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Best travel Websites!

Santa Clarita...
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Best travel Websites!

My hubby and I are planning on taking a vacation to Cayman Islands next year. I wanted to know what are some of your favorite vacation websites that save you on your vacation?

Thank you

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Knoxville, Tennessee
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1. Re: Best travel Websites!

IMO, most of the major travel websites (Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Kayak, Sidestep, etc.) will be within a few $$ of each other and the individual airline websites when it comes to airfares, although they usually charge a per ticket booking fee which an individual airline won't. Occasionally one site will be having a sale not available on the others, but it's hit or miss with that. Right now airfares are very high due to the high cost of jet fuel, not to meniton the extra charges for checked bags, overweight bags, food, and the list keeps growing. One poster indicated he got a discount on Cayman Air (25% off the base rate before taxes/fees) at www.flyawaytravel.com. Please keep in mind that Cayman Air currently only flies from Tampa, Miami, and NYC-JFK, so being in CA, you'd have to book a separate flight to one of those cities.

Several people have mentioned the following websites for booking condo/villa accommodations at rates that may be lower than booking directly with a property:

caymanvacations.com

caymanvacation.com

gotocayman.com

Skyauction (www.skyauction.com) frequently has hotels, airfares, and hotel+aifare pkgs up for bid for GC. Recently there have been auctions for flights or accomodations + flights on Cayman Air, but again your departure city will be restricted to the ones previously mentioned. There have also been flights with a wider list of departure cities on "a major carrier", which means you will not know what airline you are flying until you win the auction and submit your travel dates. Keep in mind that you will likely also have little to say about your flight schedule, which means that you could end up with long layovers someplace or even an overnight enroute either way, or both (you generally don't get a "prime" flight because you're on discounted tickets). There have also been auctions for just acommodations at The Grand Caymanian, Marriot Courtyard, and Morritt's. Before bidding you need to make sure you read all of the restirctions and extra fees involved. There are are usually surcharges for weekend travel, travel during peak periods (high season for example), blackout dates (generally around holidays), and service fees/taxes. We have used Skyauction for some vacations (never to GC though) and gotten some good deals but you have to be flexible about your travel and willing to deal with all of the restirctions.

Good luck!

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Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands
Tampa
Tampa
Florida
Illinois City...
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2. Re: Best travel Websites!

We've booked our last 4 vacations with cheapcaribbean.com We have gotten great deals.

beachdestinationstogo.com is another good one.

Venice, Florida
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3. Re: Best travel Websites!

For Cayman~~Caymangoodtaste.com and caymanrestaurants.com

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Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands
4. Re: Best travel Websites!

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5. Re: Best travel Websites!

another great one is Cayman Islands Discounts

http://caymanislandsdiscounts.com

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Grand Cayman
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6. Re: Best travel Websites!

I am not sure from your post if you are looking for a cheap holiday or a the best holiday at a good price. If you are looking for the first check out cheapcaribbean followed by expedia, orbitz, etc. If you want to spend you money wisely on a really nice property, compare what is available at the condos (and specials) at caymancondos.com, the cayman airways website, caymanislands.ky, thereefblogspot.com. If you have points through hotel groups, AMEX or other cards, check their websites. There is a big difference between a cheap holiday and getting the most for your vacation dollar. Hope this helps.

7. Re: Best travel Websites!

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George Town, Grand...
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8. Re: Best travel Websites!

When widespread use of the net for travel booking started, rates for hotels varied a lot between sites.

Now though, rates are pretty much the same wherever you look... and in fact hotels are contractually obliged to give the same rates to all the sites, as they all want the best price, and in fact have "bots" out there checking to see if any of their competitors offer lower pricing !

So, particularly if you are booking "hotel only" (as opposed to packaged with air), you will almost certainly get exactly the same rate whether you book directly with the hotel/condo/villa, or whether you use a booking site.

Of course, if you book hotel and air, as they say on the frequent flyer forums... YMMV (your mileage may vary).... ie the sites may hide discounts (given by any or all of the hotel/airline/car rental etc) by bundling together hotel / air / car etc into one price.

If these were trade secrets, I'd be giving things away, but they ain't exactly secrets !

Just to finish... remember every hotel (or almost every one) has a best rate guarantee, so if you are booking hotel and air separately, check if they have one, then you can book with them and be sure that they have the best rate.. or if you find another one, they will match or better it.....so why book through an online travel site then ? Good question, but one the various sites are working on to add value... eg Orbitz (to give one example) now offers a guarantee that you won't pay more for the same flights as anyone who books after you... interesting wrinkle !

Knoxville, Tennessee
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9. Re: Best travel Websites!

TomCayman has made some good points. One thing to keep in mind when booking hotels in particular on the Internet is that some sites will tack on a "processing fee" for making the reservation or will assess a charge if you cancel (usually around $25) once you've made the reservation. Even some hotel sites will have special rates that require payment upfront and are non-refundable if cancelled. Whatever you do make sure you read/know all of the rules/regualtions regarding cancellations. Some hotels will let you cancel up to 4-6 PM (varies by hotel) on the day of arrival but others will require anywhere from 24 hours to 10 days notice prior to arrival to cancel without penalty, especially if they are small properties or it is a prime vacation period (Christmad and other holidays). For vacation packages, there's usualy a tier of payments required and varying cancellation fees, depending on when you cancel. Of course the lowest airfares will be non-refundable ones though you may be able to get a voucher for the value of your tickets if you are unable to go due to medical probalems, death in the familiy and similar circumstances. Just all things to keep in mind when booking well in advance. Of course trip insurance is always an option and is being promoted a lot more now due to the issues with the airlines and the freaky weather that seems to keep occurring. If you go for trip insurance, make sure you know just waht you're buying and what's covered - all policies are not the same.

10. Re: Best travel Websites!

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