Reviews: Ready to Travel?

Hello there traveler and welcome to ‘ForGlobalTravelers’. On this site you will find information on a range of services that can help you to book the holiday or business trip that you want.

Whenever you travel there is always an element of guess work and an element of luck. Until you arrive at the venue, it can be hard to know just how well kept the hotel will be, or just how worthwhile a particular landmark is. While this sense of discovery is part of the process though, it can certainly help if you have the right tools available for finding great deals and learning about the destination you’re going to be visiting. And these days, with travel websites being bigger and more popular than ever, it really is possible to create a very tailored holiday with confidence.

Use this site to find these tools, to learn about them and to get tips that will help you to get the very most from them so that you can save even more cash and find even better places to visit. We’ll look at review sites like TripAdvisor, price comparison sites like Skyscanner and bigger sites like Expedia. What’s more,we’ll also discuss some of the smaller subsidiaries and startups that you may not have heard from.

Stick with us and we’ll help you become an absolute pro at finding the very best holiday deals!


Expedia

Expedia is a travel website that lets you search hotels, flights, cars and more to construct your own holiday. As one of the biggest and most trusted travel sites on the net, it offers a great way to construct your own trips around the world in a very bespoke manner. While you won’t have the slick synergy between services offered by package holidays, with Expedia you get more flexibility and some assurance by using such a well-known intermediary.

Expedia was the one-time owner of TripAdvisor which recently broke away to become its own company. Subsidiaries still include Hotels.com, Orbitz and Trivago. Expedia was formed in 1996 as a Microsoft internet property but has since broken away. Today it has localized in 30 different countries and works with over 10,000 different partners. It also has over 60 million users and continues to grow to this day.

The site is powerful and easy to use, even if the design hasn’t changed a fair deal in the past several decades. For those willing to put in the work, this is a great option from a trusted organization that has a lot of connections and great deals.


Priceline

Priceline is a website known for its ‘Name Your Own Price System’. This allows users to name the price they want to pay for their holiday, select the general area they want to visit and the quality of the hotel, and then trust Priceline with the details. What this means is that you won’t know the name of the hotel you’re staying in or the precise location and features until you have paid for the deal. At this point, there’s no option for a refund which definitely can be seen as a risk. For the right kind of person who is laid back about the specifics though, you can save a lot of money this way and also a lot of time.

Priceline does have another option – ‘Search Express Deals’ lets you look for hotels by price but doesn’t let you see the name of the establishment until you have booked. This system can still offer savings up to 60% according to the site.

Priceline has been the subject of some controversy over its innovative ‘opaque’ system, seeing as it doesn’t include resort fees in the bidding process. This means that after booking your holiday you might end up paying more than you agreed for your accommodation.


Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a powerful search engine for flights. Originally the site was designed by three IT professionals in response to difficulty finding cheap ski resorts. The idea is to provide a convenient way to compare different flights from different airlines to find the best deal. The site is particularly popular among younger travelers (aged 16 to mid-thirties) and is very well designed and powerful.

Also impressive are the various Skyscanner apps for iOS, Android and Windows. These apps provide an even more convenient way to search for flights and feature a slick and intuitive interface that has garnered a lot of good feedback.

While Skyscanner is well received generally, it’s important to recognize that comparison sites of this nature do not include flights from all airlines; and that prices can vary over time. There is still definitely a skill to finding the best flights. Of course you also still need to find hotels and other aspects of your trip yourself.

The company has grown significantly since its inception, going from three team members in 2002 when it first launched, to 180 staff members by 2013. The iOS app has had over 20 million downloads which is a testament to its success.


Booking.com

Booking.com

Booking.com is a website for finding accommodation online. Founded in 1996, the company was originally designed to make it easier for individuals and businesses to find their accommodation. With over 700,000 properties under contract it’s one of the best online destinations for finding a place to stay, while the option to search for hotels for business travel helps you to avoid noisy holiday resorts or family-centric places.

Booking.com does however face stiff competition. Similar options are available from the likes of LateRooms and Hotels.com, while more budget travel is also possible through sites like AirBnB or even ‘Couch Surfer’. Another limitation of Booking.com is the fact that it only offers accommodation, meaning that you can’t organize every aspect of your trip through the site. Booking.com works best then if you are looking to stay somewhere within your own country, or if you’re willing to book the rest of your trip with other tools like Skyscanner. In that case, you will find here one of the best tools with the widest selection of places to stay on offer.


TripAdvisor


TripAdvisor is a website that makes it easy to read and/or leave reviews for everything from hotels, to tourist attractions to car rental companies. Originally the site, which was founded in 2000 by Stephen Kaufer and Langley Stinert focused on reviews by experts and journalists. When they added section for user reviews though, it took off like wildfire resulting in one of the first sites to rely primarily on ‘user-generated content’.

As well as reading reviews for hotels and other services that you’re thinking of booking with other providers, TripAdvisor also provides tools for creating and booking holidays itself. If you browse things to do or places to stay in a certain area for instance, you can then view deals and click through to be taken to the provider’s website.

The main benefit of TripAdvisor though definitely remains its usefulness for researching trips and it is an important part now of planning any holiday. Do keep in mind though that not every review will be fair or representative of the service you can expect to see; people are more likely to leave reviews if they have had an extremely positive or extremely negative experience, while fake reviews have also been known to make their way onto the site. Apply a critical mindset and try to read between the lines.


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