It seems the very unhappy experience of many posters on this forum that they have used third party sites to book trips, and have been dissappointed.
When you book a trip, how do you know that you have booked a bargain?
Personally, I tend to check if I can get the flight/hotel etc cheaper by checking the airline or hotel website directly.
I also check if other tour operators/travel agents/booking websites etc can come up with a better package.
So... what works for you?
What tips can you pass on to other bargain hunters?
What has been the best discount you have ever managed?