Please Note - If you are cruising around Australia you need to select Pacific.
With Regions, variances can apply for Bali, Indonesia, Japan and Middle East.
You are not required to enter stop-over countries if your stop-over is less than 48 hours.
Australians are opting for travel agents over booking sites says new research by Comparetravelinsurance.com.au. According to company findings, nearly half (41%) of travellers said they relied on travel agents rather than the web to book their trips. And only 17.3% said they ‘always’ used booking sites when planning a holiday.
Consumers have grown somewhat wary of booking sites and deals that seem ‘too good to be true.’ We’ve seen a surprising resurgence in customers choosing to go through the traditional travel agent model which is interesting in such a tech-savvy world.
A recent series of booking bungles and misleading sales tactics have exposed the darker side of booking sites.
International accommodation site HotelQuickly ruined dozens of holidays by cancelling bookings in the last minute. Affected customers were offered vouchers as compensation which later turned out to be invalid. As well, travel company Bestjet collapsed, leaving dozens of customers furious and out of pocket.
Simultaneously, hotel site Trivago has been under investigation by consumer watchdog ACCC in regard to dodgy advertising tactics. The website’s highlighted, ‘best deal’ options were in actuality based on the suppliers that paid the most to Trivago. The company has since admitted to misleading conduct and may face millions in fines as a result. The ACCC is also cracking down on ‘one room left’ pressure tactics used by third party booking giants and warning consumers not to buy into the trap.
Third party booking sites may seem like an efficient way to land a great bargain. However, travellers should be wary of deceptive practices.
- Research: Take your time to research your options and try to avoid decisions made under pressure.
- Be wary of hidden extras: Travel sites boosting their profit margins by ‘adding on’ extras, such as travel insurance, at checkout. While it may seem like a convenient option, travel insurance that is bolted on at the point of purchase can be far more expensive than those offered through a dedicated insurance comparison site.
- Read the small print: As well, you can't always see the policy details when you check out, so you don't know what you're getting.
Taking the time find a better value product that adequately covers your needs can save you in the long run.
Originally from the UK, Hayley took a gap ‘year’ in 2011… and it’s still going! She’s travelled all over the world, volunteering in a Ugandan orphanage, skydiving in Australia, shark diving in South Africa, and skiing in the Alps (and snapping in a ligament in the process!). Certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and working in travel insurance for over two years, Hayley is a thrillseeker and a storyteller who loves hearing about customers’ holiday plans and sharing her own tips and must-see spots to help get them inspired.