Last updated on April 23rd, 2019 at 06:42 pm
I know that many of you want to book your own vacations, flights and excursions, so we have created this “Book It Yourself” page to give you access to some great booking and informational tools. They may not be as great as booking with an experienced travel agent, but I understand your desire to go it alone. We are still happy to answer your questions, even if you want to book your trip on your own.
I even use these tools to check prices and compare them to the prices I can get on the travel agent pages to make sure that I get the best prices for myself as well as my clients. I will always suggest that you write out a proposed itinerary before you call me so that I can give you feedback and so that I can quickly get info back to you based upon what you want to do. Don’t hesitate to check for the best prices you can find via the online booking tools such as Expedia, Trivago, etc. Also, when you think of booking things on your own, do you really know who you are dealing with? Who do you go to for, what you may believe to be honest, unbiased, advise for places to stay. Probably TripAdvisor, right??? As long as you know that they are owned by the Expedia Group, then you know who’s advise you are getting. Really, I read their reviews as well, but always take them with a grain of salt.
Check out the websites. They all look the same and if you go to the bottom of the page, you will find the links to their sister sites. Companies are often bought and sold without us noticing, but as of the last time I looked, Expedia Inc.: Owns Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Venere.com,TripAdvisor.com — plus TripAdvisor subsidiaries CruiseCritic.com, BookingBuddy.com, SmarterTravel.com, SeatGuru.com, AirfareWatchdog.com, CarRentals.com and IndependentTraveler.com. Oh, yes, they are the major share holder of Trivago.com as well.
Orbitz Worldwide: Owns Orbitz.com, CheapTickets.comand RatestoGo.com.
Priceline’s stable of online travel agencies (OTAs) now includes Booking.com, Kayak and Agoda.com.
I have access to all of those sites as a travel agent and I bet that I can meet or beat the prices you find online with the tools that I have available to me. With that in mind, why wouldn’t you use a travel agent?
If you want to check air fares on your own, here are a couple of useful links. Links for Fare Buzz, Expedia and Kayak can be found below. Fare Buzz is a great online resource for booking your own flights. Kayak is a great link for locating hotels, car rentals as well as flights. Kayak will generally take you to a third party site such as Cheap Tickets, Priceline, Expedia, etc… to make the purchase.
If you move to the discussion about staying at a timeshare resort, you may be surprised to learn that there are two huge companies who own most of them, Wyndham Worldwide (changing to Wyndham Destinations as the separate the hotels from the timeshare resorts) and Marriott resorts who is buying ILG, who owns the Vistana, Sheraton, Westin, and Hyatt timeshare networks, Interval International, and several other travel companies. There are still the smaller companies that you recognize, Disney, Diamond and Bluegreen. With the purchase of Diamond Resorts by Apollo Global Management, which they are planning to take public, they may start to swallow up many of the smaller resort companies in the future.
Keep in mind that if you want to be able to alter an itinerary to extend a layover so that you can spend the day in Paris or one of your other stop-over points, give us a call and we can book your trip for you.
As an example, on our trip to South Africa, we will spend a full day in Zurich on the way to South Africa and an overnight in Paris on our way home. Plenty of time to get away from the airport and take the train to town.
Don’t you just hate it when you have a 4-5 hour layover and you just have to sit at the airport and wait for your flight. We can build an itinerary that may give you the flexibility to stretch your legs and see some sights while you are waiting for a connecting flight. Everything is cheaper if booked all together.
We cannot fix your itinerary after the fact, so please call us first and we can give you some options and book your flights, hotel rooms, and excursions.
If you want to book your car, tours or excursions on your own, or decide to take an excursion after you have arrived at your destination, click on the link below and make your own booking. I understand that you may want to decide on what to do based upon the weather or how you feel after that long flight.
If you book within 7 days of clicking on the link, I will earn a small commission on the booking. The price is the same for you on this link or on a direct connection to Viator. If you go directly to Viator, I won’t get a commission. Thanks for your support. And yes, I use Viator to book my tours and activities.
Click below to find out about booking Viking River Cruises!
Make sure to book your travel insurance on the same day that you book your travel if you book your own trip. Why??? Because if you don’t you won’t get coverage for pre-existing conditions that may cause you to cancel your trip before you leave home. You don’t want to lose all of the money you have already spent for your vacation of a lifetime, do you?
Click below for Information about Travel Insurance!