How To Plan Your Vacation Online

online vacation planningOnline travel planning can save you time and money, if you know what to look for and how to find it. To help you get started, here are some tips and web sites.

Start with travel search engine – Traditional search engines just don’t help much when trying to plan a vacation online. Try expedia,  travelzoo, Orbitz, TripAdvisor or Travelocity  to make quick work of finding the best information out on the web on where to go, where to stay and what to do.

Use specific search terms – When you’re searching for information on a site, be specific. You will get better search results if you are more specific with your search terms, and you will eliminate many search results and bring back more of the information you are looking for.

Fill out that profile – Many sites offer personalization features that automatically refine the information brought back to you. Personalization features only work if you fill out the profile. Many suggest articles, as well as hotel and attraction listings, are sorted according to your individual preferences.

Check out the bulletin boards – Nothing beats word of mouth for helping you make a travel decision. If you want the scoop on what others are saying, check out some of the web bulletin boards. There are many valuable nuggets of information up on some of these sites. Some of the better travel postings are at ,  and .

Save as favorite or Print out your research – Be sure to keep the valuable information you find. You should also save your favorite web sites URL.

Get the lowest airfare – The same ticket on the same flight to the same city has many different prices. You should try, or  for basic fare shopping for airfares, hotels and rental cars.

Get a package deal – To save money on a vacation you should consider to combine the airfare, hotel and even a rental car into a single package. You should try  or   for interesting deals.

Bid for it – Auctions are a new and interesting way to buy a vacation. Spend time researching the lowest published fare, with a search engine or on a mainstream travel site. When you have found the best price, you can make a bid. But remember, it is a commitment to buy the ticket(s) if your bid is accepted. You should try  or .

Look for good travel sites – Always buy a ticket or vacation package online, from a reputable source. Check out the "About Us" page, and look for signs of a serious company. If you are buying a ticket, make sure the site posts an 800 number for customer support.

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