Book off-season, if possible. If traveling abroad, September and October serve as great months to plan a vacation, as the winter weather hasn’t kicked up yet, and you avoid the heat and long lines of summer. Late winter, such as February and March, can also make for a great time to travel if you like cooler temperatures. Airfares generally cost less in the off-season months. The same goes for airline frequent flyer programs. The more you fly with one airline, the more frequent flyer points you will collect. This works great for business travelers because while their company pays for their trips, they are be able to collect frequent flyer points so they can redeem for their personal holiday travels. Some companies even allow employees to book their own flights, then submit the receipts for reimbursement. This allows the employee to get points on their travel reward credit card in addition to frequent flyer points.
We all love vacationing as it refreshes our soul and helps us break the monotony in our lives. But finding accommodation at the place you are going for holidaying can be a daunting task. Therefore, it is always advisable to book hotels in advance. There are various luxurious and cheap domestic hotels in India that have associated themselves with different websites, so that vacationers can book rooms online.
A small hotel was recently trying to get me to cut out Wotif on the next booking for a discount and I asked them how they managed their inventory across all these web booking services. They told me they use recently developed software which manages it automatically. It spreads the inventory across the services, monitors sales and shifts inventory from one site to another as required. It is probably this software rather than human intervention that is responsible for the offerings on every booking service being identical.
I figured I needed a Chinese speaker to do this – so my friend came to my rescue. After some dropped lines and the like he found that – underlying this and at the other end of the phone was a real travel agency. You could book both domestic and international flights on the phone. Indeed the website has an international flights tab in Chinese – and when you get through to the booking screen they indicate that they will phone you. Do not think for a minute that this company is entirely fictional – we are sure that there is a travel agency underlying this company but it is not an internet travel agency with air ticketing and hotel reservations via the internet”. It is an old – limited dial up travel agency – precisely the type that is being disintermediated by the CTrips and Pricelines of the world.
But those days are past. I’ve noticed that hotel pricing has become much more dynamic than it used to be and I think this makes more sense than trying to partition websites into different markets. People migrate to better web sites in no time so a business model that relies on few people knowing about you is doomed.