Online Travel Websites:  Do They Really Save You Money?

Online Travel Websites

Share This Post

Are you interested in taking a trip or a vacation soon?  If you are, you may be looking for ways to save money.  When it comes to finding great travel deals and discounts, many individuals are told to visit online travel websites.  With that said, many are still left wondering if online travel websites can really save them money.

Generally speaking, yes, online travel websites can save you money, but you need to proceed with caution.  If you are not careful, online travel websites can actually end up costing you more money in travel costs, like with airline reservations.

The best way to find affordable airline reservations and other travel arrangements is to know what you are getting.  This is important to the overall success and satisfaction of your trip.  For many individuals, online travel websites can be tricky to use, especially with a number of rules, restrictions, and exceptions.  When you buy a ticket on an online travel website, make sure it is for an actual set of tickets; do not purchase any standby tickets, as you may not be able to fit onto the flight in question.

It is important to thoroughly examine any airfare quotes that you may receive through an online travel website. What many do not realize is that most online travel websites charge consumers a fee for using their services.  This fee is often hard to notice, as it is typically included in the quoted airfare rate, but that does not mean that it will not exist.  Keep an eye on online travel websites and the hidden fees they charge.

In staying within your budget, you will want to compare prices, when looking to buy airline and hotel tickets on an online travel website.  What you will want to do is examine similar offerings on different online travel websites.  Since most travel websites charge different fees, you will likely see some differences, but be cautious of any huge differences. 

You might end up buying a vacation package.  Vacation packages are nice, but they are designed so it is easy for consumers to overpay or at least walk away without getting a good deal.  When you are quoted a price for a vacation package, the name of the hotel in question should be disclosed.  Quickly visit the website for that hotel and perform your own private quote.  Do the rates match?  Are you getting a good deal or not?

So have we determined that online travel websites are a ‘nice’ way to make travel arrangements? If you are careful and watch every step that you make, read ALL the Terms and Conditions, you can use online travel websites and book your own travel.

BUT-Are you getting the best deal? What happens if you get to the airport and your flight has been canceled? Are rental cars sold out? The resort only has a room with a double bed and you booked a king suite? This is why it is important to book through a Travel Agent. They do all the legwork, internet searches, price comparisons, and follow-up. Travel agents have access to more inventory than public booking sites.  And have relationships with the suppliers. 

In addition, most of all the online booking sites are owned by ONE of the major booking sites. So you might think you found the best deal, when in fact the analytics running these sites are steering you to book with the parent company anyway.  So you did all the work on your time searching, deciding, and booking while someone on the back end is making the commissions. All travel (except domestic air and AirBnBs) have a commission already built in. Who will it go to?

When you choose to work with a travel advisor, you get one on one attention, someone to call with questions, or an en-route travel emergency. And they save you valuable time. And might be able to save you money in the long run. You will support a small locally owned business and have someone on your side. They get paid by the supplier only after you return from your trip. 

Of course, it is your choice-online booking sites where you are just a booking number and doing all the work, not getting paid for your time and effort. Or take a chance-compare and see that travel advisors can save you money and time. 

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore


Cruise the world in 180 days

Embark on the trip of a lifetime with our 2023 Around the World journey. This ultimate port collector’s dream will take you on a circumnavigation of the globe, offering a