heaven knows we have tons of websites to choose from when researching and booking flights and hotels and we all shop around to get the best bang for our buck, but here’s a quick reminder to be sure not to discount (no pun intended) international sites — you can save lots of money! (hopefully you’re using a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee…)
sidebar: European train bookings RailEurope can often be quite expensive since you probably won’t get any discount fares there, and dealing with railway company websites can be a hassle (though worth it if you can make ’em work), but a while back i discovered Loco2. if you’re having trouble, give them a shot and you’ll likely be able to get any discounted fares the operator has. (and no, i’m not being paid to say this.)
i’m a fan of Hotels.com, and here’s the price they want for a place i may be staying at in a couple months in New Delhi:
but look at how much an Indian site is charging:
9,750 rupees = $161.53. that’s less than half the price of Hotels.com (which is the same as many other major players) for the same room type, same free breakfast and same free wifi. like Hotels.com, it’s prepaid and cancelable. you’ll need a voucher, but printing out a piece of paper is for sure worth $192 and change! heck, if you didn’t have a printer, you could buy one and a ream of paper and still come out ahead.
a big thanks to HotelsCombined (and Points Summary for letting us know about this site!) for letting me in on this deal! note that the prices are not completely accurate — $224ish prices seem to jump up on some sites, like Hotels.com above, and they don’t include taxes and fees, at least in this case.
i should note that now when i reload the Hotels.com page, the price goes down to $324.72, and Booking.com and Agoda come in at $285 once you include all the taxes (which is the $224+tax). still, not as cheap as booking with Goibibo, though, for sure. oh yeah, if you book directly with the hotel, the price comes out to around $285 as well all in.
heh, i found an apparently popular commercial from this company — they had me at the dancing.
and regarding airfares, a reminder to shop around as well. sometimes online travel agents have great prices, but AirIndia.com is charging 4,235 rupees (about $70) for the same Mumbai to New Delhi flight as what Orbitz wants $180.85 for, thanks to their Web Special pricing, which is only available through their site. also, keep in mind there are low-cost carriers that will not show up on the regular searches/metasearches, and new ones are popping up (and disappearing) every day. for non-domestic flights i tend to use Skyscanner but i also do research and see which airlines fly to which airport in case one or more don’t appear on them.
that’s how i found a new airline, FlySafair, that will take me round trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town in a couple months for $93. (*cross fingers* — they haven’t even had their first flight yet!)