How to Use Travel Search Engines
Why use travel search engines? Many people love to travel, whether it be for vacation or a work related voyage. In the past, one would need to call a travel agent to handle the arrangements and ensure that one got the best deal possible. However, that was well before the information technology revolution. Today, there are a variety of travel sites on the internet that make the whole process of scheduling and booking a trip to destinations a much more streamlined experience.
A travel site is simply one of many web sites that allow one to book travel reservations online. Most of these websites contain sitemaps for easy searching. These originally started as sites that facilitated flight reservations and now offer a wide variety of travel related services. These sites have become so popular that many travel agents have been pushed completely out of business,
Purchasing an airline ticket is probably the most popular activity at travel sites. Simply go to travel search engines.org and put you travel dates along with the locations for the departure and arrival cities, and the system will search every available flight to present you with the best options. You can then sort the flights by price, or by a variety of custom features. For example, you can chose to exclude journeys with connecting flights or more than a certain number of connecting flights. You can also sort by specific arrival and departure times.
Since you have access to all the various available flights, you can be reasonably assured that you are getting the best pricing available. If you are flexible on your travel schedule, you can also indicate to the system that your dates are flexible, and it will greatly expand the travel window to look for the best priced flights possible. Since certain days of the week or times of the month can have a lot more demand for flights than others, this is a great way of significantly lowering your flight cost as much as possible.
Booking a flight is not the only thing you can do at these sites. Often you can book a hotel and rental car at the same time. Similar to flight scheduling, you will be presented with a list of a wide variety of options at different price points. One advantage of booking all your information at the same time is that your entire travel itinerary can be conveniently held together in the same online back office. Often it will be emailed to your inbox where it can be printed out and referred to in the future. This is a lot easier than having to keep track of reservations made with multiple companies simultaneously.
Aggregating this information has other advantages as well. For example, you can be put on an email list which reminds you that a given flight is coming up and even might give you updates on flight status. Some sites allow one to input a cell phone number to receive real time updates in transit. Thus if you were rushing in a cab to catch a flight, you might get a text in traffic saying the flight is delayed, allowing you to relax and take your time.
Another great advantage of travel search engines is they often include an online review feature. This is where customers of that company can post their experiences. I find this particularly useful when looking for a hotel to stay at. Generally if a place is a real dump, those who made the mistake of staying there will let the entire world know at these sites. If you find good feedback with no bad reviews, often you can feel confident booking that cheap hotel will not leave you staying in an uncomfortable room.
These sites offer even more services to help you get the best possible deal. Many companies have a lot of excess capacity, but do not like to advertise it. These will often make deals with travel sites to let their rooms or flights go at a really cheap rate without letting the public know that it is offering the rate. Usually this is in the form of a site that describes a place and a price without saying who offers the deal is until after the purchase is made. I have found this to be one of the best ways to get deep discounts on really nice hotels
Travel sites also can be a great place to book a variety of tours before you leave. These will often be offered at discounts when booked in advance. Often you will purchase ahead of time with a printed invoice that can be used instead of paying for the tour when you get there (the same can be done for some hotel sites). These can be quite convenient in budgeting a long vacation while minimizing the amount of travel cash you have to take.
Travel sites have seriously transformed the way people around the world book vacations. Now people have more options right at their fingertips and no longer have to wait for travel agents to do the job for them.