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Scout
08-21-2007, 11:18
What sites do you currently using to find the best travel deals to the Caribbean? I'm looking for a site that will automatically notify me on deals as they occur.

Vercingetorix
08-21-2007, 11:41
Talk to a travel agent. They have access to deals that are not posted. Due to volume discounts, their inventory may be greater as well. On-line site are great for the price conscious (who don't care that their hotel room is over-looking the trash dumpsters), agents are for those who are value conscious.

JugglingMonkeys
08-21-2007, 11:49
Consolidators are good for cheaper plane tickets.

kevinj1
08-21-2007, 12:32
I THOUGHT this was a real cool site for Tahiti.

http://www.tahiti-tourisme.com/discover/tahitianexperiences.asp?ref=Google&CMP=KNC-Google&HBX_PK=CNT_scuba%20diving%20resorts&HBX_OU=50

ScubaSteve
08-21-2007, 12:39
These guys have done alright by me...

Island Dreams Travel
http://www.divetrip.com/

georoc01
08-21-2007, 13:12
Funjet has done well for me so far. Cheapcaribbean.com has some good deals as well.

lucidblue
08-21-2007, 13:41
We used Funjet for our Cozumel trip and got a pretty good deal. However, it was a last minute trip and our first dive vacation. In the future, I'd like to see if I can get better rates and a more "dive-centric" vacation through a travel agent that specializes in dive travel.

JIverson
08-21-2007, 21:59
www.mltvacations.com (http://www.mltvacations.com) and also worryfreevacations.com
Great sites for deals and weekly specials.

JodiBB
08-21-2007, 22:10
My friend s a travel agent and he has a do-it-yourself online site, where they also alert you of specials and last-minute deals.

His website (if you're interested) is: http://www.traceys-travel.com

Hope this helps!

lucidblue
08-21-2007, 22:21
These guys have done alright by me...

Island Dreams Travel
http://www.divetrip.com/

Wow they have some great prices.

Illini_Fan
08-21-2007, 22:26
I'm not an expert with it, but other folks have made positive comments about Kayak.com

namabiru
08-22-2007, 00:02
You could get Barbara from Scuba Planners on the horn. www.scubaplanners.com (http://www.scubaplanners.com) . Her SB handle is babs.

There was also one I found when I was trying to find a trip, and that is Cheap Caribbean. I think it was http://www.cheapcaribbean.com
Google it to be sure, though.

For general sites, try http://www.sidestep.com . What's cool about Sidestep is that it searches actual airline sites too, not just the Travelocities .

Also http://www.farecompare.com . What's cool about this one is you can put your origin airport in and look at dream maps for destinations.

brandon
08-22-2007, 02:07
Man, you guys have some exotic solutions!

I'm boring - AlaskaAir, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, VRBO.

It is hard to find a vacation planner / travel agent that can offer good deals when you're in Alaska. Like most everything else, these types of things tend to have a heavy lower 48 bias.

That said... we're on an island 800 miles from mainland Alaska. Our planes are these little 20 or 24 seat jobs that fill up extremely quickly during fishing seasons. To access the seats they have reserved for locals, you either need to call Alaska Air's special local acces number, or use one of the travel agents at the airport. Its amazing how many seats are actually available on a "full" flight.

-B.

JugglingMonkeys
08-22-2007, 02:48
Mobissimo (http://www.mobissimo.com)is also a good site that collects fares from all over. including europe.

JugglingMonkeys
08-23-2007, 01:27
here's another great site for booking hotels:

hotwire.com (http://www.hotwire.com)

i've used it dozens of times and have never been disappointed.
great hotels for cheap.

gtjason2000
08-23-2007, 07:38
For airfare i just use expedia and then go to the site of the airline that is the cheapest. Vayama.com has randomly had some really good fairs that mysteriously disappear real fast. As for lodging I tend to pick up a lonely planet book to plan the rest of the vacation but I am pretty cheap, I spend all my money on activities not the bedroom.

94GTStang
08-23-2007, 11:23
I've never gone wrong with expedia

CharlieSierra
08-24-2007, 02:10
I always check the Vacation Rental By Owner site as well (www.vrbo.com (http://www.vrbo.com)) just to see if I can find a steal. I prefer the rentals to hotels, personally, but I guess that's up to your personal taste. Of course this does not have any auto-features that alert you to pricing.

gtjason2000
08-24-2007, 07:36
rentals can be a really good deal if they have a kitchen and you are maybe having a couple people. I stayed in the bahamas 6 people 1 week for $600 and we had a kitchen to cook dinner rather than go out and eat fried fish every night.

JugglingMonkeys
08-24-2007, 07:40
Rental by owner sites are good.

especially if you have a group of people going who can split the cost. And who don't mind living together.

just google "rental by owner" and there are lots of sites covering properties around the world.

Jaymeany
08-24-2007, 07:43
We always try to do rent by owner. They are some of the best deals out there. I really hate trying to find airfare GRRRR:smiley11:

jwdizney
09-20-2007, 12:44
DISNEYMOM has a travel business where you can book yourself, or request specific itineraries, and special deals are updated daily!... mention you're an ST board member for "special attention"!!!
www.magicaladventuretravel.com (http://www.magicaladventuretravel.com)

loudgonzo
09-20-2007, 13:45
For airfare i just use expedia and then go to the site of the airline that is the cheapest. Vayama.com has randomly had some really good fairs that mysteriously disappear real fast. As for lodging I tend to pick up a lonely planet book to plan the rest of the vacation but I am pretty cheap, I spend all my money on activities not the bedroom.


Expedia is pretty good, as is www.farecompare.com
I always try to find the best deals available at these sites and then try to purchase them online direct from the airlines website. That save the $5-$10 fee plus gets you online booking miles from the airline.

dallasdivergirl
09-20-2007, 13:50
www.travelzoo.com (http://forum.scubatoys.com/www.travelzoo.com) and bookingbuddy.com (http://forum.scubatoys.com/bookingbuddy.com)

georoc01
09-20-2007, 15:23
expedia is good as long as you don't have any changes. Then you get into a back and forth between the airline and expedia that for me has created some big headaches.

Orbitz saved my neck getting out of Cozumel during Hurricane Dean. $200 back home on 8 hours notice!

www.kayak.com is the site I used to find cheap airfare and follow the links provided. I prefer to book directly on the airlines website if possible. Makes it easier if anything goes wrong.

subsur
09-20-2007, 19:08
why don't you try do do it yourself? you don't have time for that or you think it's cheaper to do it through an agent / web?
i like making my own arrangements - you get more familiar with your destination, find the best deals for air / condos (separately).

quarkuud
09-20-2007, 20:42
For plane tickets, I highly recommend this site: http://matrix.itasoftware.com. You can log in as a guest, and it compares fares from all different airlines. It also has great searching functions, like if you know that you want to go for a weekend, but don't much care which one, you can do a weekend search for the best fares over a month-long period.

You then go buy the fares direct from the airlines. I've never had a problem with a fare not being available.

After a bad experience buying tickets from Australian Expedia, I tend to avoid going that route. When something went wrong, the airline was unable to do anything about our tickets because they were bought from Expedia. Changes had to go through them, and they were NOT helpful even though it was their mistake to begin with.

JugglingMonkeys
09-20-2007, 21:46
It's always best - if possible - to buy the tickets directly from the airline.

otherwise you can have problems if there are flight issues.

jwdizney
09-20-2007, 22:02
It's always best - if possible - to buy the tickets directly from the airline.

otherwise you can have problems if there are flight issues.
very good point!.. travel brokers or agents are not commissioned by most airlines in most situations, so a 'fee' will be added.. plus you'll deal direct with the airline in the event of any problems.. use an agent for your resorts, hotels, cruises, etc.. because the cost is the same, but you have the added help of an 'agent' or advocate working with the provider on your behalf.. these providers pay the agents, not you!....:smiley20:

boarder06
09-20-2007, 22:03
kayak.com (http://kayak.com) is your friend. It will actually also open a window with expedia.com and travelocity.com, searching for the same airfare. You can set automatic fare alerts.

Booking will be through whoever offers the cheapest fare. I just booked a ton of tickets and they came through every time. The only one I found to be cheaper at times for domestic travel in the US is airfare.com (http://airfare.com). They are a consolidator and sell deeply discounted tickets with very strict rules as far as changes and cancellation.

All that being said, I have had good luck with travel agents in New Zealand, as long as you are upfront. They sometimes know about special fares that are not available online or can get you good deals on xs luggage. I am usually upfront and tell them "This is what I want to do do and this is the routing and price I found online. Can you do better?" More often than not the answer is yes. Being upfront and giving them all the information I have found saves them time and cuts costs for them.

One other piece of advise: Once you found the cheapest airfare, try the airline directly. Especially the ones that have sites in different countries and sell tickets in the local currency. Believe it or not, I have often found that there is quite a difference in price depending on whether I pay in Euros, US$, or NZ$. This has worked for Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, and Qatar Airways.

TX SCUBA FAMILY
09-20-2007, 22:40
What sites do you currently using to find the best travel deals to the Caribbean? I'm looking for a site that will automatically notify me on deals as they occur.

I have to admit I have an addiction of watching out for travel deals.:smiley36: There is a couple that I really like and have had good luck with. They are www.travelzoo.com (http://www.travelzoo.com), www.bookingbuddy.com (http://www.bookingbuddy.com), www.cruisedeals.com (http://www.cruisedeals.com), www.air-fare.com (http://www.air-fare.com) and www.sidestep.com (http://www.sidestep.com). Travelzoo will email on Wednesday's the best 20 deals that are found on the internet. I hope some of these might help.

jpjanke
09-23-2007, 21:59
Have you ever done a search on an airfare and got a price and then checked other travel sights and when you go back to the first site the price is magically gone? This is the case of the cookie monster. May sights place a cookie on your computer telling them that you were just there and will then not give you the first price again. I guess that it is a way to make you take the first price right away. To get around this, delete your cookies if you loose a price. You'll get the first one back. It also works on dell.com.

scubasavvy
09-23-2007, 22:06
TNT Travel. Awesome. I wouldn't go on another vacation without them...

caroln
09-25-2007, 15:33
www.cheapcaribbean.com (http://www.cheapcaribbean.com) has good deals, and you can usually find a code online to get an additional discount on their packages. I booked a trip at the end of the year last year, and they gave me a code for 200 off a future trip for any time in 2007. I've used that code a few times now, so it's definitely paid off. They sometimes have 3-4 night packages for around 400, so 200 off is huge.

Athena2c
09-25-2007, 20:44
We've booked dive trips through Bay Adventures and Caradonna and had great trips. IMO, Bay Adventures has better/more attentive customer service.
http://www.bayadventures.com/

http://www.caradonna.com/

We just booked our liveaboard directly with Explorer

skiallday
09-26-2007, 19:22
I used a woman named Johleen at Bay Adventures for a trip to Little Cayman in July and just booked another trip to Fantasy Island with her in October. GREAT service. Also have used Susan at Island Dreams but they have started charging a fee to get the airline tickets. Johleen did not charge a fee and got me the same fare I could get on my own.