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What's your secret to finding travel deals?

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Question: I would like to know what options others use for travel arrangements. I'm new to my position as Administrative Assistant and I want to make sure that I'm getting the best rate along with all of the qualifications that my boss asks. Does anyone have any suggestions? -- Gina


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Hello Gina,

I like to use online search engines for most of our travel arrangements. I recommend sites like www.kayak.com and www.travelocity.com. Kayak is great, because you change your search parameters and search nearby airports, too. Also, once you choose a rate (car, air, hotel), then you are taken to that company's website. For example, if you like an AirTran flight, you would be taken directly to the AirTran site. Also, for some travel arrangements, Kayak offers a "past 90 days in review" feature to give you an idea of how today's prices compared to the past few months. If you find a good rate on something like Travelocity, Expedia, or Orbitz, be sure to go to the provider's actual site and check their rates. Usually, you'll find it cheaper there. I just use those three to help point me in the right direction. For international/multi-country travel, I would use a travel agency.

Take care,
Beth

I usually just go the different websites of travelocity, hotwire, expedia... and hotels.com pretty soon you will get familiar with which one usually has the best deal. If in doubt, get a price from somewhere then call another place and ask if they can beat it...

Hi Gina,

There's a website called farecast.com that can help you find the cheapeast fares and also see whether or not they're expected to increase/decrease. My boss travels frequently and this has helped me in comparing rates, etc. with what we're able to get through our company travel group or CliqBook. Hope this helps.
Donna

Hi Gina,

I use www.expedia.com to see all the available flights and compare prices then I go to the selected airline's website for a bit of reduced price (expedia.com and the other travel website all add a few bucks to each flight).

Happy Travels!

Unless the trip is complicated (several stops at different airports), I use Expedia Corporate Travel. I have been pretty happy with them. They only charge $5 for an airline ticket booked online (it does cost more to do a travel agent assisted reservation).

For more complicated trips, I use a local travel agency.

We use kayak.com. This site allows you to search and then go directly to the airline sites. If you use some, Orbitz, Expedia, etc., they will charge a small fee. If you go directly to the airline websites, this fee is not charged and can save lots if someone travels a lot. Also, if you have a boss that doesn't make lots of changes to his/her travel plans be sure to look at internet prices on the airline sites. These are usually better fares but either can't be changed or charge a fee for changing. Good luck!

Gina,

I use the corporate website for Southwest, www.swabiz.com for most of my domestic flights. and in some occations I use Expedia.com.

I find that Southwest has the most non-stop flights at a cheeper price than most other airlines. Southwest also has 30 day advance purchase, 14 day advance purchase and so on. They also carry a lot of specials pretty often and can book my flights from smaller local airports to where ever they want to go for $100.00 - $150.00 depending on what specials they have and how proactive I am in getting an early purchase.

I have a travel form, that I have everyone fill out, so that my job trying to acomodate their needs in a more efficient way. (I am a strong believer of save time, is saved money as well) Sometimes, because they know what airline I use mostly, often times, they do their own research and give the exact flight # and time they want.

Through southwest you can also book the car and hotel rentals right there. If there price is not good for me, I am able to get the hotel and phone #, and make a quick phone call directly to them.

The other advantage of www.swabiz.com is that you are able to have your traveler check in on-line and go directly to their flight once they arraive at the airport. They avoid the standing in line, getting a boarding pass, etc. You and your travellers can do it all on line.

Using this web-site we have access to all your atineraries online, you can print customized reports of all your bookings and travel expenses etc.

This web-site does not charge for their services on line. They will charge you a $5.00 fee if you find yourself that you need a person to help you overthe phone. I only have to do this maybe twice in over two years.

Now Expidia.com works pretty similar as swabiz.com, the difference is that in addition to specials, sometimes you get coupons for upto $200.00 to use towards futere travellings.

In addition to all the great input of others, I have found a very good website if you ever need to book international travel for an executive who prefers to fly First or Business class. It is 1st Air (http://www.1st-air.net/)- they give great deals on this class of travel.

My company sends each person that travels a profile to fill out. It lists all their preferences for travel - window or aisle - special meal preferences - freq. flyer/freq. hotel/rental car #'s, etc. - credit card #'s. These are kept in a locked file. Once travel is booked, a travel itinerary is typed out and sent to the traveler. It shows airline, hotel, rental car info including all confirmation numbers, addresses, etc. and has a place for comments. Very helpful to have one standard form.

If you want copies of ours, send me an e-mail. I wish you the very best - I always found making travel arrangements to be fun and challenging!

I use Orbitz.com , Priceline.com, Cheaptickets.com, Hotwire.com I have dealt mostly with Orbitz and they are great to deal with especially if you need to change or cancel a trip.

Try using www.bookingbuddy.com

Gina,
We usually use Orbitz or Travelocity to start looking for flights and then purchase the lowest ticket matching our specifications from the airline's website because there will be no service charge. For multiple stops we usually go through a travel agent because their service charge will be less than paying me to do all the research. I have noticed that some airlines are not allowing you to purchase a ticket using a credit card under a different name than the boarding pass so that is something to look for in the future as well.

Find out if your boss is willing to take a 1-stop flight versus a non-stop. I fly regularly from Atlanta to Los Angeles and I can save $100+ on each flight just by selecting to make one stop at a mid-point. It only extends my flight by 2 hours and only around 50% of the time do I have to change planes.

I always use expedia or travelocity to find the right time/date, fare price etc. HOWEVER it is always best NOT to use these sites to book as they do charge extra (usually around $20 per flight) to book through them.

Also, for hotels, hotels.com or mypoints.com can find a good hotel.

For dinner arrangements, www.opentable.com is great.

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