Tips

Reasons why you should hire a Travel Agents

TAs

In this age of DIYs, many have dispensed with hiring agencies in the hope of saving more money. There is this notion that travel agencies charge too much. Well, we can’t really blame people because they  do—Like some years ago. But in order to be competitive a lot has change. You might say that you could just add it up to your pocket money instead of paying for them.  But is it really worth it? Here are the reasons why I think you should buy travel packages from agents, instead of just relying on yourself.

1. They’re cheaper than you think

If you resort to DIY (Do-it-yourself) and compare what you have pulled out from their packages, you will notice that there is really a tiny difference between the prices. The  average is like  P50 to P100 to nothing.

2. Time is Gold

First, when you wait for travel deals, so much time is wasted hanging on budget airline’s websites or reading every notifications they sent to you.

Second, most likely their promos are scheduled for at least another year, where you’re not even sure if you are be available. You risk your schedule every time you book promo fares. When you’re in rush, you should hire them too. Because if you purchase tickets for your flight this week or next month, it’s gnna be really expensive. But TAs can do magic in in purchasing cheap airline tix for you.

Third, the time you spent searching, booking and confirming a flight purchase is hilariously long. It takes at least 2 hours to book 2 people. Can you imagine how long it took me to book 8 people during our last tour in Coron. I even had this experience where when I was about to wrap up the booking, an error occurred on the website of Cebu Pacific. I will never forget, the first time I booked a flight for Boracay where I have to repeat the whole process for at least 5 times!!!

Fourth, When you’re done booking the flight, the next thing you have to do is find hotels, search where to go, or in another words, pull up a Land arrangement. You spend days doing this. It’s not really worth the effort because Travel agents can do that for you and they will know where to bring you. Well you can research where you want to go and tell them to bring you to those places or tell them which places you’re not interested to see.

3. They’ve got connections you will never have

Travel agents are connected to rest of the world. It took them decades to build these connections and it will take you a century to discover their trade secrets. They get the cheapest deals that are great and all worth it.

4. It’s safer to purchase from them

If you know an agency that can be trusted, book from them instead of booking from websites like Metrodeal and other group bookings because I heard a few bad experiences from them. Personally, there was a time when my purchase was charged double from the credit card. It took so long to refund this purchase.

5. They’re Heros

When something goes wrong, call them up and they are ready to fix your problem. If you bought a peso ticket and your flight gets cancelled, there’s nothing you can do about that. Nada! But if you purchased from TAs, they will rebook your flights and you’re more secured.

P.S.,

I am not a travel agent nor affiliated from any Travel Agents 🙂

What else do you like or don’t like from purchasing packages from Travel Agents? Leave your comment below 🙂

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How to book a flight online

This post is a continuation of “How to catch a seat sale post

After I have given you a prep about booking online Now I will show you the step by step process of booking a cheap fare online. I will use the Airphil Express’s website because I think that it is the easiest to use. The process is practically the same with other airline’s web.

Step 1: Go to the Airline’s Website. Here are the list of budget airlines in the Philippines (You can choose below by clicking the link)

Air Asia

Airphil Express

Cebupacific Air

Seair

Zest Air

Step 2: When you see a seat sale like this one. Always take note of the Selling Period, booking period, and the destinations because the seat sale might be over or hasn’t even started yet. And it might not be the one you’re looking for.

Seat Sale

Step 3: Search for flights using the search box. Just click the drop-down box choose where you are flying from, choose your preferred travel dates (Make sure it is within the promo period) choose where you want to fly, and how many tickets you are buying. Then click find flights.

search box

Tip: Most of the time search results will take longer to show up specially when you are trying to compete with thousand others. Hence close other tabs, patiently wait and quit opening too many tabs or lurking on facebook.

Step 4: When the results appear you willl see something like this in general even in other airline’s website. If you’re in luck, the base fare mentioned in the advrtisement will still be available like in this case the base fare mentioned above is P151. It is apparent that it is still available in our sample search below and in other dates too. However if in case it is no longer available on your desired date you can opt to pay a higher base fare or move your travel period to pay less.

After you click the base fare you will see the total amount of the ticket that you will have to pay. In this case you will only pay P1184 (1 person) for a round trip ticket from Clark to Cebu from July 3-5. This could the cheapest you can find online.

flights

Step 5: Click continue then you will be brought to this page. Enter your details. If you’re going out of the country make sure to enter your passport  details if not then leave this behind. Provide a valid email address (one that you have an access to) because your itinerary will be sent here then click continue

Step 6: Next you will be brought here and you will be ask to choose a seat.  if you think you don’t need any of this don’t do anything just skip these because you’ll have to pay for them on top of your air tickets. Click continue on these 2 pages. I normally skip them..hehe

aa

seats

Tip: If you Check in-in early  you could still choose your preferred seats. Arrive at the airport 2 hours before your scheduled flight 🙂

Step 7: Payment. 

travel insurance

It is your choice whether to add up travel insurance on top of your air tickets.

credit card

If you have a credit card just enter your details above. If you don’t have one you can ask other’s permission to use their credit card. However you are required to present that credit card or a photocopy  during check-in.

third party

agreement

Another option is to choose third party payment and pay through the trusted parties above within 24-hours of booking.

agreement

After you have completed all the step above make sure that you agree to the terms and click submit payment. You will then receive your itinerary. If you chose to pay by third party you will receive a code that you will have to use in paying for your ticket.

If you have more questions about booking online you may post your comments below and I’ll try my best to help you. Happy Booking 🙂

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How to catch a seat sale promo from budget airlines in the Philippines

Since I got back from my trip in Puerto Princesa, I have received few private messages on facebook and text messages asking me how much I have spent on my trip. Even if I couldn’t see their reactions I knew that their eyes would go wider after I gave them my answers. The next question would be “How” then they would ask me to join wherever my next trip is or ask me to give them every time there’s a seat sale.

However even if I give them these alerts it’s either they’re unprepared or they don’t how to do it. It’s really simple but it takes a lot of patience. And it does take a lot of time. I think doing a  budget travel also needs practice and a lot of trial and errors.

I still remember the cost of the first ticket I bought from Cebu Pacific. It costs around P6,000 per person round trip from Manila to Kalibo. I was inexperienced that time and I didn’t know that it could have been cheaper if I was prepared. But now I have booked a Clark- Cebu for only P2000 , Clark-Puerto Princesa for only P1351, Clark to Cebu(peso seats) P848 and a boracay trip (peso seats)  for my mom and dad for only P1696.  These rates includes everything like taxes, web fee and the base fare.

For international flights I have booked a Singapore flight for only P4000++, Bangkok flight P5000++, and recently I’ve got my Hong Kong tickets (7p base fare from Cebu Pacific ) which only costs around P2700++

Wanna learn the tricks? Read on..

First thing you need to learn is that when airlines announce a seat sale they will only provide you the base fare.This base fare is the original price of the ticket but it does not include taxes and other charges. Hence if you see a piso fare promo t does not necessarily mean that you’re going to pay 1 peso for your ticket. That’s absurd to think really! :p I remember arguing once with someone abut this matter. In the end I decided to just shut my mouth and let him find out for himself ( Sorry! Dipa rin ako maka move on sa argument namin na non sense) 

Be prepared

Seat Sales are constant. There are a lot of budget airlines you could choose from and they all have seat sales everyday. But the cheapest comes out in a Bam! and they’re gone in a blink of an eye. Hence you need to be prepared.

  • Have a destination on your mind. Whether Domestic or International, you should know where you are going to because you cannot just decide on the day the seat sale comes out. Time is short
  • Set a date and an alternative date at least 4 months to even a year later. Early bird catches the worm 🙂 The earlier the better The longer you wait the cheaper  tickets get.
  • Set your credit cards or money. Prepare at least P2000 pesos for domestic flights and P5000 for International flights. (In case you choose third party payment method)

Booking a trip is like an amazing race nothing beats a fully prepared person.

Lurk on their websites like a stalker

  • Customize your internet browser in such a way that when you open your google chrome or firefox, all the Budget Airline’s website will automatically load on different tabs.
  • Subscribe to  email alerts. But make sure that you check your mails constantly.
  • Like their pages on Facebook
  • Follow them on twitter
  • Follow blogs that gives regular updates on seat sales like this one. Follow No Wonder I Wander and you’ll never miss another seat sale from different airlines.

Since I’ve started travelling annually I have never missed a seat sale. Most of the  time I see these promos on Facebook, twitter, or emails from blogs I follow. I kind of believe that catching the cheapest fare is like serendipity because they appear before me just in time when I needed them. I don’t vainly wait for them or look for them. They appear before me like magic and I grab them instantly without hesitation.

Continuation: How to book a flight

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