Who knew that booking a vacation would turn out to be such a nightmare? Considering myself to be fairly tech savvy, I decided to take the plunge and book my New Year’s school break in Dubai without the aid of a travel agent. With all the commission fees they charge, I thought I’d save myself a little money and some time by booking the flight and hotel myself, directly with the airline click here Ebookers.com – review.
The only flight I could find was through Paris. I did that last time I went to Italy, so I wasn’t concerned. After sending payment, my booking confirmation never arrived. I spent hours on the phone to a call center in India, trying to find out why the airline hadn’t processed my booking. I’d wasted a day, and still, I had no flight tickets and no hotel. I was considerably poorer than I had been at the start. It was only a couple of days later, once my booking had been confirmed after many more phone calls to India, that I discovered the beauty of booking package vacations online through comparison websites.
I found Ebookers.com and searched with the same criteria as my Christmas break to Dubai to compare the price I had paid to the price through Ebookers. There is a feature which allows you to search for flights, hotels and car rental, all at the same time, something I would have found extremely helpful and time saving in my booking debacle. Entering my vacation details took a matter of seconds. Their search form is very easy to use and only asks for the essentials. I was pleasantly surprised that they did not hound me for my email address as so many of these websites do. I checked “non-stop flights only” because I was interested to see if I had missed any direct flights in my independent search.
I also narrowed the search to my preferred airlines.
Before searching, I sat there confident I had already found the cheapest deal for my vacation a few days earlier. I had booked directly, cutting out any agent’s commission. The search took a matter of seconds. Ebookers scoured their extensive database to present me with a plethora of flight and hotel choices in a variety of combinations. I was surprised when I discovered that Ebookers didn’t inflate the prices as I had suspected. They were offering me real discounts.
Ebookers show your results in a very user-friendly manner. They directly compare a combination of hotels and flights and present the prices in a table. At the cheaper end of the spectrum, low cost airlines can be found. The legacy airlines show up, too, at the top end. The chart gives you individual prices, flight times and even the number of seats left on the flight, a great way to compare your options effectively and make a very informed decision. Your flights are not limited to one airline. Ebookers will tell you if it is cheaper to fly one airline on the way out and a different airline on the way back. That might not a viable option for everyone, but it’s a nice feature nonetheless.
Ebookers has an exceptional database of hotels. As well as offering special promotions such as free meals and discounts, saving you even more money, they provide comprehensive images and descriptions, user-submitted reviews and the hotel location pinpointed on a map. If you can do luxury without breaking the bank, you can sort by star rating or reviewer score so you only see the top-end hotel options. Conversely, you can sort the hotels by best value to save your wallet.
At some point during the booking process you are likely to receive a chat request from a friendly representative at Ebookers. It really is like having your own personal travel agent. The reps are very helpful and are willing to assist you in the booking process. They will even find the cheapest deal for you!
Since finding Ebookers, I have used it to book my summer vacation to Majorca. Once you’ve found your perfect vacation, the booking process could not be easier. After confirming your flight and hotel selections, Ebookers offers you a variety of car rental deals (of course, comparing across many different companies) helping you to find the cheapest option. You can even select whether you would prefer manual or automatic transmission. Who prefers manual in a rental, anyway?
Insurance. I can’t imagine why anyone would travel without it. Thankfully, Ebookers can’t either. They provide a selection of insurance options with varying amounts of coverage. There is an added sense of security when you book everything you need for your vacation in the same place. One transaction, one booking reference, one company really takes the stress out of booking a vacation.
For me, the main attraction for Ebookers is the ability to compare so easily. The problem with the way I booked my vacation to Dubai is that I didn’t do sufficient comparison. I booked through an airline, so I was limited to that airline’s flights, which ultimately meant I would be taking an indirect and more expensive route. I also could have saved money by booking the hotel through Ebookers because I would have received the package discount they offer for booking your hotel and flight together. They are also ATOL protected so you know your trip will still be a “go” even if Ebookers closes its doors.
When I set out to book my vacation to Dubai, I thought I had been smart by doing it all myself. I tried to save time and money, but in the process I wasted more than I could have imagined. What I didn’t realize is that Ebookers, itself, is a efficient online travel agent, and they don’t charge you for providing the service! They actually reward you by giving you a discount.
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