Accommodation Hotels, Resorts, Villas Questions and Info

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Old 23 Oct 20, 11:46 PM  
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Those who booked flight only

Those who booked flight only where are you staying and who have you booked with. Iíve been looking on trivago but donít recognise some companies doing the offers. Iíd like a villa but I think next year cancellation is easier with hotels. No guarantee if things are like this year will we be travelling although flights booked.
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Old 24 Oct 20, 06:42 AM  
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I never do a package. I book accommodation with my hotel of choice directly.
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Old 24 Oct 20, 06:44 AM  
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I generally book everything separately, but for next year, Iíve booked the flights, car and villa through BA - mainly due to the uncertainties with Covid, and also due to BAs cancellation policy.

Our villa owner for this yearís holiday has been fab, and moved our booking to 2022 (they were already booked for our dates in 2021), so the package approach seemed the best option.
Got the Florida bug May 2012 villa at Sandy Ridge; May 2013 villa at Lake Berkley; May 2014 villa at Lake Berkley; August 2015 villa at Lake Berkley; May 2016 villa at Lake Berkley; October 2016 New York; August 2017 villa at Chatham Park; July/Aug 2018 villa at Chatham Park; Aug 2019 OKW & villa at Lake Berkley; Dec 2020 New York
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Old 24 Oct 20, 07:55 AM  
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We stay at Disney so book with Disney. That said, we also have a booking with Travel Republic for the Dolphin as we havenít made up our minds yet. Both bookings have free cancellation.

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Old 24 Oct 20, 08:52 AM  
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I always DIY and I book real early. I have good flexibility from my employer on dates (whilst it has to be in School Hols due to my children). I research prices on an very regular basis, retaining historic data and exchange rates on word document tables. I therefore have a very good idea of what a target price should be as release dates approach. I also have record of the release dates of most regular airlines, for instance BA release around 350 and American Airlines 330. Norwegian were around 360 of the top of my head and most search engines are 330.

I use google flights to research initially as I find their site the easiest. You can play with one ways initially and easily look at alternative airports in the area, Tampa,Fort Lauderdale, Sanford, Miami etc etc . You can also look at different airports to depart from, I.e LHR, LGW, Birmingham or whatever. You can then look at bar charts showing variations in the cheapest price going either back or forwards for days and even months. From this research, I can plot that maybe flights into Miami on a Tuesday and flights home from Tampa on a Friday are generally best value.
I then start playing on the same site with the multi city option, aiming at flying say, LHR to MIA on a Tuesday and Tampa to LHR on a Thursday, in other words a 16 night vacation. (I will also be carrying out parallel research on several other options that seemed nearly as good).

Having found a deal that I like, I then try it with Skyscanner, Kayak, Expedia and every other search engine that I can think of. If the best deal I had found was with say British Airways, I would also try BAís own site along with all of their bigger code sharing partners such as American Airlines and the others. From all of this, I will now have a best price and that deal is hopefully on one of the carrying airlines own sites.

I then make direct contact with the airline, whether their own site was cheapest or otherwise and point out what I have established by research. I try to get a price match and if I do, book it there and then. If particularly it is an American Airline that I am talking with, I try to get just a tiny little bit extra such as seat selection there and then to close the deal (as near to the airbridge entrance as possible and 4 seats together).
If I get what I want, then I buy. If I get no movement, then I go back to their website and buy there.

At this present time, I would (and have) only consider buying direct from an airline. I do not want any middleman companies involved should I seek/demand a refund. Whilst I would not be adverse to a credit note in the event of MY cancellation by a major airline such as AA or BA. I would never accept one from Virgin as I believe their position to be very poor indeed as things continue. Should the airline cancel, then there is only one option and that is refund. In the event of refusal, then it is credit card chargeback for their failure as soon as the refusal is documented.

I hope this all makes sense. It is a slightly complex answer to a simple question, but with reason. It may also be more applicable to the fact that I generally only look at an area for a US vacation, rather than a specific such as Orlando. I simply think ĎWest Coastí or ĎUpper East Coast and a bit of Orlandoí or ĎWest Coast and ending up in New Orleansí.. all sorts, really. Many of my recent vacations have been planned around the purchase of what I consider really good flight prices, rather than a plan I have developed. (A kind of chicken or egg conundrum) with the detailed planning following the flight purchase and involving car hires, AMTRAC trains and internal flights.
A good example would be last year when I fancied Boston and the USAF Museum at Dayton OH, but the family wanted some time in Orlando. We did Boston, NY, Dayton OH, Cincinatti, Orlando, Naples and left at Miami! 2 Car hires, 1 train and 2 internal flights.

Accommodation? In Orlando it is normally a Villa through Holidaylettings, but if going next year it would be a Hotel Suite such as LBV village resort and spa, Staybridge or similar .. easier to get my money back in the event of having to cancel.

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And the future...Arizona/Cali/Nevada 2021

Edited at 01:32 PM.
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Old 24 Oct 20, 09:17 AM  
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Agree with Cornish Frog Boy, we book in a very similar style.
A condo Or apartment rather than a villa is probably easier to find with more hotel style flexibility with changes/cancellation . Floridays springs to mind But there are plenty of others.
Americans tend to book far later than us so booking a villa far later is certainly an option (if we do this I tend to have a cancellable condo or hotel fallback booked). Does depend how flexible you can be with area though.
Our current flight bookings have been rebooked several times .
They started as been booked for September this year as a cheap hand baggage only fare for around £340 pp , I then moved them to next May as a main cabin fare with bags included , this was a free change and moved to the slightly more expensive £480 ish fare because that fare offered free change of dates and route for far longer than hand baggage fares did, Ive just moved them again to the end of August next year , the fare was a bit cheaper so I could have had a small credit but as it was only £60 more out in economy and back in premium economy Iíve booked that for more comfort and two bags back instead of one so a bit more shopping is on the cards (I will pack a big nylon hold-all so the dirty washing will be packed in that leaving space in the cases for the new purchases).
These are all direct flights with BA but booked with American Airlines as their change conditions are more generous than BAís own.
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Old 25 Oct 20, 11:30 AM  
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Weíve booked a Dibb Villa for 2022. Usually we book through owners direct but have found Airbnb has better cancellation terms for a lot of properties. I always make sure anything we book we can move dates for free if necessary.
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Old 25 Oct 20, 08:16 PM  
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Hotel for first 10 nights with Netflights, Flights & car hire BA, 11 nights DVC,. The last couple of years we have booked a Disney package with free dining ( only for a week each time) due to not enough DVC points for a complete stay
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