People can now book travel and hotel tickets online without calling or going to the ticket office. It is the most convenient method of reserving and purchasing ever made. You’ll just have to visit hotel booking sites and airline sites, read, do a few clicks, make a payment and then, you are now done!
But are you really safe transacting online with your credit card? Did you really save a lot in purchasing a travel package deal? Try to read this guide and make a final booking decision.
1. Copy and paste contact details
If you saw a deal, check the address and contact numbers. Copy and paste these on search engines so you will know if these are the true contact information of the travel company. Call or email the travel company and ask their prices without telling them that you saw their deal. Because if you do, they might dishonestly tell you the imaginary higher price. Doing this tip will make you decide which of the two is really cheaper.
2. Use your trusted Travel Websites and Travel Search Engines.
Web search engines will just give you broad results. You can go and search at travel websites such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz or you can go to travel search engines such as Trivago, ITAsoftware.com and Kayak
The difference between a travel website and a travel search engine is its search coverage. Travel websites usually search its own database and would offer booking services while Travel Search Engines will show you results from different travel and booking websites.
After you choose a hotel, just like in number 1, email or call the hotel to inquire about the price without telling the cheapest price you saw. On flights, it is common that the airline websites have cheaper prices compared if you book on the telephone or going to the ticket office.
3. Make sure the computer you are using is clean
Make sure the computer you are using is within a secured network (e.g. your house’s password protected Wi-Fi). It is not advisable to use a public network because anyone including let’s say the restaurant staff will know the file sharing url and with this, they can access your files.
Be sure your computer is free of virus and malware (e.g. Sweet-page). A computer infected by malware is very dangerous. The virus makers can get your personal and credit card details. The website you are visiting might have Heartbleed bug where even you are in a SSL (Secured Sockets Layer where the color of the url on your address bar becomes green and the http becomes https) your information such as user session cookies and passwords can be stolen by hackers.
Antivirus alone cannot detect malware. You should install both antivirus and malware remover. For heartbleed bug, search “filippo.io heartbleed” on Google then, put the url of the website and the heartbleed test site will check for the bug. It will tell you if the site’s infected or safe to use.
4. Don’t just search and click the site
It is better to know the web address of the site than just clicking search engine’s results. Why? Because there are cases that people are searching for government healthcare sites, thought they can process payments there and when they realized that the site is a phishing site, they were already scammed by the website makers.
A phishing site is a site where it exactly looks like the official known website but with a different web address. Not only who are making payments become victims of phishing sites but also, victims putting personal, email or credit card details on the forms.
5. Beware, these websites might have hidden fees
Check not just the big total amount but also the small details. You might not know that taxes, service and transfer fees are excluded from the highlighted amount and might be added when you checkout your booking with a credit card as payment.
6. Double check by 2-3 persons and do screenshots
Screenshots every page and transaction you made so you will have proof about your online transactions.
You may have read your Facebook friend’s post about reading games, trick and stuff. Have you and your companion double or triple check the details. With this way, you will be sure that your important information is correct because you will pay a big fine in your life if you made a mistake. Calling the establishment for refund, experiencing poor customer service, calling your credit card, etc. are the consequences of not being able to check your information properly.
7. Look for hidden links
Not really hidden but unnoticeable links. Look and you can see official links and banners from the corners of the website. This might save you costs because of discounted rate deals or affiliate programs where you can earn commissions by referring your friends to the website.
Now, you are done booking online with no headaches. Just prepare for your travel and enjoy your vacation.