Online Travel Planning: Pitfalls

Before online travel planning, remember travel agents? I recall when there was a travel agency in every strip center. Our family had our favorite and she did all the leg work of airline tickets. We loved her. But with the creation of the internet and google, where a few clicks  can find you anything and everything you could ever want,  along with the dinosaur and the dodo bird, the travel agent was not to be seen again.

Internet Travel Planning

 

Well, there seems to be every bit of information you could ever want on the internet, right? Right at your fingers tips! But there are things to watch out for on the internet. If it seems to be too good to be true….

Tips: How to Avoid Problems with Online Travel Planning

Online Travel Planning – Beware of Price increases

While you are searching airline fees, the powers that be of the internet are carefully watching you….what you search, the destination, the dates, the times….and the internet remembers. Each time you search…the price goes up!

How to avoid?

Do all your research and then when you are ready to buy, clear the cookies from your computer. Then, search again and buy. This will bring you back to the best price. Read here for the how to on cookie clearing.

 

Online Travel Planning – Beware of Bait and switch

We’ve all heard of the ‘ocean view’ room that faces a brick wall or the view you can only see if someone holds on to your back as you crane dangerously around the edge of the balcony!

How to avoid?

Go with reputable organizations and BBB endorsed websites. Check Tripadvisor for recent reviews. Read what people are saying about the hotel that interests you.

Online Travel Planning – Beware Overwhelming information

Google/Yahoo/Bing searches can lead  you to hundreds of opinions and reviews of the same thing. You can’t possible have the time to read them all. How do you decide which ones are of value?

How to avoid?

You need someone who has the same travel philosophy as you do! Someone with lots of experience. Someone who can give you clear information. Use a big name like Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, or a kid friendly traveler like The Educational Tourist.

Online Travel Planning: Clear your cookies

Online Travel Planning – Beware blogs that tell you….nothing.

 

Some blogs remind me a lot of politicians – they say a lot of words, but say nothing of value or substance. Reading about someone else’s fun time without real information you can use doesn’t do you any good.  To plan the adventure of your dreams you need details! Information! Ideas!

How to avoid?

Google with specific questions in mind. Instead of your google search “Bahamas” try “Visiting Bahamas with Kids”. With more details in your google search, you are more likely to find a blog that has the information you need.

Online Travel -Beware the SUPER cheap air flight.

Be careful that the fantastically cheap flight you found on some obscure website goes to the airport you are expecting. I learned this the hard way. We found a uber cheap flight on Ryan airlines out of London (we thought). This ‘London’ flight left from a lesser known airport which was an hour away! Our flight was a very early morning one so we left at o’dark thirty for a very expensive taxi ride (public transportation wasn’t available at that crazy early hour). This ate up valuable time and money on our vacation.

How to avoid?

Be sure to check the airport is the one you think it is. What time will you have to leave to get there for your flight? If you give up a lot of time (in the transportation to the airport for example) on your vacation to save money, you give up the opportunity to see something you came sooooo far to see. Large cities are a great example. In Houston there are two major airports – Bush and Hobby – and they are almost 2 hours apart from one another. Choosing the wrong one could have you stuck in traffic!

Sometimes the cheapest option is not the best.

Online Travel Planning – Beware old advice.

Blogs can be old and articles out of date.  Be sure the person giving the information isn’t relying on a visit 15 years ago. Things change!! Like milk….travel information can curdle if too old!

How to avoid?

Check the expiration date! Find out when the article was written. This is especially important regarding travel safety. Be sure to get the very latest information possible.

Online Travel Planning – Beware Jaded Advice

Be sure to know the philosophy of the person giving advice. Some people just hate everything. Whether the author is open minded – or not, can make a HUGE difference in their advice.

How to avoid?

Go with a well known name like Rick Steves and Samantha Brown. They have huge followings which usually means you’ll find a middle ground philosophy. Read a little about the blogger to see if your philosophy matches yours. My website is all about traveling with the entire family so families know they will find kid friendly information. Perhaps a destination specific expert is more of what you need. I found Lale, at the SRM travel agency, to be an amazing wealth of knowledge on Turkey.

Online Travel Planning - The Educational Tourist riding a camel

You CAN do your own planning with careful research using the help of websites like mine. You’ll find lots of tips and advice on making your trip the adventure of a lifetime. If you can’t find what you want or need, just ask!!

Happy Travel Planning!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo

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3 Responses

  1. February 19, 2016

    […] shopping around for the best deal. Clear your computer’s cookies to revert back to the lowest […]

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