Booking your Trip to the Bahamas

Booking your trip to the Bahamas is the final step in planning the vacation of your dreams

Photo credit: © Salvatore Serafino
 

Booking your vacation is the last step you'll need to take before enjoying the warm sun and gorgeous waters of the Bahamas. There seems to be no end to the options available, so how do you decide the best way to purchase your trip?

Most travelers are searching for the best prices and the most convenient services. Increasingly, these are found on the Internet, where a number of vendors are competing for your business. The competition can really benefit the customer, who will receive reduced rates, prompt attention, and informative travel tips.

Some people may be uneasy about the idea of purchasing their vacation online. If you've done your Bahamas research online, taken travel advice from this Web site, and used the Internet to find the accommodations that are just right for you, booking your trip online seems like a natural final step. Don't forget that credit card and Internet security has improved greatly in recent years and try not to let unfounded fears keep you from getting the best deals.

Knowing the deals available and having realistic expectations of the price ranges will also help you find the best offers. Hotels and airlines, for example, frequently have special rates that customers can only get online. Calling the individual vendors is a good way to find out more information about these offers, but it is possible that other representatives will not even be aware of the quotes found on the Internet. In this way your research can come in handy and you can compare several different prices before you make your purchase.

Maps

Many people who are preparing to visit the Bahamas might consider using a travel agent. As with any other option, however, this requires a good deal of checking around. If you approach an agent who services worldwide or business travelers, your research will probably have made you more knowledgeable about the Bahamas than the travel agent. If you have an agent that you know and trust, or if you can find one that specializes in Caribbean travel, they may be particularly well-versed. But if you've done all the necessary research and decision-making yourself, why not use it and save yourself some money?

Another alternative for vacationers is the growing world of Internet travel sellers. These vendors range from large companies that provide international travel services to small businesses that provide specific, regional information. As with travel agents, you will find that the more general sites are less able to advise you about your particular interests. For this reason, many people prefer to trust smaller, specialized sellers.

One similarity between vendors both large and small is the price. Travel Web sites all receive discounted rates from hotels, airlines, cruises, and tours. After adding a small margin to cover expenses the lowered prices are passed on to the customers, along with other good resources such as property reviews and package deals, which can save visitors money by combining flights, hotels, and rental cars. If you do find large discrepancies in the quotes offered by different Web sites, do a little investigating. Often these "too-good-to-be-true" deals are just that.  They tend to be the result of a company failing to advertise all the taxes and fees involved.

Unlike Web sites that are affiliated with a cruise line or hotel chain, Internet travel vendors have the ability to report on multiple options without bias. Since they want you to book your vacation through them, you can trust that the information they are providing is as detailed and accurate as possible. This is also a good place to do some last-minute checking. If you've narrowed your lodging choice down to two resorts, for example, browse the information and reviews on the Web site to see if there are any customer comments or hotel amenities that influence your decision.

Besides their purchasing power and regional familiarity, Internet travel vendors have one more advantage over independent travelers. In the event of trouble, or if a dispute should arise, third party vendors can take your side and their future business dealings with the company give them a great deal of influence. Most online sellers will stop doing business with a property if they receive word that the hotel or resort does not treat their customers well. This affords travelers the peace of mind of knowing that you have someone to support your claims in case of unpleasantness.

The last step between you and your ideal Bahamas vacation is deciding on a way to purchase your travel arrangements. Selecting an option that you feel comfortable with is essential. Once you've booked your trip to the Bahamas, you're really only a daydream away from the vacation of your lifetime.

 

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