Travel planning is one of the most fulfilling parts of taking a vacation, as the anticipation often builds excitement ahead of your escape. Serge Chamelian, managing partner of h-hotelier, discusses how to reap the best deals for your future travel plans outside the outbreak of COVID-19.
Many travel sites allow customers to get the best prices and user experiences by selling a combination of flights, hotels and car rental, among other things.
Multiple channels of distribution are selling a blend of services, and they consist of either the traditional offline channel (such as telephone, mail, traditional travel agents, sales representatives, etc.) or the online channel (such as online travel agencies, online tour wholesalers, etc.) A large number of travelers navigate metasearches (i.e. online travel agencies’ search engines that retrieves online data, like Kayak, Trivago and Skyskanner among others), aiming to find the loophole and the best deal for their next trip. What they fail to without notice is that these major metasearches have been acquired by the big travel companies like booking.com, parent company of Kayak and Expedia and even Trivago. It is important to emphasize that the approach for buying a ticket or a hotel room may differ based on the reason for travel, the destination, and date of travel, which might be more flexible for a leisure trip than a business trip.
With endless distribution channels and continually fluctuating dynamic prices, the approach to economic flight booking is overwhelming. Data nowadays is becoming a key factor. But there are a few tricks to help you save you time, frustration and, most importantly, money:
- Hopper: a mobile application that predicts prices and helps you book your flights and hotels at the right time, saving you up to 40%. Practically, Hopper predicts prices with 95% accuracy up to one year ahead. It allows customers to compare travel deals, and figure out the best time to fly, book or reserve a hotel room. Not only does it display the price of flight tickets, it also draws on data collected daily to anticipate whether the price will go up or down. The user receives messages on their mobile telephone notifying them of fluctuations. Since customers are becoming more and more educated, this app already covers the major gaps found on other portals.
- HolidayPirates: represents one of the fastest-growing online travel companies in Europe. Its unique concept of “best travel deals” rapidly gained popularity, and since its inception, HolidayPirates has become the preferred portal for millions of travelers. The site searches innumerable websites for cheap flights, hotels and travel packages, and also identifies vouchers, bus and train deals. In addition, through its partners’ solutions, HolidayPirates provides thousands of offers from well-known tour operators and airlines.
- Voyagesdetective.fr: consists of a blog of good travel deals that allow as many customers as possible to travel the world at the lowest cost. By consulting the blog daily, customers will find the best prices available on the market. The blog also introduces customers to new destinations they have not thought of and provides them with valuable travel advice.
- Skiplagged or hidden city ticketing: a fast search portal that makes it easy for customers to find the best rates on flights that airlines do not want them to see. The unique algorithm shows the cheapest regular airfares and hidden-city flights faster than any other site, resulting in savings of up to 80%. The site works to the customers’ advantage. For example, Hidden-city flights refer to itineraries with multiple legs where the traveler exits prior to the final destination. For instance, a traveler who wants to go to San Francisco from New York would book a flight that is ticketed for NYC-San Fran-Seattle and end their travel once they arrive in San Fran, skipping the Seattle leg.
- SeatBoost: the first mobile application that offers live bidding/auction for business or premium seats in an engaging and effective way. Upgrade auctions are not something new, although SeatBoosts begins the auction just 90 minutes before the take off. For example, Plusgrades (another upgrade solution) auctions seats days before takeoff.
Customers constantly manipulate several distribution channel options before making a decision. Indeed, customers favor a variety of channels when they engage in the process of purchasing travel services to reap the best deal.
Ultimately, travel deals work out best when you are flexible. Once you know where you are going, you have the option to use the aforementioned tools to save you money