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Thread: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

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    fortfan shyra's Avatar
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    Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    Hi all, I wanted to know if any of you on here have used the computer to book travel plans instead of going through a local travel agent? I ask because when I went to my travel agent the trip my friend and I want to go on is about $300 or more then what the computer site is.

    What are the pros and cons of booking online? Besides a credit card. lol Oh, and has anyone been to Mrytle Beach SC?

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    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    I've never been to Myrtle Beach (although I hear it's lovely) but I've booked all kinds of travel online. If you can find a better price, go for it. Travel agents are good if you've got complicated arrangements, but you can do pretty much anything online nowadays.

    Be warned, if you want to keep that cheaper price you should clear your cookies. All the travel sites are notorious for having their prices go up when they see you are checking in on pricing. They figure you'll panic and buy before it goes up any further.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

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    fortfan shyra's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    Wow, thanks, I never even would have thought about that. The only problem I am having is that you have to pay by credit card and I really didn't want to do that because I use mine only for emergencies but for a $300 difference it would be worth it I suppose. Still my limit is only $500 and the trip is going to cost $600 something from Detroit to South Carolina plus the 3 hour drive to Detroit from Canada.

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    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    Shyra -- we take care of all car trips by ourselves. Funny you mentioned you are going to SC; we're going to Charleston, SC next week and I put out a post for anybody in those "environs" for recommendations on restaurants, etc. and got two lovely and informative responses by PM. I can share the contents with you if you would like.

    "Big" trips we use a travel agent since she knows our taste. We usually go to the Carribean once a year to get away from the cold and she knows which kind of resort we would like, etc. I wouldn't know one hotel in Mexico from another. She got us into a great place in Aruba 7 years ago and we returned there last year. Etc. Etc.

    Whatever you do, if you are going by commercial carriers, buy travel insurance. One year we had to cancel a big trip and the insurance was a lifesaver.

    Hope this is helpful info.

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    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    If you're looking for the best deal to fly, some of the cheapest airlines (like Southwest) are only available through their own sites, so be sure to check them against the lowest price of other sites.
    Count your blessings!

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    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    Morning, Gutmutter!!!

    We try to use Southwest whenever possible for domestic air travel. They are the only ones who still don't charge for checked baggage, and that can save you $25 or $50 depending on how many bags you check. (I wonder if the airlines will next charge you for a pillow and/or a blanket. This is getting ridiculous!) We do book with them on their website.

    Also for those who use AMTRAK, they have a good website, too.

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    8/2/64 until forever! AZChristian's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    Quote Originally Posted by Columbia, MD;4072467;
    We try to use Southwest whenever possible for domestic air travel. They are the only ones who still don't charge for checked baggage, and that can save you $25 or $50 depending on how many bags you check. (I wonder if the airlines will next charge you for a pillow and/or a blanket. This is getting ridiculous!) We do book with them on their website.
    We, too, fly only Southwest for domestic flights. I have one of their Visa cards and use it judiciously to my advantage. We charge only what we can pay off in a given month so we don't pay any interest fees. But we charge everything we can on it. Purchases (including groceries), doctor visits, church offerings, and even monthly payments on the deposit for an upcoming cruise. As a result, we usually end up with 4 free round-trip tickets on Southwest every year . . . which means our flights to vacation locations usually only cost us $5. We also usually book car rentals through Southwest to take advantage of extra points on the Rapid Rewards program to earn us additional flights even faster.

    I could do a commercial for them. We love Southwest!
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    FORT Fogey Missyboxers's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    As far as planning trips is concerned, I do as much of it as possible myself, online, and that's where you'll almost always find the best prices. Kayak is good for keeping tabs on airfares, and then they'll link you to the airline's site to buy the ticket.

    For hotels, there are plenty of pricing aggregators and there are plenty of travel review sites (TripAdvisor, etc) where you can get hotel reviews (sometimes with pictures!) along with advice/money-saving tips from other travelers. Depending on where you're going, you can also sometimes find out about smaller, inexpensive but good hotels that may not be on a travel agent's radar.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZChristian;4072512;
    I have one of their Visa cards and use it judiciously to my advantage. We charge only what we can pay off in a given month so we don't pay any interest fees. But we charge everything we can on it.
    My parents do the same for their American Express card, and now that Amex has started giving points for purchases on the no-fee Blue card, I've been trying to do that as well. We've used points for rooms or for money off car rentals, etc. You can save some good money that way.

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    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    I have never, ever used a travel agent, and I go all over the place and usually find plenty of inexpensive places tro stay, stuff to do, etc.
    I think you can find a much better airfare than what you are talking about, easily.
    I've been to Myrtle Beach a bunch of times; as I've aged I prefer quieter areas, but there are a lot of attractions and the beach is fine as is the seafood. And there are literally hundreds of places to stay; Google the Myrtle Beach visitor dpartment and get them to mail you a travel planning package so you can see a whole bunch of them without having to navigate all over the internet.
    Also, when are you planning to go? If you still want to swim, you better check first, as the water is already cooling a lot. Also, be aware that many of the tourist things, such as souvenier stands and so forth, are closed until next spring. (Sorry to be a downer, but I thought you would like to know!)
    I like Kayak as well, and one of my favorite websites is airfarewatchdog.com, because you can put in any departure city and request sale fare updates; they will send you all the new fares every day.
    I have found the Truth and it doesn't make sense.

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    fortfan shyra's Avatar
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    Re: Travel Arrangements made without a travel agent

    Thanks everyone! I must say I have travelled before but I always used a travel agent. I found out the travel agent I go to took a different job in a different city and the lady who looked after me didn't seem as good or as confident as I would have expected.

    I have finally convinced my friend to try flying but she does have panic attacks and is nervous so we choose a 2 to 3 hour flight for the first time.

    She has never been by an ocean so we chose South Carolina. I have heard that in March not to many people swim or the outdoor pools are closed etc. I just don't want a crowd of people on March break and I am hoping that it won't be too bad there. Any info pm'd to me would be appreciated greatly!

    We are from Canada but because we are taxed up the wazoo for flights I chose to drive to Detroit and fly from there. The thing that bothers me or worries me is I have never book online for something like this because we will need flight/hotel/car. Do I find that on different sites or is there one that most people use?

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