest in a GPS) and book hotels along the way as needed, and at the destination.

    If you're an AAA member, you can get a TripTik which is a handy little booklet of maps which helps, but at least whenever I've gotten one from them, they could only get me to the city, they didn't route you to an exact address (which is where Google Maps comes in). Now I've got a GPS and I just use that. Nonetheless, TripTiks are still very handy to have, and I'd probably still get one for future road trips, even with a GPS, because it's nice to be able to just glance at a map (not while you're driving of course ;)) and figure out where the hell you're going rather than mess with navigating the map on the GPS. Plus, the guys at AAA know where to avoid. My GPS doesn't know that the main interstate through St. Louis is closed for the next 2 years and still tries to route me on that highway, whereas AAA knows that. And they can also route you around heavy traffic areas, again, another thing that most GPSes don't do (some do though). I'm not sure if non AAA members can get TripTiks (you might have to pay for them) but a TripTik and a GPS is a great combination for a road trip.

    Finally, compare driving and flying. Depending on the distance, how many people are going, and how fuel efficient your car is, it might be cheaper to drive. Yeah, it's longer, but you get to see more of the country. Normally, as a general rule for me, anything under an 8 hour drive, I drive, anything over, I fly. I never understood why people from here, with the exception of catching a connecting flight, fly to places like Kansas City, Memphis or Chicago. It's a lot cheaper to drive. Most cars can make it one way on a tank of gas. It's the same price whether you have 1 person or 5 (and even cheaper if you make the others pay for gas :D). And when you arrive at your destination, you still need to rent a car, pay for a taxi or public transport to get around. And by the time you arrive at the airport, check in, get through security, wait, board the plane, wait some more, fly, land, wait at the gate, deboard the plane, wait for your luggage and wait for public transit, you probably would've been there sooner if you drove.
     
  6. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    Best is probably to ask somebody. So Expedia or Orbitz gets you the best price, but maybe had you known, you would have paid $200 more for a trip only 2/3 in length and not via London (worst airport ever).

    I think you should post your destination and ask for advice.
    I like tripadvisor for looking at hotels. It's a starting point. But I ultimately usually rely on reviews on other places like hostel websites or recommendations from friends.

    Be aware that Orbitz is a stupid company sometimes though. I bought flights from them to fly home to the States and even though they were GER to US tickets, they sent them at first to Boston! Then, they were supposed to be expressed to me (after speaking to 3 Indian support people - you try giving them a German address). But the tickets arrived late because the thing said Munich, UNITED KINGDOM.

    And they call themselves an international company?!
     
  7. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #7
    I second Kayak. They search almost every travel site on the interwebs, and you can really find some jewels there. They're great for flights, and also great for hotels, though I often have better luck just calling the hotel directly.

    JohnnyJet.com is also great for finding new travel sites.
     
  8. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    I have regularly used Expedia and Orbitz. For some reason, I like Orbitz more I think its because I find it easier to navigate and faster book with.
     

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