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Best website or agency for deals


#1

Hello, What are the best websites/agencies for deals to Cuba in December? I could fly out of either Ottawa or Montreal, depending if the price difference is worth the drive or not.

thank you !


#2

good question, I’ve used itravel2000 but won’t again after the mix ups they made last year, I’ve also used Sell Off Vacations, but it seems when I compare prices they are all the same, I checked Red Tag as well and found their prices the same as well


#3

I have always used tripcentral.ca…prices have the taxes in on front page. Whenever I have had a problem, my agent…one of the best, was right there beside me to make things right.

A great agent is worth everything. Trip Central will match any price you find with anyother site.


#4

We price on line using ACV, Selloff and itravel2000, then book with a travel agent. Last year we used the travel agency through Scotiabank and were given the best web price and 5% cash back, 2% in points for the next trip and the basic Health/trip interruption/insurance coverage too.
As pointed out above, the web prices are almost exactly the same except for specials for members, clubs or other in-house specials. The speed that a website posts last minute deals might be handy for you. And of course, a credit card that gives cash back. :wink:


#5

ITravel, Voyages à rabais, Voyages Bergeron (this last one has lots of deals out of Mtl)


#6

I also second tripcentral.ca

I love the way the site is laid out so that I can easily see the best deal for multiple destinations/resorts, always including the BS tax.

You can book on-line or call an agent who has been to that resort (agents are listed right on the page who have been there) or go to one of their stores. You also have the option to pay by CC or go to a bank and pay cash into their acct.

I’m just fed up with some other sites that are so difficult to find the real total price.

Earlier this year when I was booking last minute to MCSM, the price suddenly went up by a few hundred per person. I phoned in right away and they gave me the price from 10 min. earlier. The price had indeed gone up mid-day and continued to rise for a few days until departure. They saved me over $1 thousand in total for the 6 people I was booking. They got my undying support for that. BTW, another site that I called refused to offer me the lower price.

The only thing tripcentral doesn’t have is email alerts of prices that have gone down. The other bad thing is that I have never won their weekly contest. Boohoo :’( :’( But it is fun to enter the contest each day. Lots of weird travel questions.


#7

i agree, i too like trip central, it’s easy to look up the cheapest total price. By the way I never play the quizes, but i wonder if anyone has ever won a trip? There must be millions of people that play the quizes each day and I wonder what the odds are, say for example christmas day, how many people will play it? my guess would be alot less than a regular day.


#8

LOL dax…I have been playing for years.

Another great thing about Trip Central is that us get air miles for booking and double if you book club class. I also redeem 3800 air miles = $400 in trip-central travel certificates each year to help take my costs down. Basically pays for my club class if we are traveling with Transat, if not it is used to pay down the trip cost.

I have been an avid air mile collector for years, even have the gold MasterCard so I usually get double points, for me this is all I use the air mile points for, it’s great to be able to have cash to take off the trip costs. :slight_smile:

You can use up to $400 per person. Next year I will be taking $800 off our trip. You can’t get much better than that.


#9

It seems a number of us use Trip Central. I do my “homework” first then book with our local Trip Central Agent. No muss, no fuss and, yes, if there is an issue… they’re there to look after it !
Great personalized service.


#10

Only thing i like about tripcentral is the taxes in total price.

But I dont like the lack of pictures or reviews. I also dont know what kind of promotions they have like low deposit, price guar etc but they dont seem to advertise it will if they do offer those things.

And I visit the site everyday as well for the tripquestions…lol I think i have about 1700 entries last time I checked…so I figure about 6.5 years of playing so far…which means I have not won any of the 338 trips they have given away…pretty bad odds… ::slight_smile:


#11

I only use a travel agent for my bookings but I do check the various sites to compare prices before contacting my TA. Normally, our bookings are pretty straight forward but not so for our upcoming trip. We are going with Air Canada Vacations and, when we originally booked, it was a direct, non-stop flight Vancouver-Varadero. After booking, it changed and Air Canada was trying to put us through Toronto. WTH! I contacted my TA and told her that, if that was our only option, we would cancel the booking. On my own, I had checked departures out of Calgary and found a direct flight to Varadero that we could easily connect with out of Vancouver. I asked my TA to contact ACV and find out why we weren’t offered that option and that’s what we wanted. Long story - short, our request was accommodated but, if you go on line with ACV, they still do not offer that flight option if you want to book out of Vancouver ???. When it comes to booking any vacation, I think you have to do your homework and don’t be afraid to push if you really want something.


#12

Funny you mention that, I clicked on an
"alert me if price goes down"
button on one site and now, once a week now I get a stupid message saying
"the vacation price you were watching DIDN’T go down, but time is running out to book (Feb 2013)
I won’t mention the name of the site but I’m sure others get this as well


#13

I like the Tripadvisor site for checking prices - fast, simple and no calculations required. The couple of staff that I’ve spoken with were knowledgeable and helpful.


#14

Hey monctonguy:

If you “go through the motions” on Trip Central re date, place, etc. it does give Resort info, pictures, departure times, and also the Carriers where info is then given re "Price Drops"etc. I still do my homework on all Carriers, dates, times, etc. with other sites and then book with my Agent at Trip Central. It doesn’t hurt, either, living in a smaller community where it seems we get consistently great customer service!


#15

Lots of sites will give you the tax included price if you use Montreal as your base city. You still have to put your departure city in the search. Probably is a very sensible law in Quebec that requires a total price? Civilized, eh?


#16

Put me down as another tripcentral fan. I’ve viewed other sites of course but I can’t be bothered doing the math in my head to figure out what the trip actually costs.

The first time I called one of their agents listed that had been to a resort I was interested in it was hilarious because the 1-800 number led me to the local agent in my small town. Same town as old grapes.

That agent saved me $1000 last year on 4 people when we booked early out of Toronto and a lower price showed up leaving Hamilton which was our preferred gateway anyway. He was able to get our whole booking moved to Hamilton and at the better price.

His name is John Tomiuck and if anyone ever does any browsing on tripcentral for small, inexpensive resorts, he’s the man that’s been to them all in every province. Always looking for the bargain resorts to pass on to us cost-concious consumers.

He’s had health problems and is off work now, but we all miss his Cuban insights and hope he gets better soon.


#17

Sorry to report but John passed away a couple days ago. Visitation is today (Friday). I’ve known John for many years and, yes, he’s had a long history in the Travel industry and was very knowledgeable especially regarding Cuba.


#18

I use itravel & Red Tag, however, I just booked direct with Hola Sun and the booking & price was great. The rep on the ground was not very good.


#19

Thanks for that sad piece of information Evan. I’m working but I was able to write an online condolence.

Cheers!

Barry


#20

Sadly, we’ve encountered our share of poor, ill informed and useless reps also. A good one is a real gem and can really help if you have issues. I wish there were listings and ratings for reps.

I’d be interested in knowing if your price booking direct was any different than through an independent agency. I have been told that it won’t be.