How comparison sites are changing the way we holiday
We are not just a nation of travellers. We are now a nation of well-informed travellers. Comparison websites, which allow us to instantly see the differences between air fares, room rates, rental car prices and more, have transformed the way we travel. We no longer have to rely on a travel agent to find the best possible deal for us. Thanks to comparison sites, we can find and book that deal ourselves, and be much better informed in the process.
What Is A Comparison Site?
A comparison site lets you see at a glance the difference in price for a whole range of related services. Airfare comparison sites are now commonplace, showing not only a range of fares being offered by different airlines, but also important booking factors such as departure times, luggage allowance and stopover information. Even more detailed information can be found on rental car comparison sites, with prices, luggage space, fuel economy, safety features and entertainment features all available for comparison. The obvious benefit of such sites is that comparative information can be seen in one place without having to jump from site to site.
The Price Is Right
Comparison sites display a range of prices, and certainly give you, the consumer, a greater choice. No longer do you have to choose the best price from two or three quotes provided by a travel agent- you now have a nearly-complete picture of prices being offered by every major player in the market, whether they’re an airline, rental car company or hotel. As most companies now offer their best deals online, rather than over the phone or in-person, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find the lowest possible rate on a comparison site.
As prices are virtually lined up side-by-side for all to see, this can encourage companies to bring their prices down. A high price sitting alongside a series of lower prices is going to stand out like a sore thumb – and not in a good way!
Book It Yourself
Comparison sites not only allow you to compare prices, but the vast majority also let you connect to the provider and book online as well. An airfare can be booked in about the same length of time it takes to say ‘ I no longer need to consult a travel agent’. The same applies to car rental, accommodation and basic travel insurance; all researched and booked within a matter of minutes. This is good news for time-poor travellers, especially those who have to arrange emergency travel for family or business reasons.
The Full Story
Many comparison sites now feature customer reviews, which are particularly good if you are researching a holiday. The comfort of hotel rooms, customer service on airlines, performance of rental cars – all this information can be found on an increasing number of sites, provided by independent reviewers rather than people within the industry. Yet another way that comparison sites turn travellers into well-informed travellers.