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Save Time, Money and Frustration
When Booking Travel Online!


By Marianne Schwab | Best Travel Deals Tips Blog








Have you ever found booking travel online to be a frustrating experience when looking for hotels, cheap vacations, or even cruise deals? Did you go to multiple travel web sites trying to find the best deal?

No doubt about it, booking your vacation online can be time consuming even if you're very experienced at it, like me, as I've booked all of my travel online for over a decade now.

Though I think booking travel online is the way to go, it's not for everyone. Some people may find that they are more comfortable booking a vacation through a travel agent, especially if they're inexperienced at travel or they're pressed for time, but online travel agents can definitely be your solution. Regardless, you need to know that the internet has great new ways to get assistance when booking travel on the internet, even if you've never booked travel online before. You should not be afraid to book your vacation online since internet technology has made it easier than ever.

Before you book your vacation, you may want to look at our vacation planner with vacation planning travel tips to save you time and money on your vacation. We also have very important travel advice on the top five travel mistakes that cost you big bucks. Finally, I've put together some vacation destination resource guides to help you in planning your trips to a U.S. Destination or an International Destination with important travel tips before you go.





Five Best Travel Deals Tips:
Save Money Every Time You're Booking Travel Online


1. Book your airfare, hotel and car rental as a package. When booking travel online, most travel web sites allow for you to request a package rate quote. Most travel web sites like Expedia.com have a special "vacation packages" icon that allows you to combine "airfare + hotel," "airfare + car rental," and "airfare + car rental + hotel" which is where you can get this special pricing. In fact, you can save up to $525 when you book your flight and hotel together at Expedia.com!. Booking travel as a vacation package can literally save you hundreds of dollars on your trip. You can then use the money you save on your vacation package for dining at nice local restaurants at your vacation destination, extra savings with the Go City Card or Explorer Pass for package discounts on sight-seeing admissions and theme parks, and even once-in-a-lifetime experiences like swimming with dolphins, zip-lining through a rain forest or taking a gondola ride on the Grand Canal in Venice (or at the Venetian Hotel in Vegas).

2. Compare prices. When booking travel online, you're naturally searching for the best price on your vacation, but did you know that not all travel search engines or travel web sites are created equal? It pays to comparison shop but I've found that a quick search of Expedia, Travelocity, and maybe Kayak, gives me a good basis for airfares, rental cars and hotels in general. I also know many friends who've had good results with getting good deals on Priceline and even get lower hotel booking fees and you can select your exact hotel.

3. Loyalty Has Its FREE Rewards. No matter where you travel, even if you think you're not going to use another airline again, stay at the same chain of hotels, or rent a car from the same rental car company, sign up for their reward program anyway as you never know how your loyalty can pay off in the long run and this loyalty literally converts into free airline tickets, free hotel rooms, and hey, free vacations or deeply discounted vacations. I'm big on leveraging all my loyalty programs and many online travel web sites are offering loyalty programs now, too. Hotels.com has a WelcomeRewards program that rewards you for "sleeping around." Just buy 10 hotel nights on their website and you get one night free.

Travel Tip: Always remember the goal to best travel deals tips is to get the best price and keep loyalty reward points.


4. Read Hotel Reviews BEFORE You Book Travel Online. When I was booking travel online for my hotel in Venice, Italy, last fall, reviews were key to my final decision, but you need to be aware that not all reviews are as they appear.

I recently attended a travel show in Los Angeles and was very excited to meet and interview respected travel guide book author, Pauline Frommer (interview right). She reported that many reviews that you see on travel web sites like TripAdvisor.com are not all genuine from guests, but fake reviews from the hotel marketing department or friends of people who work at the hotel. Now, don't get me wrong as I don't want to sully the good name of TripAdvisor.com as I depend on them for a lot of information (and I've contributed to their reviews) , but just beware when basing your complete decision on only the good reviews that you need to take a look at some of the not so good reviews also when booking travel online. I know there were some spot on reviews of hotels I stayed at when I was in Barcelona from previous guests that weren't so happy with the hotel. I just wish I'd listened to them instead of relying on photos that somehow managed to fool me. More on that in another article on this site.

5. Buy Travel Insurance and Save You Big Bucks. Many people don't think they need travel insurance when booking travel online and for a lot of people, I'd say it's usually a safe bet, but you definitely need to consider getting travel insurance if you're booking certain types of trips like vacation packages or cruises, if you know bad weather could be involved, or if you have personal circumstances that would cause you to cancel a trip. For example, if you book a cruise (and you've booked your flight separately), you need to know that if there are any air travel delays caused by your airline and you miss the ship departure, you're financially responsible for getting yourself (and your family) to the next port to meet up with the ship or lose your dream cruise vacation altogether.

I also recommend travel insurance if you have a family member with a terminal illness and may have to cancel the trip if you have to attend of funeral (check the policy to make sure it covers this) or you're traveling during a time where weather delays can sabotage your connections. For travel insurance, I recommend plans available through Travel Guard can provide you with coverage for unexpected medical expenses while on a trip. They've been a client of mine since 2009 and there are only a few options for this specialized insurance and they are very reputable. Make sure you purchase travel insurance right when you're completing the checkout process when booking travel online or within two weeks of purchasing your vacation. Most online travel web sites will offer travel insurance when you do your check out to make this easy. If you've already booked a trip, it's easy to add Travel Guard travel insurance at their website.

So now it's complete. The next time you're looking for hotels, cheap vacations, or even cruise deals, follow these five best travel deals tips and you will not only save money when booking travel online, but you will also know you've made some great vacation destination choices for your hotel and so much more.







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Travel Advice:

Top Five Travel Mistakes that Cost You Big Bucks

Credit Card Reward Programs & Travel Loyalty Programs:
Your Ticket to Free Vacations

Travel Technology: How Smartphones are Changing How You Travel

Avoiding Jet Lag - Tips


Cruise Vacations:

Is a Cruise Ship Vacation for You?

The Hidden Costs of Cruises

Five Travel Tips for Booking Shore Excursions

Tipping Guidelines for Cruises


Travel Resources:

Airline Luggage Fees Chart

Lost or Stolen Passports

Embassies & Consulates - Find an Embassy

Tourism Offices - U.S. & Around the World



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Save Up to 55% on Theme Parks

Admission fees to theme parks and local tourist attractions can really add up and max out your vacation budget, but you can save up to 55% on theme parks with Go City Cards. I've used these for several vacations and saved hundreds of dollars. Just one of my many best travel deals tips you'll find on this website.
~Marianne Schwab



Avoid Jet Lag

You're packed and ready to go on vacation, so now comes the most important issue at hand: avoiding jet lag when you arrive at your destination. A survey by Conde Naste said that 93% of travelers get jet lag but you don't have to be one of them if you use my tips.
~Marianne Schwab



Book Your Trip

Booking travel online should be quick and easy…not to mention affordable and that's why I like Expedia. Did you know that you can save up to $525 when you book your flight and hotel together at Expedia.com? For the best deals, book 60 days or more before you travel because usually the further out you plan, the better the package rate.
~Marianne Schwab



Top Travel Mistakes to Avoid Now

I have put together a list of the top five travel mistakes people make that translate into paying too much for a vacation no matter where you book your trip (through a travel agent, airline or online).
~Marianne Schwab




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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer

For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more