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April 18, 2014

Summer Getaway Tech Tips: 7 Tips for Booking With Ease

Now that you’ve taken our technology tips to plan out all the details of your summer vacation, it’s time to get booking. Just a few years ago, that meant being put on hold on the phone with a booking agent or struggling to keep track of the best price points. Today, however, technology can take care of all of it for you.

Here are our seven helpful tech tips older adults can follow for easier vacation booking:

  1. Be Flexible: If your travel dates aren’t contingent on any one specific day, extend the search option to include an extra day on your incoming and outgoing travel to see if you can get a better rate. Most booking sites allow you to choose “my travel dates are flexible” or “my travel dates are set in stone” so you can see a range of times and prices before making your choice.

  2. Track Fares: To really ensure you’re getting the best deal, you can set up e-Tracking through sites like Yapta.com and Hotwire.com. You plug in the details of your travel and your ideal price point, and then you’ll get a notification email when a flight matching your criteria comes available. That way, you can be sure to get a deal that you’re comfortable with, while saving yourself the time of checking the rates each day.

  3. Don’t Fall for Bundles: At least, don’t fall for bundles without checking the math first. Many booking sites will try and get you to book your flight, hotel, and rental car all at once, which can often be the best deal. However, make sure you double check their prices to make sure you can’t find a better deal by booking separately.

  4. Keep Looking: Even once you book your travel accommodations, you might want to still keep an eye on the prices. If they drop considerably—and your cancellation policy allows for it—you can always cancel and rebook at the lower price. Or, some airlines, like Southwest and JetBlue, will even refund you the price difference in the form of airline credits if the rate for your flight is reduced.

  5. Be Loyal: Joining a hotel’s loyalty program can come with lots of perks, even if you aren’t planning on staying for very long or at any point in the near future. For instance, Omni club members receive free Internet, enjoy a free breakfast beverage delivered to their room and can have up to two garments pressed for free.

  6. Be Wary of Prepaying: You’ll occasionally find a great deal that requires you to prepay the full amount of your vacation ahead of time at a discounted rate. While the discount might be worth it, make sure to double-check the cancellation policy and carefully weigh your options. The discount might not be worth the risk.

  7. Buy Admissions Tickets Ahead of Time: One thing you might want to prepay for are admissions tickets to any attractions or events you plan to attend. This option might not always be available, but if it is then you can avoid standing in line and wasting your precious vacation time. You might have to pay a small early buyer fee, but you can usually print your tickets off and then bypass ticket lines on the day-of.

Want even more tech travel tips? Stay tuned for our next installment to learn how technology can improve being on your actual vacation!



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