When it comes to travel ideas, there are so many available options but getting the best price and the best deal possible may not be that easy at all.
Meta search engines, otherwise known as aggregators or screen scrapers are very useful because they conveniently retrieve information such as prices simultaneously from various online sources. For example, instead of looking up a fare from various airline sites, you merely have to type in a request and the aggregator will do the search for you. You can easily do side by side comparison.
Most travel sites have what you can refer to as preferred partners. These companies normally are on top when it comes to search results even if they do not provide the best value or deal, all because they have special contracts with the travel sites. Skip through the options and make your search more specific. While aggregators are expected to be very objective when you search through them because they basically are there to collect and compare prices instead of selling travel packages, they cannot always provide the full picture especially if some travel sites have pulled off their rates from a particular aggregator.
There is not a single source that could search all the possible options on the net and in the same manner there is not a single site that always has the most affordable prices. Some airline websites even rarely come out when being searched on search engines of third parties.
Most if not all travel sites come with a price guarantee gimmick. Offers include refunding you of the price difference plus 10% if you find a rate lower on other sites. Most people don’t follow up on such guarantees and even if they do make the effort, it can be a very grueling process.
While some sites show the extra fees involved up front, some travel sites bundle up hidden fees and charges (such as service charges and taxes) only at the last minute so be careful.
Booking and making direct reservations will almost always result with you paying less as compared if you go through third party booking engines. It would always help if you inquire directly from the source.
The old practice of picking up the phone still works. There are many resources that your travel agent would know but then you couldn’t book that online. Rates can easily be negotiated over the phone than through an email.