Excellence is well, excellent

So we’ve booked ourselves a happy little getaway through Expedia.  We were thinking about using a AAA travel agent, and that just didn’t work out.  I am now going to do a little research on what would have happened if I had booked everything separately, directly through the websites for airfare, hotel, and transportation. 

If nothing else, it can be said that you are bombarded with a wealth of reviews on your chosen hotel when booking through a travel site, but are you really getting the best deal? 

We are staying at a resort in the Dominican Republic called Excellence.  We chose a “garden or mountain view” junior suite.  We are staying 6 nights.  Directly booking through Excellence-resorts.com, I am quoted $356 a night.  Keep in mind this is an all inclusive resort. 

This puts our price so far at $2,136. 

We found that airtran (owned by southwest airlines) was the cheapest flight available that didn’t have too many stops.  We have one layover in Atlanta (coming from Michigan).  On airtran’s website, you cannot even search travel options until you’ve signed up for the A+ club and log in. 
Our tickets to PUJ airport would cost $577.60 (two tickets with tax but not baggage fees) and the return flight to DTW would cost $490.60. 

This puts our price so far at $3,204.20

Now once at PUJ, we need transportation.  We are not renting a car because we do not plan on leaving the resort until it is time to come home.  Expedia automatically asked if we would like to add on ground transportation.  We were able to choose between a shuttle and private car. 

If we did not book through Expedia, I would not have known this is an option and would have assumed we had to hail a taxi.  Considering our hotel is 45 minutes from the airport, that could have been a very pricey taxi ride.  For example purposes, we’ll use taxifarefinder.com and use the distance between Detroit and where I live, Howell, as it is a similar distance (at least according to maps).  taxifarefinder is putting us at about $141 one way. 

This puts our price at $3486.20.  This also does not include the time it took me to look all of this up.  It may be a bad one, but the kayak commercial lamenting the woes of searching for travel is truth.  It is long and arduous to look up every detail of a trip, when after about ten minutes between Expedia and Orbitz I booked us at Expedia. 

So now for the comparison.  Our trip through Expedia counts everything but the baggage fees, and cost us $3102.16 and saved us at least a couple hours in scouring websites for airfare and hotels.  We were also able to see lots of reviews and when I called customer service on an issue they were friendly, helpful, and spoke excellent English.  My only qualm is that although my reservations are correct, my itinerary still shows that the flight is cancelled when it has been reinstated.  I believe our flight being cancelled was a glitch somewhere in the system, as Airtran still has us booked properly. 

So without using a booking site, we would have spent $3486.20+ with Expedia we paid $3102.16.  Knowing that there is someone who can look at all aspects of my trip and make sure they are confirmed is priceless. 

Stay tuned as I torture myself with photos of the beautiful Dominican and make other travel preparations. 

Well so much for faithfulness

I am ashamed of myself yet again.  How long has it been since I’ve posted?!  I have good news at least!  In April my husband and a couple of friends and I are going to Punta Cana!  I am very excited and booked everything myself.  I am compiling all the minor details that we were hoping to learn through a travel agent, but our travel agent experience left us with a very bad taste in our mouths.  I will posting along the journey here!