PLAN YOUR TRIP

by: | July 30, 2017

TIPS AND TRICKS ON HOW TO BOOK YOUR TRIP IN A SMART WAY

Finding the perfect hotel in the perfect place at a reasonable rate  is sometimes overwhelming and time consuming, as we are bombarded by websites commercial and promotional messages and we have no idea which one is best, nor time to analyse everything and ponder which one is the right choice for us.

Therefore I have thought about selecting a variety of booking websites that I have used in the past or that I have known from my past life when I was working in the travel industry and consider reliable enough.

Most of the time they also offer the best deal.

What I always suggest to do is to compare prices among the different sites and if you like you can also check directly with the hotel page or as to make sure you are booking the best deal on the market. If you don’t have time at all you can email me [email protected] and I will be happy to investigate for you for a small fee.

Check out the links here below:

VIEW HOTEL REVIEWS

Hotel bookings

Booking.com

I always check out on Booking.com among all the available sites as they have much more choice and most of the time the best deal. Expedia is great for packages with airlines, though. But you should really check all of them out and make sure you are getting the best price. Also in order not to have unpleasant surprises, make sure you check out the following.

sunset from a pool in a hotel

Picture from @mariamichelle on Pixabay

RESERVATIONS GUIDELINES

How to make a hotel reservation in a smart way.

  • Enter the correct number of people in your party, because rooms type and rates would vary accordingly.
  • Make sure you read what are all the services included in your rates so that you won’t have false expectations.
  • Remember the taxes are almost never included, so make sure you check all the smallest notes. Normally the taxes are mentioned right before check out.
  • With Booking.com you can pay directly upon arrival while with Expedia you are asked to choose your preferred method of payment. It’s up to you.
  • Check the cancellation policy, always! Just to make sure up to which date you can have a refund in case you need to cancel.
  • If you are sure you won’t cancel or you have good insurance, you should look for NON-REFUNDABLE deals, where normally the hotel set the price very low but it is subject to cancellation penalties in case you cancel, from the very moment you book even if it is a year before your stay.
  • GET TRAVEL INSURANCE. You never know what can happen. I am using World Nomads because I was recommended it by trustworthy people who had a great experience. It’s a little more expensive than others but it is always worth it. I had to use it a couple of times and although they refunded me what was due, the process it’s a little long and tedious. But they have a huge cover and if you are a diver, their “explorer” insurance package will cover.
  • Another company that I just happen to find and will try on myself is Safetywing. It’s been used by many other nomads especially because it’s made by nomads so they know our needs. The comments that I am seeing are nothing like praise. So I will let you know about my experience when I will use it. But I can just tell you I love their website, it’s hilarious and super user-friendly.

Car Rentals

I always prefer to get a car and drive around, everywhere I go, from Jamaica to Mexico, anywhere I feel safe I do it. It’s simply the best way to find remote places and secret corners where public transportation can’t reach for many reasons.

These above sites are equally good depending on where you are going to rent a car. I would suggest you to check  them all out, try to make a quotation and see what is the most convenient for you.

They might have a special deal in the country where you want to rent.

I have used Auto Europe for my trip around Baja California and I really felt great about it.

The thing that I love the most is that each site compares rates among different car rental companies.

Beware though, that you need to check out the insurance too if you need it.

Bear in mind that those sites are only aggregators and they are not responsible of each company policy.

First, check how much it is and then what it includes. When you ask for full insurance (which I recommend), always ask what they mean for FULL, because most of the time the windows or tires are out and sometimes you have a deductible, in which case it doesn’t make it a FULL insurance.

Therefore more than the initial price which is normally very low, you will need to dig a little deeper and ask what is included in that price. Also, the DROP OFF tax is important. If you pick the car up in one place and drop it off in another city, for the majority of the time your bill will inflate significantly.

So, always clarify every detail! Please feel free to ask should you need any further tips.

BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS

With Airlines you never know… Sure is they constantly change rates.

I normally use aggregators which means that they compare rates from different airlines, which is great for you to see all prices on one page.

The most commonly used is Skyscanner,  but I also check out kiwi.com 

And I just found out about this spectacular site called Scott’s cheap flights. This guy is a genius and flight hacker. I have managed to get a great deal. However, they are now limited to flights from the USA only, unfortunately.

I would also suggest to check them all and then have another look at the airline website as well, in different time of the day or night, so you will make sure you are really getting the best possible fare.

If you see a rate that is reasonable to you book it without hesitation because you never know when the offers end.

Once the seats are filled the fares automatically raise.

Once I lost an amazing rate because I wanted to wait….

However be aware that the airline sites use cookies, not the ones that we all eat and love, the one that track your information.

So the next time you log in from the same computer they know that you have been searching for that destination and price automatically raise! Yess it’s that bad! we live in a dirty world!

But now that you know, what you have to do is either clear your browser history or open an incognito window and search from there.

Let me know should you need any assistance on this…


ORGANIZED GUIDED ITINERARIES

If traveling alone is not your gem or if you just want to join a group of like-minded people to travel with for some time.

I have partnered with a prestigious and world-wide renewed company called G-adventure that organizes travel itineraries all around the world for different kinds of travelers and also for different age groups.  You can choose your trip among many others based not only on the itinerary but on age range and type of trip.

They have everything for all needs.

Their website has an amazing and friendly interface that helps you find what you are looking for.

They also have a chat system where a booking agent will answer all your questions.

I really liked them and although I didn’t have the chance to join one of their trips, I have worked with them on other occasions and heard wonders from fellow bloggers and friends.

So I really feel comfortable recommending them even if (for now) I haven’t had a direct experience.