When it comes time to book a trip, odds are that Expedia.com will be one of the first online travel booking services that will cross your radar. They are a familiar name in travel because they’ve got over 20 years of experience offering cruises, car rentals and more. They offer an enormous amount of international travel package deals, and despite their age – they have a well tuned, easy to use, and up to date website – and it’s no wonder since they are an offshoot of the Microsoft corporation.
When it comes to the shopping side of the experience, Expedia really has their game nailed down nicely. Being a travel brokerage service, they understand that you want to see big beautiful images of your potential destination. They deliver that in spades while keeping the site easy to understand and navigate. There’s social network integration, which means you can share your shopping experience and eventual purchase with friends and family. And they make it easy to bundle the trip you have in mind with accommodations and extras to make your vacation special.
The Shopping Experience
Your search results will be listed in order from lowest to highest price. Knowing that ahead of time lets you know that, if budget is a primary concern, your top picks will be in the first few lines. So you don’t need to pull out the Excel sheet and start itemizing everything. If you like, you can reorganize your search according to other factors like departure and arrival times, the length of
the flight, or number of stops. Before you proceed to the final checkout, you’ll be able to examine your flight in detail. You’ll be able to see flight distances and seating maps as well as a number of other helpful details that you probably wouldn’t expect.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to the availability and pricing of flights, Expedia’s offerings are about average – that’s because they aren’t in charge of what’s available. But, for shoppers who are willing to dig a little, their “Best Price Guarantee” makes getting the best price around all but a certainty. The way it works is, you find a better price on the same trip through another travel broker that’s within 24 hours of booking – then call their 800 number. They will verify your claim and make up the difference with a $50 bonus, (which can really come in handy at the airport).
In the end, what you get is an attractive website that facilitates easy to build custom travel packages. You have to work a bit to make their low price guarantee a reality – but in the real world, you’ll find that’s true with any travel brokerage. You might have to do a bit of digging to find your final price, but the info is all there. All in all, Expedia delivers an easy shopping experience, and all the bargains you could hope for – if you’re ready to examine your options carefully.
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