after reading a book set in some far away place. . .
or because we've been told about a place. . .
We think destination and duration. . .
costs and considerations. . .
- Joel uses any combination of the sites below to research our travels:
Ebates: If you missed our post on this 'find' let us summarize. We do as much on-line shopping through Ebates as possible: clothes, shoes, bags, toiletries, AND travel. With some 1,500 stores, there's virtually no place we shop that isn't listed here and the shopping experience is the same as going directly to the store's web site only using Ebates you get a percentage of the purchase rebate (paid quarterly). It works! We have enough 'ebates' now to pay for an overnight trip. So click the link listed and sign up (you'll get a small bonus for using our link and so will we - but then every little bit helps the travel fund, right?)
Although this site offers both hotels and air; we've only booked a flight to London on it. Everything worked well and the airline turned out to be British Air. . .at a rate much cheaper than we found on British Air's own site.
This is a ‘go to’ site for our travels in the U.S. and abroad; however, we always compare the rates and airfares on on this site to those on the hotel’s or airline's own site, sometimes we've found it cheaper on Expedia and other times booking direct is the better deal. (We are now members of their loyalty club and have earned credits to apply toward our trips).
We routinely check this site, for deals – flights, hotels, cars, packages. This fall we used it to book a hotel for an overnight stay near the Miami airport. We got a four-star stay for what would be a three-star price had we booked directly with a hotel.
We subscribe to their Top 20 Travel Deals email and have booked both a cruise and a Honolulu hotel because of the ‘deal’ found on this site.
We've note used this site to book accommodations but we do refer to user reviews posted here before booking an accommodation. We also contribute reviews to this site.
Vacations To Go: www.vacationstogo.com
We’ve booked cruises through this site, and go to it to research cruises. It provides a comprehensive and easy to use look at ships, their deck plans and photos.
Cruise Compete: www.cruisecompete.com
We’ve used this site to compare quotes for various cruises we were considering. Since turning to this site we've been quoted very different prices for the same category cabin. We have booked cruises with companies who provided the best quote/cabin quality on this site.
CruCon Cruise Outlet: www.crucon.com
We’ve used this New Hampshire company to book cruises and routinely refer to their web site for cruise deals. We've booked a fall 2011 and fall 2012 cruise with this company.On our May 2011, transatlantic crossing, three CruCon agents were aboard the ship to assist with any requests we had and to book future cruises. Note: If you should book a cruise with them, tell them Joel and Jackie Smith sent you and you'll get an additional $25 off (and we will get a $25 future cruise credit). Use number L5034.
Cruise Critic: www.cruisecritic.com
We turn to this site to read reviews – those done by professionals and those done by cruisers. The reviews have provided additional information about ships and routings we were considering.
In addition to Expedia, we routinely refer to:
Vacation Rental By Owner: www.vrbo.com
We use the site to research alternatives to hotels both at home and abroad. We've just booked a place for a fall stay in Venice using this site.
Homes Away: www.homesaway.com
Good source of world-wide vacation rentals, similar to VRBO.
World-wide resource for hotels, B&B's and Vacation Rentals.
Spain Select: www.spain-select.com
We rented the Madrid apartment from this site and were impressed with the accommodation and our dealings with this rental company. They offer apartments in Valencia and Seville as well.
This web site is a great source of information for hotels, studios and apartments in Greece.
We still like the printed travel book and turn to these two in particular (although both can also be found in electronic and phone formats)
Lonely Planet: www.lonelyplanet.com
Rick Steves: www.ricksteves.com
We always read novels set in other countries as secondary sources of information.