The Awful Experience Of Booking Vacations Online
from the it-ain't-easy dept
I've been doing way too much traveling lately, and one thing I can say is definitely true: booking online really isn't that much of a time saver. It may be a money saver, but the process is a complete hassle, and you really need to set aside a few hours to surf around, comparison shop and really figure out what you're going to do. A new study (though, apparently done by a somewhat biased travel agents association) certainly agrees with that, finding that the promise of cheaper and easier vacations online hasn't come true. I'd take the results with a grain of salt, considering who did the study, but it should be admitted that the online vacation booking process is hardly a breeze. Part of the problem, of course, is you never really know where to shop. Just today, Northwest Airlines announced that they'll charge an extra $5 for any flight not booked online (matching a few other airlines), but there's still the question of where online. As we mentioned last week, a number of major hotels have pulled out of Expedia.com, forcing you to shop around a bit. On the last trip I booked, I ended up getting the flight directly off the airline's website (which got screwed up and required a phone call to fix), the rental car via Travelocity and the hotel via Priceline... and I still used Expedia, Hotwire and others for comparison purposes.