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Finding Online Travel Deals

Everyone loves to travel. When we travel, we want to find the best prices so that we can get the best vacation we can afford. The internet has made it even easier for people to find the best prices for vacations around the world. You don't have to be a millionaire to take great vacations to Hawai'i, Cancun, Bermuda or Japan. All it takes is a little bit of time and effort to create the vacation you deserve. Online travel has a lot going for it. It gives you power over your vacation. Most travel agents only work with certain companies, so they will only be able to give you certain deals. by searching online, you're able to find all the deals from every company and choose the cheapest one for your travel plans. Benefits of Shopping Online for Travel deals Cheapest prices are often found on the internet Online travel makes it easy to book flight, hotel, car rentals, etc. all in a single sitting Companies with self-check in can speed up your check in times if you buy online Easiest and fastest way to buy tickets for last minute travel Don't make the mistake of assuming that just because you found a good price online that it is the cheapest one available, though. Unless I am making last minute plans (the internet is great for last minute deals), I always make a call to my travel agent after finding the ticket I intend to purchase online, just to see if they can find me anything cheaper. They usually don't, but you want to explore every option before making your travel plans. Some online travel services will list prices with all applicable taxes and fees included. Others won't. You'll want to make sure you know the exact price when making a decision. Just because that flight to Cabo San Lucas is listed as 200 dollars cheaper than everything else you've seen doesn't mean it actually is. Check the fine print and see if taxes are included or not. Here is a list of taxes and fees that can be added to your airline ticket, to give you an idea of what it will actually cost when everything is said and done. Federal Excise Tax of 7.5% for domestic flights Airport Passenger Facility Charges $2-$18 Federal Segment Fees $3 per segment. (A segment is defined as a take-off and a landing) September 11th Security Fee $2.50 per segment. (Maximum of $5 one way and $10 round-trip) Travel Facilities Tax up to $13.40 for round-trip domestic flights beginning or ending in Alaska or Hawai'i Federal Immigration Fee of $7 for flights to Canada Also for Canada, airport fees of up to $6.50 For Canadian Flights also add Canada Air Traveler Security Charge of $8 If travelling internationally, up to $200 for government fees and taxes You will also have to factor in the fees that your airline travel company will charge you. This usually ranges from $5 to $10. Even if taxes are included with their prices, this will generally also be added. If you are booking a complete package, taxes for hotel rooms and rental cars will also have to be added. These can vary greatly depending on destinations, so you will need to contact the provider to find exact prices on these if taxes are not included in their price listings. The #1 rule of finding real deals on the internet is to look around. There are some good places like Expedia which generally have among the lowest prices you will find, but they are not always going to have the lowest. Search out a number of different online travel companies. Here's a list of some of the better online travel companies, you will find links to some of them below. Expedia Travelocity Orbitz BestFares Priceline.com Cheap Tickets TravelZoo In my own travels, I have found that Expedia and Travelocity generally have the lowest fares. However, that's not going to always be true, so to find the best travel deals you'll need to search out for yourself. Most of these sites require registration, I recommend registering with a number of them so you always have the option open to you. You can even sign up to get Travel Deals sent to you if you want, so you can always keep up to date on what the best deals are. Last minute deals are one of the best parts of online travel. You can often find excellent last minute deals that your travel agent might not be able to pick up, because their resources are limited to the companies they work with. If you're buying extremely last minute, be warned, you might get picked up for extra security at the airport. Don't worry, everyone who buys online within 72 hours of travel gets picked up for extra security. It doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. The internet can be a great place to find excellent deals on travel. Take your time in looking, though, because on the internet you never know where you are going to find an even better place.

By Allen Butler - Allen Butler is a freelance writer and tutor living in Austin, TX.  





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