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How can I book holidays or make travel plans online?

A laptop on a sunny beach

The internet offers you a wealth of travel deals and insider information on the best places to go. This article will arm you with some of the basic techniques.

Guy Clapperton | 9th September 2010

So the holiday season has arrived and you want to find the best places to stay - at the best prices. Well of course you do, and so would anyone.

The internet is a great starting point for your research, but as we’ve said elsewhere in these WebWise articles, check the non-internet prices as well. A lot of travel agents are well aware of their electronic competition and are offering keen deals as a result.

Last-minute deals

The internet has some great last-minute deals on offer. A variety of online holiday sites offer travel, accommodation or a combinations of the two.

If you’re happy with buying these different parts of your holiday separately, then you can go directly to the airlines’ websites, and most hotels have their own websites and online ordering systems now too.

Fellow traveller recommendations

Where the internet really comes into its own is providing recommendations and views from fellow travellers.

A glance at Tripadvisor.com will give you reviews about hotels, villas and holiday cottages from other visitors who have stayed in those places recently. You can search by location, or if you’re considering a particular venue it’s easy to search by name.

A note of caution, though. Look at where the reviewer is from. Americans, for example, have high expectations of the service industry, and hotels in particular, and are more likely than a European to mark a Parisian hotel down because they are unused to smaller rooms (which are actually dictated by much Parisian architecture).

Once you’ve tracked down the best place to stay – at the best price – it’s time to count down the days until you go. Happy holidays!


Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a journalist specialising in writing about technology as well as small business for several major broadsheets. He broadcasts occasionally on BBC Radio stations and reviews the newspapers on the BBC News Channel.