Image Credits: Rana Sawalha.
I am one of those travellers who usually buy/book flights and hotel separately. For several reasons. Sometimes I want to spend the miles of a frequent flyer program. Sometimes I find a very good deal for a flight and buy it immediately. Most of the times because I want to have full control over a trip I’m planning. Nevertheless, there are a few instances when purchasing flights and hotels rooms together is particularly convenient. Specially when long-haul flights are involved. Or, for example, if digging the web for a deal is beyond your expertise.
Hence, in these cases, the best way to score something good is buying this combo from an OTA (online travel agency), such as Expedia.
You may also be interested in:
– How to score the best flight with Momondo: a step-by-step guide.
– How to use Booking.com at its best for hotels: a step-by-step tutorial.
Let’s find out together how with this step-by-step guide!
Dubai has plenty of options, which is something that could be a little bit intimidating. As usual, filters are essentials here: I select the number of stars, preferred amenities and the property type where I want to stay. I don’t think other filters are necessary, therefore I can finally check the results. They’re still a lot and very interesting. Bear in mind that the price you’re seeing next to each hotel is per person.
There are several good deals and a bunch of really excellent ones. I will only check hotels with at least 4/5 guest rating and, luckily for me, I picked a destination with potentially zero bad hotels –after all, they are all quite new. I right clicked on a couple of results in order to open them in a new tab. I found an incredible deal for a 5 stars hotel.
However, it is still too soon to declare victory. I scroll down to see which options I have. At the moment my trip, which includes flight, hotel room in Dubai, taxes and fees for 2 people, will cost $ 1.355,94. Impressive, isn’t it? Well, it is. But I have yet to find out my flight timetable or what, exactly, is included with my room. I click on Show Room Information to learn something more. Honestly, the room looks amazing. At this stage I could even change room type –Expedia shows me how much any changes/addition will cost- but I am fine with the first one. I click on Select.
Expedia takes me to the departure flights page. The default flight departs from Rome at 2.10pm and arrives in Dubai at 12.30am. Now, most of the times a flight arriving in Dubai from Italy lands the day after the departure date. In this case, it is not entirely a full day, as the flight lasts 8h 20m. Could I score something better? Probably, by adding a few filters, on the left. However, considering it’s Dubai, whose airport is busy 24/7, and quite close to the rest of the town, it is not a big deal. In any case, Expedia specifies how much you should add to the original amount in case you want to change the flight. Of course, you need to multiply x2.
It’s now time to check the flight from Dubai to Rome. There are 3 default flights at $ 0. The shortest one lasts 8h 25m, but it leaves at 7.15am, which basically means I will spend my last night in a hotel only to depart from Dubai quite early the next morning. In my opinion, this is a waste of time and money. The second option is far longer –over 17 hours- but will depart at 9.30pm and will arrive in Rome at 1.30pm on the day after. This way, I will have one full day to spend in Dubai. I pick this second option and click on Select to go on.
Expedia loads a new page where I can see a summary of the choices I made before proceeding with the purchase. I can add further options if I want to. Alternatively, I can either choose to Save This Itinerary or Continue With The Booking. I am about to click on the latter, but first I notice that Expedia wants me to know that, by selecting this trip, I am saving $ 313,50.
I have no way to check if this is true. But I can try to find out if, by buying a flight and booking a hotel room separately, I would actually pay a higher price. I go back to the Home Page. I select the Flights tab, I include again the departure city, the destination, dates and number of people. I immediately see the same flight I found when looking for the flight+hotel combo. On the summary page, I can see that the total amount of the two flights is $ 935,76.
Now I am curious to check the price of the room in the very same hotel. I find it immediately and proceed with the selection. The recap shows me that the cost for one week is $ 768,59.
Therefore, if we sum the numbers, the total amount is $ 1.704,35. Considering the combo’s overall amount is $ 1.355,94, I would actually save $ 348,41, which is even a little bit more than what Expedia suggested. It’s a bargain, so I will definitively go on with the Bunch And Save Expedia’s option.
And it’s done! What about you? What is your favourite way to shop for a flight+hotel combo?