Are You able to book all travel via the Internet and is it secure?


wiseGEEK Writing Contest

In a word, absolutely. The last trip we did in 2006 was done entirely via the net, from air to land to accommodation. Previously I had done portions of our trips via the net and found that we saved huge amounts of money, so this time round took the plunge and did the lot. Regardless of how trips are organised, planning is the key, so research, research and research some more. Where you want to go, what you want to do, how you want to get about, the types of places you want to stay in and most importantly why you are going to a particular spot. Using our last trip as an indicator, we had planned to visit Italy for about 4 weeks. Our primary place to visit was to be Tuscany, but searching the net I came across the most superb sounding place called Tropea, accommodation in a former convent way above the magnificent blue Mediterranean Ocean. Before deciding, I corresponded with the owners and became comfortable with them, so much so they seemed like friends before we left Australia. They were willing to answer every question I had no matter how trivial and this is the way I approached every place at which we wished to stay. Once happy that we would indeed stay there I then worked my way through Italy (via hardcopy maps I had at home) deciding where we would go, the distances between each town, what we wanted to do there which in turn would tell us how long we needed to stay. As I decided on each place I then searched the net until I found accommodation that suited exactly what we were after, which in most places was self contained apartments - this gave us freedom to come and go, to buy and prepare food ourselves which in turn saved more dollars to spend looking and buying! We knew the time we had available and the places we wanted to stay at and for how long. Having corresponded with someone in every place the next step was to organise the air travel. Once again previously I had done this directly with the airlines, but those that I usually flew with had no super specials so I ended up utilising an internet based travel company. I got onto one that was based in Australia and with all the accommodation wrote back and forth until I was comfortable that it was a genuine company and that I wasn't going to lose my money. Air fare booked and paid for it was then time to firm up all the accommodation. In most places that involved paying a deposit. Not one to freely give my visa information I was relieved to find that most utilised PayPal. For those that didn't, and whose site was not secure I chose to either fax the information through or telephone. Some just took the visa information to actually hold the booking. We had also decided to utilise train travel for the last part of the trip as it was heading into winter - again all done here through the Youth Hotel Association, of which we are members. I could have done this on the net as well, but saved a little more doing with the YHA. The final piece to the puzzle was booking our hire car. For all of our previous trips we had utilised Hertz and once again chose to go with them as if we booked and paid in Australia prior to departure we saved quite a lot of money - from memory $400 to $500 on a 3 week hire. We were away from Australia for 7 weeks, travelling to Singapore, Amsterdam, Italy, Switzerland,Germany back to Amsterdam and Singapore and I can say there was not one problem either with the accommodation itself or payment of any of our accounts. I can recommend organising travel via the internet to anyone.