Thursday, 6 June 2013

The end of the Travel Agent.... How the internet has changed the way we shop for a holiday

The days of booking a holiday in your local high street travel agent and picking up your currency at the same time are long gone. People have wised up to their limited selection of overpriced apartments and need more than a personal recommendation from Sue at the bureau de change counter that the food in Hotel Con Descuento is any good.

Travellers want more choice and at far better prices. Websites such as, and offer information on thousands of hotels at much better prices. However people do not buy on price alone.... Once upon a time a personal recommendation from Sue would have been enough, today we want more. We want views of hundreds of other travellers to see whether the hotel of our choice truly lives up to the glamorous pictures we have viewed online. Reviews on have become as important to shoppers as price and a hotel with a bad Tripadvisor rating can really suffer as a consequence.  

This change in the way that we shop for a holiday does save money and will hopefully reduce the chance of staying in a substandard hotel however it does come at a price..... You can often end up feeling overwhelmed with the number of flights and hotels available and the actual decision making process can feel rather arduous. Following these simple steps can help you to speed up the process and feel confident that you have found the best deal at the best price.

How to book a holiday quickly:
  • Jot down your travelling dates, the climate and type of holiday you want (Beach, City break, Adventure, Skiing etc)
  • Think about airports, if you fly short haul you can probably fly from your local airport but if you want to go further afield you may have to travel further for a long haul flight (unless you live in London or Manchester!)
  • Now with your dates and destination in mind use the travel comparison sites to find the best deals.
  • Check out the reviews on Tripadvisor and if the hotels overall rating is positive - book it!!

A few more holiday essentials you can buy online to save money.....
  • Travel Insurance
  • Foreign Currency

If you don’t have travel insurance with your bank account visit‎ and find the best priced insurance for your requirements. If you are a frequent traveller a multi-trip annual policy may work out cheaper than taking out a single trip policy every time you fly.
A few weeks before you travel it is wise to start monitoring the exchange rate to ensure you get a good travel money rate. Similar to shopping for your holiday you will save money by buying online. At you can compare the main currency providers and find who is offering the best exchange rates. You can buy online for next day home delivery or reserve a rate online for branch collection. This service is really handy if you want to collect currency from your local high street and companies such as the Post Office offer far better exchange rates online than they do in branch.

On Twitter it is common to see people ask "where's the best place for Euros?" the night before they fly. A frustrated "rip off" tweet is then sent out the next day explaining how they feel about the exchange rate they received at the airport as they had left it too late to buy from anywhere else. Don't let this be you!!

1 comment:

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