When looking to utilize the service of a discount travel site, there are certain criteria that should be looked at to determine if the site is indeed a legitimate one. With new discount sites popping up on the Internet every day, it can be difficult for some to distinguish the difference between a site that offers legitimate vacation packages, and others that are just looking to get a quick buck from their customers. So, to ensure that fewer people find themselves getting ripped off when they are just trying to take a vacation, there are things that should be looked for in a discount travel site.
In this bustling age of technology, anyone can literally slap their name on anything claiming legitimacy. Discount travel sites are no different. So, when looking for a discount travel site, it is best to go for one that can live up to its reputation. Sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, and Travelocity all have reputations that precede them, so each is a good place to start when looking to book discount vacations. However, these sites certainly are not the only legitimate sites on the Internet.
If in doubt about whether a particular site can live up to the services it advertises, check out the Better Business Bureau, and see if the company has any complaints lodged against them. Also, a quick Google search of customer reviews of a website should give an overall idea as to whether or a not a website can live up to its promises.
Too Good to be True
When booking through a discount travel site, it is important to compare the rates of several different sites in order to get the best deal. Usually, sites will have similar prices, with differences being so minuscule that it really wouldn’t matter which site takes the booking. In other cases, one particular site may have a price difference that is hundreds of dollars different from the prices on other websites. When this scenario happens, jumping on the deal may seem like the best thing to do, but if a deal sounds too good to be true, it may be just that.
Occasionally, some websites offer discounts on particular hotels, airfares or packages, which is perfectly fine, but, if an obscure website is offering a ridiculously high discount, there may be some things that need to be read in the fine print. The fine print can include additional fees, lack of cancellation policy, or blocked travel dates. In any case, just make sure all details are known in full prior to putting down a deposit.
Cancellation Policy/ Travel Insurance
Cancellation Policies vary from website to website, and regardless of which website is used for booking, it is important to know what the cancellation policy is. Imagine booking a $1000 trip and then a family member passes right as the trip is supposed to take place or some sort of natural disaster causes a delay travel plans, and the trip may need to be cancelled entirely or postponed to another time, but the website refuses to offer any financial recovery. So, it is important that the discount travel website is willing to work with its customers if in fact an unforeseen event were to take place.
It is not uncommon that the travel site may retain some money, ex. Non-refundable airline fees, or a percentage of the deposit. Either way, customers tend to have a much better feeling left in their stomach when they are at least able to get some of their money back if not all in case they have to cancel.
The above advice is just a guideline for determining if a discount travel site is legitimate. Although, there have been many cases whenever the most reliable of site have disappointed customers. So, follow gut instinct, and if it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t worth the money.