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Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

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Manchester, United...
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Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

Morning All.

Going to Vegas next year for our Honeymoon. Went last December and booked in Thomas Cook.

The reason I'm asking this time, is because when we booked last time, we didn't really know what hotel to stay at, never mind what room we wanted.This time though, we will know all that.

So, do you find it the best way to put your trip together yourself, or just walk in the travel agent and let them do it all for you??

Thanks

Chaddy

Nottingham, UK
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1. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

I shop around for the flights and book the hotel myself - I booked my flight for 3 weeks time from Expedia, and am staying in Mirage. You should save yourself some money this way as the hotels regularly have special promotions on the websites that you can take advantage of. If you book through Thomas Cook etc you are basically paying a bit more for the ease of having someone sort it all out for you!

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

Hi Chaddy,

Although I am not from the UK, I do have a similar experience.

The first time we booked a trip to the US was though a travelagency around the corner (Amsterdam). On recent trips, we dediced to book online with Expedia. We got good deals for flight-hotel packages with or without rental car.

When we were planning our trip to Vegas, my husband decided to go ask the travel agent at what price they could offer the package we choose at Expedia. They told us they could not book the Cancun Resort for us and were not able to book Economy Comfort at Delta Airlines either...

If you know what you want, Expedia is great!

Edited: 30 July 2011, 08:26
uk
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3. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

Always separate chaddy. Book the flight during the Christmas/New Year sale and then hotels dependent on comps and offers. Between booking and travelling (9 months or so) I can't tell you how many times I've switched hotels when improved offers and different choices spring up.

I think we've finally settled on 4 different hotels for our 2 week September trip - Treasure Island, Platinum, Orleans (my spiritual Vegas home) and Cosmopolitan.

I love all the planning but I'm sure if it were left to MrsCFC she'd sooner walk into the travel agents rather than endure the hassle of it all.

Have a fantastic honeymoon.

Manchester
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4. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

Hi,

Congratulations in advance!!

I think you need to do your homework - we normally book flights and hotel direct and this is normally the cheapest way, however this year I found a bargin on expedia and another with Virgin holidays - both were much cheaper than what I could do it (mainly due to the price of the flights).

If you do it on your own I would book the flights as soon as you can, the prices never seem to come back down..unless you fall lucky with a sale...but as its your honeymoon I wouldnt want the stress of checking all the time!

The other option is to go somewhere like Trialfinders and tell them what you want and see what they come up with.

Either way, enjoy!

Manchester
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5. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

In the past I have booked a package on Expedia which has proved to be a good deal. Other times I have booked a flight on one website then the hotel on another and have used opodo and ebookers.

Next visit I have used miles and money with Virgin and booked the Encore direct. Good hotel comparison sites are Trivago, Travelsupermarket.com and Kayak.

Have also used promotional codes from http://www.vegas-hotels-online.com/.

Packages from travel agents very rarely complete on price from my experience.

Hope this helps.

Brighton
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6. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

I book separately but always check with a few travel agents in case they can compete. Always sad to see high street businesses fail which is why I check their prices but the difference can be huge, even up to £500 for exactly the same trip. Last time, I booked through ebookers but then changed to lastminute.com for fantastic deals which smartervegas and the hotels' own special offers could not equal. I love all the shopping around for bargains!

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

Cheers for the feedback everyone - it's greatly appreciated!

I'd personally do it all myself, I was just checking there was no benefit that I couldn't think of from doing it at the travel agent.

Thanks for the tip about booking the flights around Christmas/New Year - we are going to New York as well, so as much as I can save on the flights, the better!!

We have a few hotels in mind (staying at 2 of them). Going to stay at either Bellagio or Caesars (Been recommended for the pools) and then at either New York New York or Planet Hollywood (as we loved the vibe in them last time).

As my wife to be says, I am Mr Organized, so hopefully I can put this to the test!

england
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8. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

I've done this a few times and the best way, in my opinion, is a two stage process. Flights first then hotel. The reason it is best to do it this way is because the best flight prices are usually to be had between 6-10 weeks of departure, while the best hotel deals don't tend to materialise until, say 4 or 5 weeks before you are due to arrive

You want to get the best deal on both, obviously, and flights are by far the worst to predict. Flight prices for a single operator can fluctuate by £200 from one day to the next, and knowing when to twist or stick is difficult. As an example, I got my flight to Las Vegas on KLM/Delta this year by booking it on the Air France website for £530. The same flight was over £700 on the same day via the KLM website. At other times you get better deals on US, United, BA or American. Additionally, if you live near London, you also have to weigh up paying a little more the the huge convenience of a direct flight (BA, Virgin). If you can't be bothered website watching like I do, I would recommend using Trailfinders for your flight. Their advice and service (in my experience) has always been excellent, but they will only be able to get you the best deal available on the day you call. Deals could easily be better or worse 24 hours later - that's the way of it. These days anything under £600 is a good price. Anything under £500 needs to be grabbed super-quick

Then 5 or 6 weeks in you can start browsing the websites of your hotels of choice to see what deals they are putting on. These deals may simply be great room rates, excellent discounts on suites (MGM are doing this at the moment) or bundles that give you free buffet, show or spa discounts.

That's what I do, anyway. The only caveat I would put on the hotel part (which perhaps might see you wanting to book early) would be if your stay coincided with a major US holiday, then you might need to book earlier and put up with the higher room rate

Dewsbury, United...
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9. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

I booked the flights with Kayak after checking every day until i saw a good price,booked the 4 nights in MGM bungalow suite direct via the vip suite offer on the MGM website and then booked 13 nights at the Desert rose on the Thomas Cook Website using the £40 off code...

coventry
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10. Re: Question for UK Folk - How Did You Book Your Trip?

Woooaaa, there everyone, lets not be too hasty here and rule out travel agents completely.

Whilst there might be a price advantage to booking all elements of your honeymoon seperately via the internet, you will have very little protection for your complete holiday if something goes wrong...

The truth is if you book seperately there is always a risk that if one of your suppliers goes bust or there is a cancelled flight then YOU would have to change all the other elements of your holida, and YOU would lose out financially... For example your flight is booked through BA and they go on strike, and you cant get to your hotel for until 2 days later, then the interent site you boooked your hotel with wont give a stuff about the fact that you will be arriving later, and you will most probably lose the cost of those days your not there.

Im not trying to frighten you, just trying to make you aware that if you book your holiday as a 'package' through an ABTA /ATOL agent they are responsible for sorting all parts of your holiday out, you wouldnt have the risk or the hassle, especially leading up to your wedding. So i think its unfair and incorrect to say there there are no advantages to booking through an ABTA /ATOL travel agent. What you get is security in the knoweldge that if something goes wrong your not stranded, and things will get sorted out. so bascially there is more risk booking independantly, but if your aware of that risk, thats fine, but you should go into the process with your eyes wide open realising the potenial downfalls of booking things seperately, but also realsing that you may get a cheaper deal online.

For what its worth you should always tel an agent that youve got a deal at X price, and see if they will match it, you may be surprised what they will do to get your business. :-)

By the way i work in travel so i do have some knowlegde of this both as a consumer and a manager.

Nige