Click! That is all that you need to have the world before you. Literally! At the click of a key you can shop, you can order your favourite food, your clothes and even buy a house! Planning a holiday online isn’t a big deal then, isn’t it? But before you sit in front of your screen to plan your online holiday we have some tips for you. Read on to find out more…
Whether you are planning a beach holiday or planning to trek the mountains or get cozy with your beloved in a snowy valley, make sure you do your homework well. All the possible information about any place under the sun is available online and so is the facility to book one. But then there is an over explosion of information and too many options for you to choose from. So here we are to help you to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you diligently follow the tips shared, rest assured, from the comfort of your home you will be able to book a perfect online holiday for yourself!
Tips to Keep in Mind
- First things first. Prepare a comparison table to note down the information you gather. This shall help you narrow down on the option that best suits your requirement. The table can look as follows –
|Destination||Days / best time to visit||Travel Cost and Time||Stay||Currency||Accommodation Options||Approximate budget||Tourist Attraction|
- Decide on whether you want to opt for a complete package online or book your hotels and air/train tickets separately. This is going to be an important decision you take so choose wisely. Check out popular portals like Makemytrip.com and www.Yatra.com or go for the lesser known sites like www.inspirock.com, www.tripit.com or www.viator.com
- Decide on the holiday theme and the number of days you are planning for it. By theme we mean – whether you want to opt for a beach holiday, an adventurous trekking sojourn, a relaxed holiday at a hill station or city break. Try and be flexible on the destination. The difference in price or the brownies being offered by a particular package may be more exciting. This holds especially true if you are planning for a holiday during peak season. If you are planning for a holiday during school vacations, you might end up spending more. So if you do not have kids and can take a holiday any time of the year, opt for a time when schools are open. You will be able to get better deals. Once you narrow down on the destination, check on the weather. You may not want to get caught up in rains while you are on a holiday unless you are planning for one consciously.
- Be flexible with days to get good deals on airfare. On certain days tickets are a bit cheaper. Usually Fridays and Saturdays are expensive while Tuesdays are the cheapest. If you are opting to book a package, incase there is an option of booking your own tickets, go for it! In a package, flight tickets are usually a bit expensive. And if they are cheap, they might have a very odd time. Take a break down of the package and do your homework. Google the dates of your travel and the destination you want to go to. You should be able to land on some exciting airfare discounts. Check skyscanner.com for good deals on flight tickets and try and use the same airline for travel both ways to get a better deal.
- Make a to-do list and a list of places that are must-visit. Put them down in the table. You can tick off any later at your convenience. If you need help use websites like triphobo.com. Here you can select your dates and insert multiple destinations. This site suggests itineraries for each day, allows you to select, then suggests travel options and helps you build your itinerary day by day.
- Your travel agent is smart but you can get smarter than him. We recently came across an article where they explained that the best time to book a package is when it’s just introduced or if you are ready to risk it, at the last moment. Those are the times the cost is the least and the agents are willing to negotiate. On each of the portals that you are accessing, check on the option of discounted packages. Speak with a customer service executive to find out if he has some packages left that he wants to sell off. It does help. One portal for international holidays that can be of great help is lastminute.com. Check out www.travelocity.com and www.expedia.com as well. For hotel bookings, head to www.trivago.com.
- After you check online on the packages, call the customer helpline and speak with an executive. Share with him the options you have narrowed down upon. Ask them for the best discounts they can extend. And do not rely on one. So if for e.g. you have narrowed down on a package on makemytrip.com, take details of the package and call www.yatra.com or www.akbartravels.com or for that matter any other online holiday booking portals and check on the offers they have in place for a similar package.
- If you aren’t too fussy about your accommodation, then we suggest you try the Airbnb option. The money you save can be spent on your holiday or better still, shopping! Ooops! Did your eyes just pop out! For those who aren’t acquainted to Airbnb, it is a concept where a community of people around the world come together to advertise the accommodation they have that is available for rent for a few days. The best part of booking yourself on any of the Airbnb accommodations is that you get to stay with your host most of the times and its amazing how the warmth of personal hospitality can actually give you a memorable experience.
You can also download the GreatBuyz app and avail of 85% off on homestays and 60% off on international hotel bookings on MakeMyTrip.
- The most important thing to keep in mind before booking your accommodation – whether in a hotel of Airbnb is that you need to check on the reviews. Check sites like wee.booking.com. Guests actually put in reviews and some of them also share the actual room images. The last thing you would want is to change your hotel once you have arrived at the destination. Better to do all the homework rather than suffer later, isn’t it?
- Check on the apps available for the city you wish to visit. This is so important for navigation and for food as well. TripAdvisor is a perfect choice. Another great app is Citymapper especially for getting the best route using pubic transport while you are on your holiday. In cities like New York the Yelp App is a lifesaver. They have details on restaurants in every area, in every budget and with reliable reviews.
- The Google translator app is another important app you need on your phone especially when you plan a holiday in a country where English isn’t a spoken language. Word Lens is another super app. This one allows you to take a picture of some text and translate it. Just what you need if you are in China or Japan!
- To avoid any hassles with regards to currency, please download an app that helps you with exchange rates. This is especially important for shopping. Download an app that will help you with immediate conversions like XE Currency.
Well, that is it! Now that you are all set to pack your bags and enjoy your holiday. Bon voyage!
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