Fun trips and vacationing can be interesting; however, the entire process of booking travel online should be an exciting experience too. With the digital boom, online travel booking has become easy and hassle-free. However, don’t be in haste to click the “Book” button, yet.
You may miss some important steps amidst all the excitement and make mistakes that can affect your travel plans. These tips are helpful to expats and global nomads as well.
Common mistakes to avoid when booking travel online
1. Not Clearing Cookies from Web Browser
You may have noticed that various websites that you visited earlier know what you had previously searched for in each of them. They seem to know your browsing habits even if you are not logged in.
The reason is that these websites have cookies that can identify you as a user. Even though cookies can help save your time, particularly while shopping online or adding items to your cart without having to log in, they may not be of any help when you book your holidays.
Your browser history may support your web searches and showcase hotels or flights that are more expensive. Basically, when you browse about a destination multiple times from the same computer or laptop, the website tends to believe that you will be purchasing a particular travel package even if it is comparatively expensive.
If you clear the cookies, it automatically wipes out all the tracked information about your online browsing. However, there is no guarantee that the price would change after getting the cookies cleared, even though it does in most cases.
2. Forgetting to Use an Incognito Browser
Many avid travelers suspect that booking apps and websites show higher rates for frequently searched travel routes. For instance, if you are frequently browsing through a portal for flights from New York to Paris, the site may showcase travel deals that may be more expensive.
The site believes that you would be more than happy to pay higher prices for them. Experts believe that you should do your travel research on different browsers randomly, on different days. It is most likely that you will get to see lower rates if you use an incognito browser. Thankfully, an incognito browser won’t track your frequent searches.
3. Booking Travel Online during Peak Periods
Unless your travel is critical for your job or business assignment, avoid booking your trips during the peak periods or when there is a lesser traffic rush. In some countries, airfares are relatively cheaper during weekends. However, most airlines release airfares for many weeks in advance. So, keep your travel dates flexible and book your tickets when the rates are low.
According to a fare-compare survey, the ideal time to book a domestic flight in the US is 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesdays. International fares are usually on the higher side. Various booking portals and check the prices throughout the week. Rates for last-minute flights are usually on the higher side, so try booking travel online well in advance.
4. Not Doing Enough Research
Ideally, you should browse through various travel websites and compare prices before booking travel online. Even if you are getting loyalty points and the best deals from some of your favorite sites, exploring other sites as well would mean that you are not missing out on comparatively lower prices. Checking out new platforms and sites online may get you lucky at times. It is worth looking around before you make the purchase.
5. Not Purchasing Adequate Travel Insurance
Many of us have tried booking ‘non-cancellation’ accommodation deals online, planning holidays or vacations. These deals often offer low rates or the best prices. However, if unforeseen circumstances cause the cancellation of the trip, you lose the entire booking amount. So, ideally, you should purchase travel insurance when you are booking travel online.
This will cover at least some part of your trip expenses for unexpected circumstances leading to the cancellation or postponement of your travel. These travel insurance plans are usually affordable so don’t forget to purchase them. You may be risking a lot of money if you ignore the importance of travel insurance. Note that if you are planning to move abroad as an expatriate for a year or more, it is better to get an international health insurance policy.