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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Modern Strategies of Travelling Today (Part 1)

Trip Planning.
  • If you're planning with a large group, complicated itinerary or going on a cruise, call your travel agent for an advice. You might also want to ask; - has the agent been on the place before?
  • The best price is always out there somewhere. You can try meta-search engines such as Kayak and Sidestep that has good deals for flights, hotels, cruises and car rentals. Also good sites to search are orbitz, travelocity and expedia, although they tack on service fees.
  • Keep track on the exact distances of all your itineraries between your hotel and to the place you're going. Use google earth's cool satellite images to gauge your distance.
  • Keep searching for better prices. Prices for hotels or car rentals fluctuate, so never give up for a better deal.
  • It's also wise to call your hotels directly for certain special rates that are only sold via phone; others are sold online. Take note however, that cancellation policies for this can be strict.
  • Try getting a package. Here are some tips to consider before buying a package:

    1. To know if it's a real deal, see what it costs to book separately.
    2. Never trust the package description by the hotel or star rating; Do a research on the hotel on your own. If you aren't satisfied with the hotel being offered, you can always upgrade.
    3. If you're planning for a group tour or cruise, ask who will be joining you, - how mature they are or aren't, etc...
  • In case of emergency, bring a photocopy of your passport with you. Another thing to do is scan your passport and email it (including your itinerary) to yourself and to someone you trust back home.
  • Book directly to hotels whenever possible. Hotels are nicer to guests who searched for them out than to those who come via a third party booking engine.
Loyalty Programs.
  • The value of a frequent-flier miles can be used for upgrades, free tickets and even magazine subscriptions. Use them ASAP because the value is in decline.
  • Don't assume that miles will be added to your account automatically. Check your balance online and if the miles fail to show up within a week after you've flown, contact the airline reward program.