Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Checking out prices online

Just having some fun playing with the HotelReservations.com site. I began by looking at Hotel Reservations on their own. You can put in a place name and the site will skip off and find you a choice of hotels (and other facilities) within seconds. Even though USA was on the page, I put Auckland in, and it was quite happy to find Auckland, NZ. Some of the room prices were a bit out of my reach, but that’s okay - at this point I don’t actually want to stay in Auckland, even though my daughter has moved there recently, and taken her man and their two children (our grandchildren) with her.
But we have considered going on the Continent for two or three weeks, say in October, so I put Florence in as a search. I hadn’t realised there were five places called Florence in the USA, one in Alabama, one in Arizona, one in Kentucky, one in Oregon, and one in SC. It’ll come to me in a minute which state that is! Ah, South Carolina?
In spite of the wealth of US Florences, the first Florence to come up was Italy‘s, which is where I was intending to look. So that was a plus. Clever site.
The site does vacation rentals as well as hotels (and flights, cars, package deals), so I checked out NZ for that, too. Up came Auckland, Queenstown, Wellington, Christchurch. Pretty good, though again things are on the pricey side. Maybe this site doesn’t look at more economic possibilities?
Thought I might as well have a look at the flights option, as this is something we’ve been checking out quite a bit online. And it’s usually not easy. However, apart from checking which of the several London airports I wanted to fly from, it found a possible flight very quickly. Though at US$10,683.40, it might be a bit beyond our budget! I went back to check that I hadn’t put business class in the options, but the only option was economy/coach. Obviously there might be a cheaper flight available: £5,339.80 or NZ$14,621.95 for one return flight to a place that’s not that far away from here, seems just a bit over the top.
However, one interesting thing that did turn up in the flight options, was this: people 62 years old and over can obviously go for a better price. Finally my age gives me some benefits! (Actually, if I want to travel by bus from Norwich to a large number of destinations, I can go free, because of my age.)

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