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Booking Holidays online
This post is here to offer you tips on best holiday online booking agents. Offering you advise and outlining the benefits if you’ve never used a website for booking any trip online. Travel Agents are covered in another blog post on this site. This article is all about the pros and cons of booking holidays online.
Even if you’re a seasoned pro at booking holidays online, I hope you can discover some useful information here. Because this website is dedicated to Majorca, I am relating all given information to this beautiful island! Although you can apply the same information to anywhere in Europe
This blog post covers the following topics
- The Advantages of booking holidays online
- The Downsides booking holidays online
- Tips on best method of booking your online trip. Eg Best websites to use to book Majorca online and why
- Follow ups after making your Majorca accommodation booking.
Things to beware of when you book Majorca accommodation online
- Use only tried and trusted travel and holiday sites such as the ones listed below in this blog
- Use a website with a secure payment option. This means https:// rather than http:// shows at the beginning of the website address in the browser bar. Read more on this in my book online securely blog
- Please also read my Trip Payment Protection Blog. This tells you how to cover your trip financially.
Book Majorca Online: The Advantages
You are able to read the candid Trip Advisor Reviews associated with any accommodation you are considering booking. When you book at a high street travel agents, you are likely to be shown or read the favourable reviews from the travel agents own website
You’re in control. You’re able to take your time browsing, do as much research as you want and experience the fun of planning. You can put together your ultimate wish list and get a real adventure that fires your imagination
Pick exactly the flights you want. Travel and holiday websites also offer considerably more choice of accommodation than you’d find in a Travel Agents brochure.
Using Filters to find your deal activities and locations
Do you want to do specific activities or excursions while you are on holiday? Websites such as booking.com and Expedia have activity options on their menu/filter bar. Make a note of which locations your chosen activities crop up in. Next, research those areas until you find a suitable location to enter in the browser bar. Once you find a hotel you like, you can use hotel comparison price websites, such as Trivago, to get the best price on that hotel
Useful Accommodation Filters
There are helpful accommodation filters to make use of on websites if you have specific needs and requirements. Examples of some really useful filter choices are free parking, free wi-fi. accessible rooms for disabled access. You can also choose whether you want one person in a room, two people and so on.
Click the accommodation filters that are most important to you, the website will load the search to provide the accommodations and rooms matching your choices. The accommodations and rooms that don’t offer your chosen requirements are eliminated. This is helpful in narrowing your search to find hotels, apartments and villas that suit you.
A Personal Search
Yes, the high street Travel Agent staff will have accommodation filters too on their system but why have to go through all this with someone else when you can click a few times and do it yourself? You can make this a really personal search. From 5 star luxury spas to budget busting hostels, there is something for everyone booking holidays online. You won’t have to go through your budget details with anyone.
And if you are stuck for holiday activity ideas, many holiday websites offer these on their main menu bar or in the filters column in the side column.
Manage Your Booking
On nearly all accommodation websites there is a ‘manage your bookings’ somewhere in the menu bar. This is where you can go in and add anything you’ve forgotten or correct anything. But do note that there is are ways of booking your holiday online and certain timeframes to adhere to if you want to be ATOL protected. Read more about staying ATOL protected when booking holidays online
Book Majorca Online The Downsides
Yes, it’s time consuming, there’s no way around it. If you’re really intent on getting exactly what you want, you can sit for hours searching. There’s different travel sites all offering different deals, different rooms.
Then there’s the reviews to read on Trip Advisor on all the Majorca Accommodation you’re even slightly interested in. One bad review can send your head into a spin just when you thought you’d decided.
Sometimes you can close the website down, go to bed, log back on in the morning only to find that prices have changed! This can be to do with the exchange rate especially where a flight is concerned.
Downsides of Booking Excursions Online
Coordinating a trip where several different people want to do several different activities can be a problem. When you book Majorca online it is difficult to find middle ground for an area to stay in when you all have different needs and wants.
None of the Tour and Excursion websites I’ve looked at for Majorca offer the whole range activities and outings.
The main attractions and places of interest and excursions are always there. But maybe your idea of fun isn’t flocking like sheep to overpopulated, overpriced tourist traps. What about something a little different or off the beaten track?My knowledge of Majorca Activities and providers makes me think-‘Why have some of the best Majorca activity providers in some fantastic areas been left out’?
Best Websites to book Majorca Accommodation online
If you are planning booking holidays online in the next 6 weeks, Tui online is a great holiday booking website to use. Use the ‘late deals’ category on the menu bar. Tui prices includes transfers and luggage and in-flight meals (occasionally) Other holiday websites often have add-ons to include at the last stage of booking online. Costs for luggage and airport return transfers have to be added to the price you thought was the final one. This fact, at the time of writing applies to the package holidays provided by Easyjet, booking.com Travelrepublic.
Example of Tui Deal
I searched the Tui website at the end of September 2019 for a Majorca trip travelling from 02/11/2019 to 08/10/19. I discovered a final total price of £1165.60 for 2 people, eight nights half board (breakfast and dinner) at a good 3 star hotel at a lovely location in the north of Majorca. A twin room with a balcony plus transfers and 15kg luggage per person were all included in the deal.
Always a Compromise
The downside was the flights times. The departure was from a London airport at 22.30 and not arriving at the hotel until the small hours. Departure from Palma airport to return home was at 03.00 in the morning, which wasn’t ideal either. Although, for a bit extra you can change the flight times.
Good online Booking Agents
Booking.com have been mentioned several times already in this article. You may have notices, I am a fan!
I have booked through them many times and continue to use them. As far as an accommodation booking website goes, they take some beating. If I feel like tailor making my trip and have found online sale flights with Easyjet or Ryanair. Read how to financially protect yourself when making a tailor made trip in this way
Create an account with Online Booking Agents for Best Deals
Create an account with your favourite online travel agent when booking holidays online. Just choose the ‘sign up’ or ‘create an account’ option, usually at the top of the page. Create a Username and Password and then each future time that you Sign ii, you’ll get all the ‘genius’ deals! The prices you see will be better than if searching without being logged in with your account.
Benefits of Booking with the various online holiday agents
Booking.com offers a whole host of filters that you can make use of. I think it’s my favourite website for viewing room choices as the images of the exact room you will get are better that other websites. Also the filter options are very comprehensive. A great site for choosing accommodation as you can see examples in the way of pictures of exactly the room you’re getting.
Whenever you find accommodation on a different website, booking.com is a great website to refer back to. Even just to see the room type you are getting because many of the other websites don’t give such specific images of your room.
Travel Republic You make a deposit and pay in instalments. They cover you with ATOL and ABTA protection providing you book the right way. If you are tailor making your trip with different trip components, you are likely to have your accommodation covered by ABTA legislation. Always check though!
Villas Plus Hire a villa of your style and taste which will no doubt offer you a little more privacy and room than your standard hotel room
Loveholidays.com a fairly new holiday online agent at the time of writing is proving very popular due to low priced accommodation. You do have to add on any hold luggage and transfers at the final stage of booking though.
Airbnb Great for individual apartments and accommodation if you are tailor making your trip
Hotel Official Website When you’ve found a hotel or an apartment you particularly like the look of, take a look at the prices advertised on their official website. Sometimes they are competitive and it’s worth booking directly with them.
My personal experience is that the prices are usually that bit higher when you book direct with the hotel. Usually though, you get the exact type of room you want and the floor you want etc by communicating with the hotel itself. The booking agents selling their rooms on their behalf can never offer any guarantee of this but they do put your special requests through for you.
E mail the hotel about a week before you travel. This way you can be sure that when they answer you that they have record of your booking and you can remind them of your room request. Be respectful and polite in your request or you will just annoy them. You can find the Email for your individual hotel/apartment on their official website.
Booking Confirmation and Documentation
All you need is an email address so you can receive all your booking confirmations. Some companies allow you to download the confirmation via a mobile phone app. Other airlines still need you to print off your flight confirmations with the barcode on for scanning at the airport. Obviously you will need access to a printer if this is the case.
My first time booking Majorca online
Before closing this blog I want to tell anyone reading this who has yet to make their first holiday booking online (to Majorca of course!) about my first experience of doing so.
It was in 2007; a five day, 4 night trip to Majorca. It was a birthday gift for someone and I remember the excitement of scouring travelrepublic.co.uk for suitably timed and priced flights and looking at all the different room options. Adding a transfer was so cheap and easy.
Clicking on the pay now button gave me a surge of adrenaline; partly from fear of wondering whether the trip would be a success and go to plan but also from the excitement of the control and power I had just had over making my own choices; much more engaging than sitting on the other side of the desk to the travel agent waiting for their system to re-boot having crashed
As soon as my online payment had been confirmed and I went back onto the website and my stomach sunk
I began to read the reviews that I hadn’t taken much notice of before paying and I noticed a mention of a cockroach sighting at the accommodation I had chosen: Instant freak out!!!
Never fear, It was so easy to change the accommodation booking (be warned though-not the flight) for free within the first 24 hours of booking by phoning the administration team at Travel Republic.
10 years on, many websites allow you to cancel down and re-book some other accommodation up to 24 hours before your booking. You can ‘manage your booking’ on the agents website to do this.
I just loved the feeling of ease, control and choice that this whole new experience of online booking had given me. I’ve never looked back and will always book Majorca online now-and any other trip for that matter