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DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

London
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DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

My husband and I are planning a DIY trip around SE Asia - Thailand, Loas, Vietnam and Cambodia. We will be taking a series of flights between these countries and booking hotels and trips ourselves.

What's the best way to book the flights and hotels? Should we book via companies such as Expedia or direct with the airlines? Same with hotels? Which affords more protection? Should we pay with debit or credit card (more protect with credit but there are likely to be charges).

We will have travel insurance!

All flights and hotels chosen (we almost) but bees advise now we're at te booking stage.

Many thanks

1. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

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Removed on: 06 October 2013, 13:37
London, UK
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2. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

I usually book direct - it gives me more flexibility and it's much easier dealing with any problems that arise if there's no middleman. But I can see that with a potentially complex itinerary like yours, you might feel more comfortable with an agent. Just make sure they're a good and reputable one - I've used Trailfinders a couple of times and been very pleased with their service. Expedia is perfectly legit and I've booked hotels through them when they've offered a better price than the hotel's own website, but you're not going to get expert phone support from them the way you will from Trailfinders.

newcastle upon tyne
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3. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

I would not bother using Expedia for SE Asia hotels to be honest, I mainly use booking.com & agoda, they have far more hotels listed. directrooms.com is an useful comparison site as well

4. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

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Removed on: 23 February 2015, 21:41
Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

I'm with Jayne.

For SE Asia, go with Agoda as they have the largest presence, and also the greatest number of directly contracted listed properties in the region.

And for airlines go direct.

Edited: 22 August 2013, 10:18
Bangkok
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6. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

Go direct with airlines and check what hotels offer direct or go to the 'local' hotel boking agents for the places you are heading to, always use local search engines for those countries so you get local info. For Thailand Sawadee.com beachsiam.com are good

Edited: 22 August 2013, 12:44
San Diego
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7. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

ALWAYS use a credit card(not a debit card) to book travel!

I don't know what "charges" you expect that will be extra but there is no protection at all using a debit card!

London
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8. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

Great - thanks everyone for all the advice. Very helpful.

Italy
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9. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

Another vote for booking directly with airlines, nowadays you don't need to go with travle agents.

10. Re: DIY trip - booking flights & hotels via agents or direct?

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Removed on: 24 August 2014, 06:19