booking trip to Rome thru travel website

Feb 8th, 2005, 11:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
booking trip to Rome thru travel website

I've read a lot on these message boards about the pains of paying for things overseas with the currency conversion fees that are charged. I know that being charged these fees is something that can't be avoided (especially when trying to purchase food, attraction tickets, souvenirs, etc.), but how does it work for booking a vacation via the Internet through one of the travel websites (i.e. Expedia, Cheaptickets, Orbitz, etc.)? I was told by one of those websites (I believe it was Cheaptickets) that they charge your credit card right away for your package (in my case, it would be for airplane tickets & hotel stay only, no car rental), so is it better to book a hotel via one of those websites, versus booking a hotel through the hotel itself & paying the hotel directly once you get there (instead of it being handled through a third-party travel website)? Also, these travel websites accept most all credit cards (not just Visa or Mastercard, like most hotels, if you pay them directly). So, I guess that could be an advantage if you want to pay using Discover card (which no where, overseas at least, seems to accept). Also, I noticed that booking a flight through Delta, for example, costs about the same as it does to book a flight (on Delta) through a travel website. However, the travel website offers travel insurance/protection for only around $60 or so per person, whereas when I click that I want travel protection (i.e. my tickets to be refunded in case of an emergency) through Delta's website, it bumps up the price of tickets several hundred dollars. What's up with that?
Travel_Travel is offline  
Feb 8th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Yes, if you want to lock in the price (and exchange rate for hotels), and/or to use Discover Card, then book a prepaid package here.

There are various types of travel insurance. Read the fine print carefully. The cheaper one definitely only covers stuff after your journey starts - it won't cover you if you have an emergency at home and can't go. The more expensive insurance from Delta may cover that, but maybe not.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 8th, 2005, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,150
Hi TT,

I'd like to help if I could, but my eyes go out of focus if there are no paragraph breaks.

ira is online now  
Feb 8th, 2005, 05:09 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 175
We have booked air/hotel packages several times with
The package is paid for immediately through our credit card.
While they offer travel insurance (at a good rate) you certainly have the option of declining and getting your own through a different agent.
There is no concern about $-€ conversion by booking this way as the rates are quoted and charged by the dollar.
If we had ff miles, I would book my own hotel, and hold the room with my credit card. If not, I think the air/hotel packages are hard to beat.
iluvitaly is offline  
Feb 8th, 2005, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,617
I think go-today is a different case, it is a budget-minded company that specializes in air-hotel packages, with a limited number of hotels that they deal with. Some of their hotels get great reviews on websites like fodors or, some of their hotels don't, and upgraded hotels greatly impact the price of the package of course. I think their best deals seem to be in the winter.

Expedia or Orbitz are different, I don't know what the technical term is, but they are primarily search engines for air fares and hotels, and you can cobble together your own package with pretty much unlimited options on air and on hotels.

If you want to use Discover, then book a package and it's all paid for in advance. Otherwise, I have rarely seen a package on go-today or on Expedia or other websites that can't be equalled in price by booking the pieces separately, and that's assuming I like the hotels that are being offered.

Some trip packages, I don't recall if go-today is one, throw in 'extras' like airport transfers or breakfasts or city tours. Those features as offered don't always appeal to me, but they may tip the scales for some travelers.

On travel insurance you need to read the small print. Trip cancellation/trip interruption provision refunds money if your trip is cancelled or cut short for a reason allowed under the policy. Examples include a death in your immediate family, your own health problem, or the tour operator going out of business. Many companies will waive exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions (in other words, you would be covered even if you have a pre-existing medical problem) if you buy the policy within a specifed amount of time after putting down the deposit for your trip. Read the fine print concerning exclusions.
The death or illnesses of your stepchildren, stepparents, grandparents, siblings-in-law, fiance(e)s,
aunts, uncles, friends, etc are usually not covered if you have to interrupt or cancel your trip.

I've compiled some information on this:
A policy called Insure-a-Flight was put on the market to cover purchases of non-refundable airline tickets. The policy also includes accidental death coverage. The claimable reasons for cancellation of the ticket include illness or death of the traveler, a traveling companion, or an immediate family member. The contact phone number for Insure-a-Flight is 866 467 2358. allows you to compare policies and quotes from up to five companies simultaneously. Site also has currency conversion and packing tips.

Site which allows you to compare more than 40 travel insurance plans:

World Travel Center is a broker handling a variety of travel insurance policies. They can provide policies for "special needs" or circumstances. Call 800 786 5566 or

Divers Alert Network primarily insures scuba divers, but I had read that anyone can join and be supplied with emergency medical evacuation insurance. There are family plans.
800 446 2671,

elaine is offline  

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