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need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

Dallas, Texas
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need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

My son is being married next March and he and fiance want to honeymoon in Rome--we are gifting them the trip but don't have unlimited budget--want them to use part of budget for spending money--they are paying off college loans and don't need to go into debt...

anyone have suggestions for reputable web site/travel company to check for flights/hotels into Rome--they want to spend about 10 days--March 10-20--which I know is not the best time to be going to Rome because of Holy Week...but they don't want to delay honeymoon.

they found a trip on european destinations.com site that they think is good deal--about 1200 each for flight and hotel stay at b/b--but the b/b is outside city and takes some traveling to get into town to sightsee and is fairly isolated from restaurants and other night activities...

The return flight also has to change airports in NYC and I just think they don't get how tiresome and difficult that would be...

any other reputable places to check -- suggestions for travel sites would be appreciated--they have done little travel on their own, certainly not overseas--and neither have we...

They have been reading TripAdvisor for other info...

Hagerstown, Maryland
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1. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

They should DEFINITELY stay in the city center. That's where most of the sites are, and they can walk to pretty much everything if they stay there.

Research hotels at Venere.com. Enter their dates of stay and see what's available. There is an interactive map there you can use to restrict the list to certain areas - most consider the area right around the Pantheon and Piazza Navona to be best, both because of the central location and the historic charm of the narrow streets. Nearby areas like the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Coliseum are great too. The Termini area has some good budget hotels, but this area is not as charming as some other areas - I think the area near Termini and Piazza Repubblica is probably best.

Before choosing a hotel, they should read the reviews both at Venere and here at TA.

Use Kayak.com to research flight options.

San Diego
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2. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

I think it is better to look for airfare and hotels separately. That way you have some control over where the hotel is located. You can use venere.com to find out about price and availability but use the hotel reviews on THIS site to see if the place sounds good. Rome will not be a romantic relaxed destination but a busy sightseeing destination (also romantic just not quiet and relaxing)so be sure they understand this. I t is a little early to book airfare but it is NOT too early to book the hotel.

The airlines are showing winter sales right now. I doubt if there will be any sales during Easter and las t year in the fall the airfare was about $900 from the west coast. Will they be traveling from Texas?They will have to change planes somewhere and all the airports are quite busy.

Delta has a flight from Atlanta into Rome so maybe you would prefer that.

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

Consider an apartment as opposed to a hotel. I think they'll get WAY more bang for their buck. We like RomanReference.com and have used them 3 times with great success.

jjkdc is right, central is best for a first time visit to Rome. I define central as 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from the Pantheon.

A good map is a must... I like StreetWise Rome (available on the web and at the big book chain stores).

A direct flight would be ideal and private transport to the city from the airport is a very, very nice thing after a long international flight. Look at RomeCabs.com

There are many great websites for learning about Rome. SlowTrav.com and TripAdvisor are a good start. I also like InRomeNow.com and Romaturismo.com

Best of luck!

Bedford
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4. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

"bang for their buck"..on a honeymoon???...GREAT choice of phrases...lol

Bedford
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5. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

Hey Tx native....we are neighbors and my wife and I are going to Rome Easter week. How about an invite to the wedding?

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

MICHAEL--the wedding will take place in Austin, overlooking Lake Travis--pretty view--so it is not happening close to home--sorry

thanks for the info--guys--don't know that these suggestions will actually help with the budget ceiling--

are we running a risk that there will be no flights on their days if we wait to book airfare until later--and book hotel now?

if they want to travel out to Pompee, should they get hotel there and take the train or is is possible to make a day trip out of it?

Knoxville, Tennessee
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7. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

Hey Tx,

(Alabama native here) I have used www.expedia.com several times to purchase air tickets and it is as good as it gets. I've compared prices there with Orbitz and Travelocity.com and found they are always priced the same. The biggest advantage to this site and others like it is that when searching for flights you are searching all airlines which fly the route you are searching.

I have also used the site to get hotels a couple times but have found it cheaper to go to the hotel directly with request on occassion.

To see what rates look like I just did a search on expedia.com for Feb '08 and several airlines have r/t flights for around $620 each.

For our next triip (Feb '08) we finally decided to get an apartment at the Aurelia Residence Apartments (see http://www.aureliaresidence.it/english/appartamenti.html)

take care,

Gottagocit

San Diego
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8. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

Just a word of caution about using 3rd party sites for airline ticket bookings. IF you want to be able to talk to someone about anything then don't do it as there is no personal touch involved. I usually book directly with the airlines. I must say though, on my most recent trip to Venice I saved about $300 by booking with 1800flyeurope.com This is a travel agency that specializes in flights to Europe. The great thing is that you can either book on line OR call on the phone. I ended up getting my ticket on Delta and my itinerarary was up on the Delta web site as if I had bought the ticket from them. I could pick my seats and I also got my frequent flyer miles. Sooo I say first check a comparison web site like www.kayak.com which will show you price for all flights on the route you want an dt hen check the airline web site aand THEN just to see if there is a difference you can check a 3rd party site like I mentioned. I would only book a 3rd party site if the savings was at least $300.

Barcelona, Spain
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9. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

I wd also recommend venere.com for hotel bookings, esp. for Italy where they are probably strongest (although we have also used them for Portugal and for a fairly obscure town in eastern Germany!).

Venere also posts comments from guests so you can look at those as well as TA reviews.

Knoxville, Tennessee
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10. Re: need reputable travel sites for March 2008 trip-

There seems to be a misconception about these sites. In this case it is from an "Expert". This IS how they work.

Once you search available flights, select the schedule that works best for you and purchase there IS someone to talk to. The tickets are issued to you either hard copies (in a few instances) or most likely electronic tickets reservations as is done by most airlines. If after that there is a "problem" you simply call the airlines for which the ticket is issued. Delta, Northwest, American, Alitaila or any other airlines. I know this to be true as I have done it more than once.

These "3rd party" sites are just like "travel agengies" of old, they simply provide a means to search many many airlines (or hotels or car rental companies) to find the best rate and route. Then they issue the ticket to you after your purchase. From then on the airline will handle any changes you need. The airline could care less who you buy the ticket from as long as you are flying with them.

Please don't let misinformation stop you from getting the best and most convienent reservation help. Setting a target of $300 savings before buying is ridiculous.

Gottagocit