Vacation discount sites like Orbitz, Expedia, and Traveolcity may offer some of the best deals on various forms of travel. The problem is, very few users read the full terms and service agreement contracts associated with these and similar sites. This means that if something does go wrong during their vacation, the traveler may be left with very little choice in the situations presented to them. In order to avoid these issues, here are a few points of the basic terms of contracts offered by discount companies. These cannot be avoided, but knowing about them can save time and hassle if an emergency happens.
Refunds on rooms, flights, and rental cars are not immediate. If you deal directly with the airline and the airline is overbooked for your flight, you will be able to receive some sort of refund. This is usually in the form of a voucher for another flight or a change to another flight. This option is still available if you deal with a discount site, however, you may be expected to pay out of pocket for extra expenses or for the entire expense with a refund coming later. Refunds are also subject to approval through the discount site and not through the airline. This means you will have to deal with the discount site in certain situations in order to receive a refund.
Cancellations happen during travel, it is just a fact of life. If you have booked directly through the hotel or car rental company, then you will be subject to their cancellation policies. If you choose to use a vacation discount site you may be subject to several different cancellation policies. If you do not cancel through the right channels and by the specific time frame, you will not only be out of the room or accommodation you will also be out of the money. Certain cancellation policies void any refund you would receive if you do not meet the right regulations for that cancellation.
Rooms are not Guaranteed
When you book a hotel room through a vacation discount site, there is a chance you may not receive what you want. Some discount sites have a list that is updated only every 48 hours or longer. This means that if the hotel sells the room for the night, you may be left with whatever room they have available. This could mean you end up with two separate beds, one large bed, a smoking room, or a room that does not have handicap accommodations.
If you want to avoid these issues, the best step is to choose a travel bundle package. Avoid using the travel discount sites and use a travel agency or discount site that offers full bundles and guaranteed options. Read through the terms of service completely and make sure you have a back up plan and notifications in place to ensure you do not miss a cancellation deadline or other related date. If you are unsure about cancellations, refunds, and room availability you will need to check with a representative and have them specifically point out the area in the terms and service agreement. Highlight this area for reference and keep that contract with you.