I have just returned from a short break in Vilamoura Portugal, me and my partner Kerry stayed for 5 nights at the Dom Pedro Golf resort, and I have to say we had a great time and would certainly stay at the same hotel again if we were to return, the five nights including flights cost us £1100.00, which for the quality of hotel was very reasonable. Before I booked the holiday though I looked at several destinations including Spain, Portugal and Ibiza too, I also checked out the deals available using four different companies, two were purely online travel agents, LowCostHolidays.com & Expedia.com and two were traditional travel agents, Co-opTravel.co.uk and Thomas Cook in my home town of Stratford upon Avon, today I am going to share with you my experience with all four, which ranged from Excellent to shameful.
This was the first of the two major online web sites I visited to find my holiday, and the experience was on the whole a very positive one, I searched three destinations in total including Ibiza and Malta as well as my final destination which was Portugal, they offered me plenty of choice and I did like the fact that you could have quite a bit of freedom with the flights and extras such as transfers. I came very close to booking, however the choice of accommodation did lean towards the less desirable in the regions I wanted to stay, but well worth a visit and I haven’t ruled them out for the future.
Rating: 3 from 5
Quite a shocker this one, I call my local travel agents in Stratford upon Avon and spoke to a young man over the phone, I explained that I couldn’t come in to browse the holidays and asked if I could leave him with a brief over the phone, we got off to a good start as I explained where I was looking, Portugal, Spain or Malta, I explained I wanted 4 or 5 nights and was looking to spend in the region of £1000.00 give or take, the chap I spoke to assured me that he would look at my options and come back to me shortly. That was the last I heard from him having left both my contact number and email.
As with Thomas Cook I dealt with the coop over the phone, however the experience I had was nothing like the above, Kerry the advisor took all of my requirements down and worked hard to try and find me the best deal, and came very close to me booking, however on a like for like basis the Coop were coming out on average £100.00 more expensive than there online competition, but I could not fault the service and the effort, had it not been for the fact that we were comparing the exact same hotels and flights I may have been tempted to book.
Rating 4 from 5
Expedia proved to be the best place to book for me on the occasion, I found the right hotel and the best flights for the times we wanted to travel, Price wise we came in at £1099.00 for 5 nights flying with Monarch (Hand luggage only) One of the best things about the experience was the ability to see the reviews from Expedia customers and trip advisor which prove to be very accurate and fair, there is no doubt that I would use them again, but as with this occasion not before checking out other options.
Rating 5 from 5