Are They Really Cheaper
By Scott Bianchi
The websites dedicated to helping you book a vacation, such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz amongst others, are not all they are advertised to be. They advertise that you can save money booking your whole vacation with them. In some cases it may be true but more often than not I believe you can do it cheaper yourself.
I previously looked into booking a vacation for my family to Disney. I first did the whole package through Expedia and then did a comparison by going to each site individually and doing it on my own. That comparison was done over six months ago and I found a sizeable savings doing it on my own. For the purpose of this article I did another comparison and I used Disney again this time just because it is a popular vacation destination.
I picked a random hotel, the Pop Century Hotel, for the period of time from May 30, 2006 to June 7, 2006. Expedia gave me a price of $1867.42. This price included tickets to the parks, a full size car through Hertz and round trip non-stop flights from Boston to Orlando. I did the comparison by searching on my own. For the same exact dates and the same hotel at Disney I was able to get a full size car through a different rental car company, non-stop flights from Providence (via Southwest) to Orlando, and tickets to the park for $1723.30. This amounts to a savings of $144.12. This is not an earth-shattering amount of money but it is enough to give me extra spending money for the vacation or to even pay for an extra day's vacation.
In all fairness I did a second comparison for the week most kids have off for April vacation. I didn't take down any of the figures for that comparison for some reason but Expedia was much cheaper than anything I could come up with on my own. The purpose for writing this article was not to put down those websites that bring everything to one place for your convenience. I think they offer an excellent service. But I am constantly looking for ways to save people money. I think the best recommendation I could give is to begin researching your trip through Expedia, Orbitz, or Travelocity, if you like those sites and then do your own comparison by doing it on your own. It might be worth the extra few minutes of your time if you might end up saving some money.
Just be sure that when you are making a purchase on the internet, or anywhere for that matter, that you have done your research. Do not depend on the companies to be honest with you all the time. Don't forget, they are trying to earn your money and they pay departments full of people to advertise to you in a way that attracts you to spend your money. You work hard for your money so be sure to spend it wisely.
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