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Old 03-27-2019, 02:30 PM   #1
Playfair
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Hello!

I am looking for some advice.

I rarely travel by air, and have never used a site such as expedia to book a trip. I am planning on booking a trip to Vancouver next month and was looking into getting a flight, hotel, and a rental car. I don't know if it is worth it to do that or not honestly.

I find it a bit daunting, since the last time I even flew was 2004.

So is this a good way to go? Is there better ways to go? What advice does the mighty brain trust of CP have to offer this inexperienced traveler?

Thank you all in advance!
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:36 PM   #2
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Maybe look to get an idea of options available, but then call those companies directly and book through them. If there are any errors/changes to your booking, Expedia is a nightmare to deal with. IMO.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:39 PM   #3
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Buy your flight through the airline, your car through a rental company, and your hotel, book direct. Any possible savings are going to be lost through hassle if something goes wrong or you need to change something. You can shop around on travel sites for prices, but I'd never book on them.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playfair View Post
Hello!

I am looking for some advice.

I rarely travel by air, and have never used a site such as expedia to book a trip. I am planning on booking a trip to Vancouver next month and was looking into getting a flight, hotel, and a rental car. I don't know if it is worth it to do that or not honestly.

I find it a bit daunting, since the last time I even flew was 2004.

So is this a good way to go? Is there better ways to go? What advice does the mighty brain trust of CP have to offer this inexperienced traveler?

Thank you all in advance!
If you're staying fairly central in Vancouver and not driving anywhere outside the city, I wouldn't bother with a rental car. It's just another pain to figure out parking etc. As mentioned above, it's probably best to use expedia or other sites to find places to stay and then book directly with the hotel.
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Old 03-27-2019, 02:42 PM   #5
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Car rentals are more expensive at the airport most of the time, so if you just want it for a day trip to Whistler or something, rent for the period you need. The airport train is very convenient.
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Old 03-27-2019, 03:06 PM   #6
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Package deals are also often not flexible enough. If you have a preference to stay in a certain part of the city, or you want a certain amenity at your hotel, you likely will not find everything you want in a package deal. Some packages aren't even all that flexible in terms of arrival/departure date/times. I'd rather book each component separately so we get exactly what we want.
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Old 03-27-2019, 03:49 PM   #7
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I also suggest researching on Expedia but booking your flights, hotels and cars directly with the chosen companies. From my experience, resolving any issues through Expedia is very frustrating; they simply convey messages to and from the affected companies, not much else. On a side note, I am surprised to hear most people suggesting the same. Expedia used to be a lot better from the convenience point of view. Looks like they are dropping the ball.
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:05 PM   #8
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Meh, I've been using Expedia and the like for the past decade and never had any issues. Most times there's better deals for hotels too.

Any time I have an inquiry or request, I just call the hotel directly anyway, I've never contacted Expedia support other than cancellations.

For flights, you can get creative and use the search engines like Kayak to find the best deals. Saves you $50-100 maybe, up to you if it's worth your time haha.
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Old 03-27-2019, 04:34 PM   #9
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I stopped using Expedia a few years ago when I booked a flight/hotel package deal through them and the flight date/time changed but Expedia didn't notify me so we showed up at the airport but there was no flight. They also lost the hotel booking so we had to stay elswhere and it took weeks to sort it out with Expedia.

One thing to consider with Expedia is that they are final bookings so they don't give refunds. Dealing with the airline/hotel directly is much easier and they are much more accommodating
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:32 PM   #10
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I've used Expedia a few times with no issues, but I never made changes. In general I would suggest using them to price things out but contact hotels directly. Airlines, book directly because that is much easier if anything goes wrong. For someone who rarely flies, I think any savings from other sites is not worth the hassle. Also, do NOT book basic. The savings is minimal and you can't make changes for anything. I see nothing but complaints from people who book it, have an emergency, and then can't believe the airlines won't make an exception.
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:42 PM   #11
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I have used and cancelled with Expedia a couple of times before. I guess I got lucky because we had no issues.
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:53 PM   #12
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Used Expedia a fair bit.

Sometimes I package with them, sometimes not.

No matter what, after getting an idea of Expedia packages with preferred flights and hotels, I use Kayak to find the prices of those flights. Use Trip Advisor to get a proper idea of the hotel. Then use Trivago or the specific hotel website you’re staying at for prices of hotels, along with the the discounts for booking direct with them or any promos hotels have (AMA etc). Sometimes the Expedia promotion is better.

Get a few hotel options and then track them over a week or so at all sites. Hotel prices can change daily, especially on Expedia, and certainly if part of a package (this changes more then the flight prices change). If you see a price one night, and it’s gone the next morning, wait until later that day and that cheaper price may come back.

There certainly can be deals, I’ve gotten some excellent Expedia package deals that I couldn’t put together separately after weeks of tracking prices. Sometimes we’ve gotten better deals by hotel direct booking. And sometimes hotels have more rooms than Expedia says (or buys) if you’re stuck on a certain place.

For car, I agree, book directly with the agency.

For air, they give you an airline confirmation number so you deal direct with the airline for any issues. We just had a 737 Max issue and dealt directly with Air Canada.
And sign up with the airline directly for notifications.

Hotels, same thing, Expedia give you a hotel confirmation number. Though last minute stuff (ie arriving later in the day or the next) especially if you’re staying at a smaller place, may not get the reservation to the hotel right away.

But Vancouver, yes there are often decent deals for air and hotel together, and the Canada line is just fine to get and from the airport.

Last edited by browna; 03-27-2019 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:29 PM   #13
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Surprised at the Expedia hate. I used Expedia almost exclusively for over 10 years and don’t think I have ever had Expedia make a mistake. I have found them to be the best and cheapest by far if you are doing flight + hotel. As far as changing I have changed a few times and other than long hold times hasn’t been that much of a problem. For airfare you pay a fee and the difference in fare but I thought that was sane with an airline.

I second not needing a car, I go to Vancouver 3-4 times a year, usually stay at an airport hotel and then take the train downtown. I have never needed a car, parking is a real pain and expensive.

Last edited by Mickey76; 03-27-2019 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:15 PM   #14
Playfair
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Wow! Thanks everyone for your advice. I honestly have no idea but felt unsure about using Expedia. Easier to speak directly to people. I think what I'll do is just book it all separately. Seems the most logical. I thought about using Uber. I'm from a rural community and have never used it. Looking that up and they aren't allowed in BC. Lol. That one was easy.

Thank you again for your advice!
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:50 AM   #15
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I had a different experience than those above with hotel room prices. I booked a room on Expedia for a couple of nights but had to extend my stay an extra night. The price the hotel was going to charge was significantly more than the Expedia price. At the advice of the clerk on duty, i ended up booking the room on Expedia while standing at the front desk.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:12 AM   #16
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I've booked many dozens of hotels on Expedia, several car rentals, some flights and the odd flight/hotel package.

Doing a package will likely give you about a $100-$150 discount on the 3 separate. Just search your three items separately and then together to see what the difference is.

I had a hotel in Frankfurt literally move physical location just days before my reservation and Expedia was great to deal with to get a cancellation and full credit on a non-refundable reservation.

I generally don't like booking flights alone on Expedia because usually there is no savings over just booking on the airline. There's no need for another booking layer.
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Package deals are also often not flexible enough. If you have a preference to stay in a certain part of the city, or you want a certain amenity at your hotel, you likely will not find everything you want in a package deal. Some packages aren't even all that flexible in terms of arrival/departure date/times. I'd rather book each component separately so we get exactly what we want.
Expedia packages aren't like a set Mexican vacation package. It lets you choose any flight, hotel, and car together and gives you a token discount.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:31 AM   #18
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Granted I have only used the “package deal” a couple times ( once to San Diego and to Victoria) but both times it worked flawlessly. There seemed to be hundreds of different hotels for every price point and you literally pick the flight that works for you. I’m not a frequent traveller so for me I just like that I can book a trip and have the important details all done in one step. I can’t say if it’s cheaper than booking separately but both trips the price seemed in line with what I was getting.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:40 AM   #19
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In my experience hotels go the extra mile if you have their rewards card, regardless of how much you actually use it. Just having it gives you a leg up.

Not all rooms are created equal, if you want to avoid the noisy room next to the elevator book through the hotel and get their loyalty card. If you don't care, 3rd party site.

I've had early check in with the loyalty card and "we're full but you can pay extra" with a 3rd party site.

I've had upgrades, and no or extras (like bottles of water) booking directly.

My general rule is book with the hotel, unless they don't have a rewards program, then pick a booking site that has rewards and stick with it. Following this philosophy I'm up to two free nights through Hotels.com.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:00 PM   #20
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I'm pretty much strictly going to Vegas these days and I find it is always cheaper to book my room directly with the hotel and flight directly with the airline. I have done comparisons but haven found Expedia and any other travel booking sights to be more expensive than doing it direct.
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